This is a narrative history of Europe and of four centuries in which the European nations so extended their indluence that for much of the period the world could very largely be described as European. The story encompasses the great revolutions in England, America, France and Russia, the rise of the European and American democracies, the acquisition and loss of Empire, the demographic transition and the industrial revolution, and the wars almost constantly fought either directly or by proxy, which at various times so critically changed the course of human history. This is history on a grand scale, but is devoid neither of personality nor based on a narrow thesis such as the rise of the nation state or the overarching influence of military technology. To the rise of the nation state and the pursuit of military power Professor Fox adds the twinned themes of culture and environment. He shows perhaps above all, that the needs and the requirements of trade, while their initial outcomes were often imperial, required pragmatic and liberal regimes at home, and ultimately, throughout the world. As the author points out, this is a history of the world we inhabit today, and of the nations, cultures and personalities that have shaped and been shaped by its geography and environment. It is illustrated by nine maps, contains an annotated bibliography of further reading, and is fully indexed.