Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800, Volume 2
The Struggle
R. R. Palmer


For the Western world as a whole, the period from about 1760 to 1800 was the great revolutionary era in which the outlines of the modern democratic state came into being. It is the thesis of this major work that the American, French, and Polish revolutions, and the movements for political change in Britain, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, and other countries, although each distinctive in its way, were all manifestations of recognizably similar political ideas, needs, and conflicts.

Volume 1 of this distinguished two-volume work, "The Challenge," received critical accolades throughout the world. It was the winner of the Bancroft Prize in 1960 and was called "one of the classic works of American historical scholarship" (Key Reporter) and a book which "will enlarge and clarify our understanding of modern Western history. It will re-emphasize the strength and vitality of the roots that supported the growth of democracy in the Old and New Worlds" (New York Times). "Occasionally a historical work appears which, by synthesis of much previous specialized work and by intelligent reflection upon the whole, makes events of the past click into a new pattern and assume fresh meaning. Professor Palmer's book is such a work" (American Historical Review).

"The Challenge" took the story to the eve of the French Revolutionary wars; Volume 2, "The Struggle" continues the account to 1800.

R. R. Palmer (1909-2002), who taught at Princeton University from 1936 to 1963, the last eleven years as Dodge professor of history, was a past president of the American Historical Association. His other books include A History of the Modern World (later editions with Joel Colton) and Twelve Who Ruled. The first volume of The Age of the Democratic Revolution won the Bancroft Prize in 1960.