The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 384
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
new era in which France was to be the leading power on the
continent until 187o.
The Peace of Westphalia recognized that Germany could not
be united, that the Holy Roman Empire was becoming increas-
ingly more Austrian, and that France was the ranking power in
Europe. Henceforth the Hapsburgs focused their attention on
the decaying Ottoman Empire only to come into contact with
the problem of nationalism in the Balkans, while the Reich
passed into the hands of the Hohenzollerns. A weak and ex-
hausted Germany at the close of the Thirty Years' War contrib-
uted much to French greatness; by leaving Germany divided,
Louis XIV left France secure, although the more unjustifiable
ambitions of the middle years of his reign were checked by the
Balance of Power. The realistic treaty of Utrecht, largely the
work of Viscount Bolingbroke, "whose ability has rarely been
equalled, and never surpassed in the course of English history,"
recognized, among other facts, that France was still the first power
Eighteenth century alliances continued along traditional lines
until upset by the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, a reversal
which would have come much earlier, Petrie thinks, if the suc-
cessors of Louis XIV had possessed his experience. Meanwhile,
Russia had become a great power, and Frederick the Great of
Prussia learned that the fate of his country depended on the
attitude of Russia-a truth which Bismarck a century later real-
ized but which Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler forgot. In his
analysis of the development of the British Empire, Petrie obvi-
ously is impressed with the sudden reversal in British policy that
resulted in such shameful losses in 1783 as compared with the
magnitude of her successes only twenty years earlier. He gives
two reasons for these losses: first, Britain isolated herself from
the continent after 1763 and thus was friendless when the
movement for American independence began; and second, Amer-
ican colonies, no longer threatened on three sides by Bourbon
powers after 1763, began to feel strong enough to stand alone.
The policy of France of the Revolution was fundamentally
that of the Valois and the Bourbons, with the exception that it
was assisted by the ideological forces of democracy and national-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/496/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.