Seventeenth-Century Europe
During the seventeenth century, England and France underwent divergent political (and economic) evolutions.  While absolutism emerged powerful in France, a constitutional system developed in England; simultaneously mercantilism emerged in France while capitalism expanded in England.  These contrasting trends set the stage for over two centuries of rivalry, usually played out as war, between the two countries and between conservative and liberal political forces throughout the Western world.  Liberals consistently championed the English constitutional system as a model, while conservatives supported the example of the French monarchy (See Jean Domat (1625-1696), On Social Order and Absolute Monarchy, 1697).  Liberals also tended to support a laissez-faire, capitalist economic system as supposedly existed in England.

Some recommended online lectures and websites:

This page is copyright © 2008, C.T. Evans
For information contact