Informations and abstract
Keywords: Modern Europe - Nationalities - Namier
The essay focuses on Namier's interpretation of continental Europe's history from 1815 to 1945. Rather than being a historiographical reconstruction of his theses, it discusses the seminal categories Namier developed in order to interpret that history's inner springs and movements. The first section analyses his biography in the light of his categories. In the second, these categories and their heuristic value are examined in the context of recent historiographical debates and discoveries. The third section is devoted to the meaning Namier attributed to 1848, which he considered the "seed-plot" of a history that was rooted in 1789 Paris and developed through 1815 Vienna, the revolutions of 1848, 1919 Versailles and 1945 Potsdam. Lastly, the essay sums up the limitations of what it was, however, one of the most original and powerful visions of our continent's modern history.