This is a historical book. It tells about the european social and politiclal issues. In the great and tragic history of Europe there is a turning point that marks the defeat of the ideal of a world order and the definite acceptance of international anarchy. That turning point is the emergence of the sovereign State at the end of the fifteenth century. And it is symbolical of all that was to follow that at that point stands, looking down the vista of the centuries, the brilliant and sinister figure of Machiavelli. From that date onwards international policy has meant Machiavellianism. Sometimes the masters of the craft, like Catherine de Medici or Napoleon, have avowed it; sometimes, like Frederick the Great, they have disclaimed it. But always they have practised it. They could not, indeed, practise anything else. For it is as true of an aggregation of States as of an aggregation of individuals that, whatever moral sentiments may prevail, if there is no common law and no common force the best intentions will be defeated by lack of confidence and security.