What was the origin of the idea of the balance of power? How did European leaders apply its principles in actual practice? Widespread as the term "balance of power" has been, and vital as its principles have been in European statecraft, nevertheless study of its theory and practice has often been neglected by historians. A more complete understanding of the concept is arrived at in Edward Vose Gulick's well-knit examination of the two questions posed above. Throughout the book, the events of history and the diplomatic struggle as played out by statesmen are related to balance-of-power theory as conceived by political scientists. Europe's Classical Balance of Power brings into the spotlight of scholarly attention an idea that has demonstrated great vitality in times gone by, that has worked behind the scenes in the conclaves of power, and that, under another name, has survived to influence twentieth-century diplomacy.