Sorel, Albert (älbĕrˈ sôrĕlˈ) [key], 1842–1906, French historian. After a diplomatic career that gave him unique access to the archives of the foreign ministry, Sorel concentrated on diplomatic history. His monumental Europe et la Révolution française (8 vol., 1895–1904) surveyed the influence of the French Revolution in Europe. Applying to diplomatic history the Tocqueville thesis of essential continuity between the ancien régime and Revolutionary France, Sorel asserted that after the revolutionists began to claim France's "natural frontiers," continuous struggle with Europe, and especially England, was inevitable. The introductory section of this work has been translated as Europe under the Old Regime (1947).
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