“The history of Europe has everywhere been marked by the stubborn growth of private ‘liberties’, franchises or privileges limited to certain groups, big or small. Often, these liberties conflicted with each other or were mutually exclusive. Clearly, these liberties could exist only when Western Europe as such had taken shape and become relatively stable. Undefended, or strife-torn, it could afford no such luxury. Liberty and stability were inseparable.”
Fernand Braudel, in A History of Civilizations. Which he wrote for school children.