The research project on transition being conducted by ISIG (Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico in Trento) has singled out three epochs: the first half of the sixteenth century, the second half of the eighteenth century plus the decade following the Restoration, and the years 1945-73 (Pombeni 2010-2011). In what follows, we will be concentrating on the economic transformation that put an end to the ancien regime. This marked a definitive break with the previous age, though as we shall see, the change would not follow a uniform pattern or timing throughout the countries of Europe. From this macro-historical paradigm we will then examine a specific case-the Alpine area under the episcopal principate of Trent and the county of Tyrol-checking for tie-ups between the general interpretive frame work and empirical research.