In this article the closed-line magnetic field approach to the plasma isolation and confinement problem in toroidal systems is reviewed. The theoretical aspects of closed-line magnetic field systems, indicating that topologically such systems are toroidal, are surveyed under the headings; topology of closed-line systems, equilibrium in different configurations and classification of toroidal devices, MHD stability, non-ideal effects in MHD stability, microscopic stability, and plasma energy loss. A section covering the experimental results of plasma confinement in toroidal geometry considers Stellerators, Tokamaks, toroidal pinch -the reversed-field pinch, screw pinches and high-..beta.. Tokamaks, Levitrons and multipoles (internal-ring devices), and miscellaneous toroidal containment devices. Recent achievements and the present position are discussed with reference to the status of Tokamak research, low-..beta.. stellerator research and high-..beta.. research. It is concluded from the continuing progress made in this research that the criteria for the magnetic containment of plasmas can be met. Further, it is concluded that the construction of a successful and economic fusion reactor is within the scope of advancing science and technology. 250 references.