During the 20th century, many different views arose concerning the unification of a previously divided Europe. Opinions varied depending on the individuals country and heritage, but largely because unification could improve conditions in some countries, while jeopardizing the conditions in others. Those in favor of a unified Europe usually had something to gain from it, while those who were against it had something to lose. Many countries were tired after WW1 and WW2, and interested in finding a possible source of peace.
As Konrad Adenaver states “Nations cannot continue to live exclusively according to their own desires and inclinations. “(Doc 6). The ideas of new imperialism and nationalism were being replaced with ideas of peace and unification. In this hope for new found peace , countries such as France, Germany, and many other countries became involved in the European Economic Community(EEC). Sir Winston Churchill wished to be more like the U. S, and to form a council of Europe.
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(Doc1) Being the former Prime minister Britain, he might want this due to Britain ties and respect for the U. S.
Not everyone shared this respect for the U. S, as shown in a Soviet Newspaper, a cartoon of a greedy American destroying Sovereignty of West European Countries. (Doc 4) Spain seemed to also have some hesitation in the idea of a unified Europe. The prime minister of Spain, Felipe Gonzalez, states “NATO membership and joining the European Community mean the end of the traditional isolation of span. ” (Doc 11) Since the U. S was the creator of NATO, Spain might have some hostility towards America for being left out of NATO, while Russians may have hostility left over from the cold war.
France seemed to be a bit irritated with the fact that Britain “first refused to participate and even took a hostile attitude, as if the EEC were a economic and political threat. “(Doc 8) These words, spoken by the President of France Charles de Gaulle, summed up the attitude of many French. He also claimed Britain had too many ties to America to be fully committed to a Europe Union. Harold Macmillan, the British finance minister claimed that joining the EEC would “collapse our system of favoring rade with the British common wealth. “(Doc 7) Britain did want unity but it also needed to do what would be best for the country individually, as summed up in the words of Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister, “We want to see Europe more united and with a greater sense of common purpose, but it must be in a way which preserves the different traditions, etc. “(Doc12) Britain was still a big powerful country, and did not necessarily benefit from the unity as much as smaller countries would.
Italy Prime Minister Jack Lynch declares his commitment to EEC, saying “We would naturally be interested in the defense of the territories embrace by that community”(Doc 10) Although there were many different reasons why countries would want a united Europe, it did end up happening. Although there was still some suspicion as Duncan Sandys stated (speaking of Charles de Gaulle) “Were gravely suspicious of the policy of American and British governments,”(Doc 2) a European Union was formed. The United States did, and still does, have a strong influence over Europe, but Europe’s unification makes it more powerful force as well.