At the end of WWII, Europe was like a small car after a head on collision. Damaged beyond repair, and one would be better off buying a new car instead of trying to fix it. Europe was like the car in the sense of its economic, physical, and political destruction. Suspicion was rampant and every country looked at one another with a wary eye, especially to countries like Germany and Italy, who had just been defeated and had their dictators, disposed of. Add to the fact the Eastern Europe had fallen to the darkness of the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain and you can see that chaos was the order of the day. The nationalistic attitude and pride that was the forefront of Europe in pre-1914 times was severely lacking, especially in countries such as France, who had been hit the hardest during WWII. Many of the leaders of Europe realized that they were no longer the center of the world, the place that set the tone for the rest of the world. The U.S and the Soviet Union had surpassed Europe and left it back in the dust. The goal of the European Union was to bridge the gaps of political division especially between countries like Germany and France and eliminate that obnoxious pride that pervaded each and every European country since the about the time of the Industrial Revolution. Europe needed a new system, a new global identity. It needed to reinvent itself and join as one, setting their differences aside and working towards a greater, stronger and healthier European Continent. Thus, the different views that shaped Europe were military concerns, post war economic recovery, and of course the desire of each country to protect their separate national interests.
Even after WWI, Europe’s large nations already viewed one another cautiously and entered into alliances with much more hesitation and discretion. They still remembered what a mess their secret alliances and deals had gotten them in the first place. Thus, one... [continues]
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