Presentation on theme: "‘From the idea of Europe to the EU ‘Magna Charta’: a modular curriculum on the Education to Citizenship’"— Presentation transcript:
1‘From the idea of Europe to the EU ‘Magna Charta’: a modular curriculum on the Education to Citizenship’
2Early Middle AgesWestern Europe emerged as the site of a distinct civilization after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, as barbarian invasions separated it from the rest of the Mediterranean, where the Eastern Roman Empire (a.k.a. Byzantine Empire) survived for another millennium. In the 7th century the Arab expansion brought Islamic cultures to the southern Mediterranean shores (from Turkey to Sicily and Spain), further enlarging the differences between the various Mediterranean civilizations. Huge amounts of technology and learning were lost, trade languished and people returned to local agrarian communities. In the same century, Bulgarians created the first Slavic state in Europe - Bulgaria. Feudalism replaced the centralized Roman administration. The only institution surviving the collapse of the Western Roman Empire was the Roman Catholic Church, which preserved part of the Roman cultural inheritance and remained the primary source of learning in its domain at least until the 13th century; the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, became the leader of the western church (in the east his supremacy was never accepted).The Holy Roman Empire emerged around 800, as Charlemagne, king of the Franks, subdued western Germany, large parts of Italy and chunks of surrounding countries; he received substantial help from an alliance with the Pope, who wanted to cut the remaining ties with the Byzantine Empire; in this way the domains of the Pope became an independent state in central Italy.In the late 9th century and 10th century, northern and western Europe felt the burgeoning power and influence of the Vikings who raided, traded, conquered and settled swiftly and efficiently with their advanced sea-going vessels such as the longships.The subsequent period, ending around 1000, saw the further growth of feudalism, which weakened the Holy Roman Empire and the development of the Roman Catholic Church as a major power.In the following period, Western Christianity was adopted by newly created kingdoms of Central Europe: Poland, Hungary and Bohemia.
3Later Middle AgesEarly signs of the rebirth of civilization in western Europe began to appear in the 11th century as trade started again in Italy, leading to the economic and cultural growth of independent city states such as Venice and Florence; at the same time, nation-states began to take form in places such as France, England and Portugal, although the process of their formation (usually marked by rivalry between the monarchy, the aristocratic feudal lords and the church) actually took several centuries. On the other hand, the Holy Roman Empire, essentially based in Germany and Italy, further fragmented into a myriad of feudal principalities or small city states, whose subjection to the emperor was only formal.One of the largest catastrophes to have hit Europe was the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death. There were numerous outbreaks, but the most severe was in the mid-1300s and is estimated to have killed a third of Europe's population. Since many Jews worked as money-lenders (usury was not allowed for Christians) and were generally more immune to disease (thanks to their kosher laws concerning hygiene), the Jews were often disliked by Europeans, so it was popular to blame them for the epidemic. This led to increased persecution of the Jews and pogroms in some areas. Thousands of Jews fled to Poland which, ironically, was spared by the plague.Beginning in the 14th century, the Baltic Sea became one of the most important trade routes. The Hansa, an alliance of trading cities, facilitated the absorption of vast areas of Poland, Lithuania and other Baltic countries into the economy of Europe.The conventional end of the Middle Ages is usually associated with the fall of the city Constantinople and of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman Turks in The Turks made the city (with the new name of Istanbul) the capital of their Ottoman Empire, which lasted until 1919 and also included Egypt, Syria and most of the Balkans.
4Renaissance and Reformation In the 15th century, at the end of the Middle Ages, powerful nation states had appeared, built by the New Monarchs who had centralized power in France, England, and Spain. Contrariwise, the Church was losing much of its power because of corruption, internal conflicts, and the spread of culture leading to the artistic, philosophical, scientific and technological improvements of the Renaissance era.The new nation states were frequently in a state of political flux and war. In particular, after Martin Luther started the Reformation in 1517, wars of politics and religion ravaged the continent: the schism of the dominant western church was to have major political, social and cultural implications for Europe. What became the split between Catholicism and Protestantism was particularly pronounced in England (where the king Henry VIII severed ties with Rome and proclaimed himself head of the church), and in Germany (where the Reformation united the various Protestant princes against the Catholic Hapsburg emperors).Unlike Western Europe, the countries of Central Europe, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Hungary, resolved religious questions by adopting religious tolerance. Central Europe was already split between Eastern and Western Christianity. Now it became divided between Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox and Jews.
5Colonial expansionThe numerous wars did not prevent the new states from exploring and conquering wide portions of the world, particularly in Asia (Siberia) and in the newly-discovered America. In the 15th century, Portugal led the way in geographical exploration, followed by Spain in early 16th century, were the first states to set up colonies in South America and trade stations on the shores of Africa and Asia, but they were soon followed by France, England and the Netherlands.Colonial expansion proceeded in the following centuries (with some setbacks, such as the American Revolution and the wars of independence in many South American colonies). Spain had control of a great deal of South America, the Caribbean and the Philippines; Britain took the whole of Australia and New Zealand, most of India, and large parts of Africa and North America; France held parts of Canada and India (nearly all of which was lost to Britain in 1763), Indochina and large parts of Africa; the Netherlands gained the East Indies (now Indonesia) and islands in the Caribbean; Portugal obtained Brazil and several territories in Africa and Asia; and later, powers such as Germany, Belgium, Italy and Russia acquired further colonies.
6Early Modern period: 16th, 17th and 18th century The Reformation had profound effects on the unity of Europe. Not only were nations divided one from another by their religious orientation, but some states were torn apart internally by religious strife, avidly fostered by their external enemies. France suffered this fate in the 16th century in the series of conflicts known as the French Wars of Religion, which ended in the triumph of the Bourbon Dynasty. England avoided this fate for a while and settled down under Elizabeth to a moderate Anglicanism. Germany, divided into numerous small states under the theoretical framework of the Holy Roman Empire, was also divided along internally drawn sectarian lines, until the Thirty Years' War seemed to see religion replaced by nationalism as the motor of European conflict.Throughout the early part of this period, capitalism was replacing feudalism as the principal form of economic organization, at least in the western half of Europe. The expanding colonial frontiers resulted in a Commercial Revolution. The period is noted for the rise of modern science and the application of its findings to technological improvements, which culminated in the Industrial Revolution. New forms of trade and expanding horizons made new developments in international law necessary.
7Early Modern period: 16th, 17th and 18th century After the Treaty of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years War, Absolutism became the norm of the continent, while parts of Europe experimented with constitutions foreshadowed by the English Civil War and particularly the Glorious Revolution. European military conflict did not cease, but had less disruptive effects on the lives of Europeans. In the advanced north-west, the Enlightenment gave a philosophical underpinning to the new outlook, and the continued spread of literacy, made possible by the printing press, created new secular forces in thought.Eastern Europe was an arena of conflict for domination between Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. This period saw a gradual decline of these three powers which were eventually replaced by new enlightened absolutist monarchies, Russia, Prussia and Austria. By the turn of the 19th century they became new powers, having divided Poland between them, with Sweden and Turkey having experienced substantial territorial losses to Russia and Austria respectively. Numerous Polish Jews emigrated to Western Europe, founding Jewish communities in places where they had been expelled from during the Middle Ages.
8The English Civil WarThe English Civil War was a battle between King Charles I and Parliament. Under Elizabeth I and James I England had become a relatively prosperous state. However, the acession of Charles I would see great changes.The first and foremost cause of the English Civil War was religion. Elizabeth had established the Anglican Church in 1559 and had deliberately avoided controversial issues, such as Catholic-style relics in churches and ceremonial vestments in order to keep the peace. James had allowed the Elizabethan Church to continue. However, when Charles became King in 1625 he allowed an Arminian style of Anglicanism, which seemed like a slide back toward Catholicism and popery. Charles' marriage to the French Catholic princess Henrietta Maria seemed to confirm this slide.Charles could never seem to get along with Parliaments, and unproductive sessions in 1625, 1626, 1628 and 1629 resulted in Charles's closure of Parliament for 11 years — called by his opponents the 11 Years Tyranny. Neither King or Parliament could agree over his (really his favourite minister the 1st Duke of Buckingham's) very expensive wars against Spain and France. Therefore, as Charles relied on Parliament for money, he spent carefully and ruthlessly enforced prerogative taxation, the most contentious of which was Ship Money.Buckingham was murdered in 1628 and Charles's new ministers were Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford and William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. Wentworth became Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1633 to ensure the colony became more profitable. Laud however started the Bishops Wars when in 1637 he tried to introduce the English Prayer Book in Scotland, and so the Scots invaded England in 1640.
9The English Civil WarCharles was forced to call Parliament to raise money for an army. However Parliament wanted its grievances addressed and was furious at not being referred to for 11 years. The Petition of Right, pushed through Parliament by the main opposition leader, John Pym, forced Charles to agree that the English people had rights and liberties and that he had been undermining them. Strafford was executed on 12 May 1641, and Laud was to follow him to the scaffold in Charles attempted to arrest Pym and five other members in February 1642 after they attempted to impeach the Queen, claiming that Henrietta had been attempting to control Charles and impose a French style tyranny on them.The King and his family left London in May 1642 and the Queen and her children sailed for France. The raising of the royal standard at Nottingham started war. Charles's side were called the Cavaliers; Parliament's side were the Roundheads. In spite of initial successes, Charles's defeat was assured by 1644, when Pym signed an agreement with the Scots. Charles was defeated and captured at Marston Moor in 1647, but he fled to the Isle of Wight and enlisted the help of the Scots, as Parliament had reneged on their agreement. However, his hopes came to naught when the Roundheads defeated them at Naseby.Charles was brought to trial by a special court in Pym had since died and the new Parliamentary leader, Oliver Cromwell wanted Charles dead. He was executed in January Monarchy was formally abolished and Cromwell was in control, with the support of his New Model Army. The unsuccessful Interregnum would last from Charles's death to 1660, when it was found that the absence of a monarchy, even a figurehead one, could not work. This resulted in the return of the son of Charles I, as King Charles II of England.
10The French RevolutionBy 1789 France was on the verge of crisis, but revolution was not obvious before this time. Its causes were royal absolutism, ideas of the Enlightenment (embodied particularly in the person of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher), and the American war of independence. King Louis XVI's absolute refusal to give up power resulted in the storming of the Bastille in Paris on 14 July Louis was forced to call the Estates-General, the French Parliament, which had last been called in This comprised of the three estates -- the clergy (First Estate), the nobility (Second Estate) and the commons (Third Estate). The parliament issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man, demanding an end to the feudal system. The Tennis Court Oath of 1790 led to the drafting of a constitution by the Third Estate for a constitutional monarchy, which the King ignored. As the famine which had plagued France deepened, hundreds of Parisians marched on the royal chateau at Versailles, demanding bread. Louis was hunting at this time, and his hated Austrian wife, Marie-Antoinette, fled. Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity) became the catchcry of the revolution. Word has it that when Louis saw this march on Versailles, he asked one of his ministers, "Is it a revolt?". This minister replied, "No Sire, it is a revolution." Louis failed to respond and increased violence led the King and Queen, with the royal children, attempting to flee to Austria. They got as far as Varennes, in northern France, before they were discovered and were forced to return to Paris. (The Kings side portrait was on all currency. Due to his prominent nose, he was recognized by a commmoner.) The Duke of Brunswick, the brother of Marie-Antoinette, issued the 'Brunswick Manifesto', threatening war against the French revolutionaries if the Queen and the royal family were injured in any way. In 1791 the Committee of Public Safety, led by the sans-culotte formed the French Republic, headed by the lawyer Maximilien Robespierre. Over Parisians were executed by the newly invented guillotine, in an effort to rid France of all aristocrats. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were to share their fate in 1793, or Year II of the Republic. Robespierre was eventually conspired against and guillotined in Austria and France went to war after the deaths of Louis and Marie-Antoinette, but the Austrians were defeated. It is important to note that the French Revolution was also a revolt against the Catholic Church. Church property was seized, many clergy were killed and Papal authority was challenged. Never again would the Catholic Church have as much influence on France.
12The 19th centuryAfter the defeat of revolutionary France, the other great powers tried to restore the situation which existed before However, their efforts were unable to stop the spread of revolutionary movements: the middle classes had been deeply influenced by the ideals of democracy of the French revolution, the Industrial Revolution brought important economical and social changes, the lower classes started to be influenced by Socialist, Communist and Anarchistic ideas (especially those summarized by Karl Marx in the Manifesto of the Communist Party), and the preference of the new capitalists became Liberalism (a term which then, politically, meant something different from the modern usage). Further instability came from the formation of several nationalist movements (in Germany, Italy, Poland etc.), seeking national unification and/or liberation from foreign rule. As a result, the period between 1815 and 1871 saw a large number of revolutionary attempts and independence wars. Even though the revolutionaries were often defeated, most European states had become constitutional (rather than absolute) monarchies by 1871, and Germany and Italy had developed into nation states.The political dynamics of Europe changed three times over the 19th century - once after the Congress of Vienna, and again after the Crimean War. In 1815 at the Congress of Vienna, the major powers of Europe managed to produce a peaceful balance of power among the empires after the Napoleonic wars (despite the occurrence of internal revolutionary movements). But the peace would only last until the Ottoman Empire had declined enough to become a target for the others. This instigated the Crimean War in 1854 and began a tenser period of minor clashes among the globe-spanning empires of Europe that set the stage for the first World War. It changed a third time with the end of the various wars that turned the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of Prussia in the Italian and German nation-states, significantly changing the balance of power in Europe.
13Early 20th century: the World Wars After the relative peace of most of the 19th Century, the rivalry between European powers exploded in 1914, when World War I started. On one side were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Turkey (the Central Powers/Triple Alliance), while on the other side stood Serbia and the Triple Entente - the loose coalition of France, Britain and Russia, which were joined by Italy in 1915 and by the United States in Despite the defeat of Russia in 1917 (the war was one of the major causes of the Russian Revolution, leading to the formation of the communist Soviet Union), the Entente finally prevailed in the autumn of 1918.In the Treaty of Versailles (1919) the winners imposed hard conditions on Germany and recognized the new states (such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia) created in central Europe out of the defunct German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, supposedly on the basis of national self-determination. In the following decades, fear of Communism and the economic Depression of led to the rise of extreme governments - Fascist or National Socialist - in Italy (1922), Germany (1933), Spain (after a civil war ending in 1939) and other countries such as Hungary.
14Early 20th century: the World Wars After allying with Mussolini's Italy in the "Pact of Steel" and signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, the German leader Adolf Hitler started World War II in September 1939 following a military build-up throughout the late 1930s. After initial successes (mainly the conquest of western Poland, much of Scandinavia, France and the Balkans before 1941) the Axis powers began to over-extend themselves in Hitler's ideological foes were the Communists in Russia but because of the German failure to defeat Britain and the Italian failures in North Africa and the Mediterranean the Axis forces were split between garrisoning western Europe and Scandinavia and also attacking Africa. Thus, the attack on the Soviet Union which had partitioned central Europe together with Germany in , was not pressed sufficiently strongly. Despite initial successes, the German army was stopped close to Moscow in December Over the next year the tide was turned and the Germans started to suffer a series of defeats, for example at Kursk and in the siege of Stalingrad. Meanwhile, Japan (allied to Germany and Italy since September 1940) attacked the British in south-east Asia and the United States in Hawaii on December 7, 1941; Germany then completed its over-extension by declaring war on the United States. War raged between the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allied Forces (British Empire, Soviet Union, and the United States). Allied Forces won in North Africa, invaded Italy in 1943, and invaded occupied France in In the spring of 1945 Germany itself was invaded from the east by Russia and from the west by the other Allies respectively; Hitler committed suicide and Germany surrendered in early May ending the war in Europe.
15Late 20th century: the Cold War World War I and especially World War II ended the pre-eminent position of western Europe. The map of Europe was redrawn at the Yalta Conference and divided as it became the principal zone of contention in the Cold War between the two power blocs, the capitalistic Western_countries and the communist Soviet Union. The US and Western Europe (Britain, France, Italy, West Germany, Spain etc.) established the NATO alliance as a protection against a possible Soviet invasion; the Soviet Union claimed eastern (Baltic states, Ukraine, Belarus, Transcaucasia) and central Europe (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany), claiming the first directly and installing puppet governments in the second, and formed the Warsaw Pact. Europe was divided by an "Iron Curtain". This situation lasted until 1989, when the weakening of the Soviet Union led to glasnost and the ending of the division of Europe - Soviet satellites were free to remove Communist regimes (and the two Germanies were able to re-unify). In 1991 the Soviet Union itself collapsed, splitting into several states (the main one remaining the Russian Federation) and removing communists from most governments. The most violent breakup happened in Yugoslavia, in south central Europe. Four (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia) out of six republics declared independence and for most of them a violent war ensued, in some parts lasting until The remaining two republics formed a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with Slobodan Milosevic as dictator. He led the country into a civil war in Kosovo, and was overthrown in massive demonstrations in Belgrade in Following the change in government, the country changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro - also as a move to placate the frictions between the two federal units - and instituted (a fragile) democracy.
16The Treaty of Rome signing ceremony. After the end of World War II, western Europe slowly began a process of political and economic integration, desiring to unite Europe and prevent another war. This process resulted eventually in the development of organizations such as the European Union and the Council of Europe. After the end of the Cold War, these organizations began to include nations within central Europe as well.
17Early 21st century: the European Union The process of integrating Europe was slow due to the reluctance of most nation states to give up their sovereignty. However, the process began to accelerate in the early 21st century. Whereas the European Union started out as a loose economic alliance among European nations, the European Union took further steps to more closely integrate the member states, and make the EU into a more supranational organisation in the early 21st century.At the turn of the century, nations within the European Union had created a free trade zone and eliminated most travel barriers across their borders. A new common currency for Europe, the Euro, was established electronically in 1999, officially tying all of the currencies of each participating nation to each other. The new currency was put into circulation in 2002 and most of the old currencies were phased out.As of 2004, the European Union is in the process of ratifying a new constitution, inducting additional member states (most of them in central Europe) and to consolidate various treaties. However, the creation of the constitution has been controversial, it is seen by many eurosceptics as a step towards a single EU state. There has been disagreement as member states wrangle over how much voting power each will have in EU, taxes, and the standards to which new member states must be held before they are admitted.
19Magna Charta placed certain checks on the absolute power of the English Monarchs. As there is no definite article in Latin, the document is usually referred to as simply "Magna Charta" rather than "the Magna Charta."Magna Charta (Latin for "Great Charter") is a 1215 charter of England which limited the power of English Monarchs, specifically King John, from absolute rule. Magna Charta was the result of disagreements between the Pope and King John and his barons over the rights of the king: Magna Charta required the king to renounce certain rights and respect certain legal procedures, and to accept that the will of the king could be bound by law. Magna Charta is widely considered to be the first step in a long historical process leading to the rule of constitutional law.
20History of Magna Charta After the Norman Conquest in 1066 and advances in the 12th century, the English king had by 1199 become the most powerful monarch Europe had ever seen. This was due to a number of factors including the sophisticated centralized government created by the procedures of the new Norman rulers combined with the native Anglo-Saxon systems of governance, as well as extensive Anglo-Norman land holdings in Normandy. However, after King John took power in the early 13th century, a series of stunning failures on his part led the barons of England to revolt and place checks on the king's unlimited power.The failures of King John were threefold. First, there was a general lack of respect for King John because of the way he took power. There were two candidates to take the place of the previous king, Richard the Lionheart, when he died in 1199: John, and his nephew Arthur of Brittany in Normandy. John captured Arthur and imprisoned him and he was never heard from again. Although Arthur's murder was never proven, it was assumed and many saw it as a black mark against John that he would murder his own family to be king.Secondly, after Philip Augustus, the King of France, seized most of the English holdings in France, the English barons demanded of their king that he retake the land, and while he attempted to do so 8 years later, the effort came to failure at the Battle of Bouvines in Because King John is blamed for the loss of a large part of English land he would be known as John "Lackland".The third failure of John was when he became embroiled in a dispute with the Church over the appointment of the office of Archbishop of Canterbury. John wanted to appoint his own Archbishop and the Church wanted to appoint Stephen Langton. This struggle went on for several years during which England was placed under a sentence of interdict and finally John was forced to submit to the will of the Church in 1213.
21Runnymede and afterwards By 1215, the barons of England had had enough: they banded together and took London by force on June 10, They forced King John to agree to a document known as the 'Articles of the Barons', to which his Great Seal was attached in the meadow at Runnymede on June 15, In return, the barons renewed their oaths of fealty to King John on June 19, A formal document to record the agreement between King John and the barons was created by the royal chancery: this was the original Magna Charta. An unknown number of copies of this document were sent out to officials, such as royal sheriffs and bishops.The most significant clause for King John at the time was clause 61, known as the "security clause", the longest portion of the entire document. This established a committee of 25 Barons who could at any time meet and over-rule the will of the King, through force by seizing his castles and possessions if needed. This was based on a mediæval legal practice known as distraint, which was commonly done, but it was the first time it had been applied to a monarch. In addition, the King was to take an oath of loyalty to the committee.King John had no intention of honouring Magna Charta, as it was sealed under extortion by force, and clause 61 essentially neutered his powers as a monarch, making him King in name only. He renounced it as soon as the barons left London, plunging England into a civil war, known as the First Barons' War. Pope Innocent III also immediately annulled the "shameful and demeaning agreement, forced upon the king by violence and fear." The Pope rejected any call for rights, saying it impaired King John's dignity.
22Runnymede and afterwards John died in the middle of the civil war, of dysentery, on October 18, 1216, and it quickly changed the nature of the war. His nine year old son, King Henry III, was next in line for the throne. The royalists believed the rebel barons would find the idea of loyalty to the child Henry more palatable, and so the child was swiftly crowned in late October 1216 and the war ended. On November 12, 1216, Magna Charta was reissued in Henry's name by his regents with some of the clauses, including the contentious clause 61, omitted; Magna Charta was again reissued by Henry's regents in When he turned eighteen in 1225, Henry III himself reissued Magna Charta a third time, this time in a shorter version with only 37 articles.Henry III ruled for 56 years (the longest reign of an English Monarch in the Mediæval period) so that by the time of Henry's death in 1272, Magna Charta had become a settled part of English legal precedent, and more difficult for a future monarch to annul as King John had attempted nearly three generations earlier. Henry III's son and heir Edward I's Parliament reissued Magna Charta for the final time on 12 October 1297 as part of a statute known as Confirmatio Chartarum (25 Edw. I), reconfirming Henry III's shorter version of Magna Charta from 1225.
23Magna Charta of 1215Magna Charta guaranteed certain English political liberties and contained clauses providing for a church free from domination by the monarchy, reforming law and justice, and controlling the behaviour of royal officials.A large part of Magna Charta was copied, nearly word for word, from the Charter of Liberties of Henry I, issued when Henry I ascended to the throne in 1100, which bound the king to certain laws regarding the treatment of church officials and nobles, effectively granting certain civil liberties to the church and the English nobility.Magna Charta is composed of 63 different clauses or articles, the majority of which are very specific to the 13th century and of temporary importance. For example, it repealed certain royal taxes that were unpopular and reduced the amount of hunting land that was royal and thus off-limits to most people. The text displays its origin as a product of negotiation, haste and many hands.One of the most important clauses that would have the longest lasting effect was Article 39, establishing the principle of habeas corpus:No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or deprived of his property, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor shall we go against him or send against him, unless by legal judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land.This meant the King must judge individuals according to the law, and not according to his own will. This was a check on the power of the king and the first step in the long road to a constitutional monarchy.
24SignificanceAlthough the first version of Magna Carta remained in effect only a few weeks, its reissue following John's death in autumn 1216 and the definite reissue of 1225 made it perpetual, the first of England's statutes and a cornerstone for the future British Constitution. Henry III and his successors evaded and broke provisions in the charters, indeed the absolute power of the English Monarchy, despite Magna Carta, actually grew during the Medieval period. For example, in his historical play King John, William Shakespeare did not mention Magna Carta. However, a fundamental principle had been asserted and accepted by the King: monarchy was subject to the law, and the thirty reissues of Magna Carta during the mediæval era reminded him of this fact, even if he didn't always abide by it. Magna Carta was not considered a particularly important document during the medieval period, during which the power of the English crown grew.The charter became increasingly important in the 17th century as the conflict between the Crown and Parliament grew. Magna Carta was repeatedly revised and other documents created such as the Provisions of Oxford, guaranteeing greater rights to greater numbers of people, thus setting the stage for the British Constitutional monarchy.Many later attempts to draft constitutional forms of government, including the United States Constitution, trace their lineage back to this source document. Numerous copies were made each time it was issued, so all of the participants would each have one. Several of those still exist and some are on permanent display.The version of Magna Carta from 1297 is still part of English law, although only part the introductory sentences, three articles, and the ending remain in force: the remaining 34 articles have been repealed or superseded. Today, Magna Carta has little practical legal use. Despite this, it is still used in arguments about reform of the jury system.The articles currently in force are articles one, nine and twenty-nine of the 1297 version, which are broadly similar to articles one, thirteen, thirty-nine and forty of the 1215 version.
25Magna Charta and the Jews in England Magna Charta contained two articles related to moneylending and Jews in England. Jewish involvement with moneylending caused Christian resentment, because the Church forbade the lending of money at interest (known at the time as usury); it was seen as vice (such as gambling, an un-Christian way to profit at others' expense) and was punishable by excommunication, although Jews, as non Christians, could not be excommunicated and were thus in a legal grey area. Secular leaders, unlike the Church, tolerated the practice of Jewish usury because it gave the leaders opportunity for personal enrichment. This resulted in a complicated legal situation: debtors were frequently trying to bring their Jewish creditors before Church courts, where debts would be absolved as illegal; while the Jews were trying to get their creditors tried in secular courts, where they would be able to collect plus interest. The relations between the debtors and creditors would often become very nasty, as they often are. There were many attempts over centuries to resolve this problem, and Magna Charta contains one example of the legal code of the time on this issue:If one who has borrowed from the Jews any sum, great or small, die before that loan be repaid, the debt shall not bear interest while the heir is under age, of whomsoever he may hold; and if the debt fall into our hands, we will not take anything except the principal sum contained in the bond. And if anyone die indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and pay nothing of that debt; and if any children of the deceased are left under age, necessaries shall be provided for them in keeping with the holding of the deceased; and out of the residue the debt shall be paid, reserving, however, service due to feudal lords; in like manner let it be done touching debts due to others than Jews.After the Pope annuled Magna Charta, future versions contained no mention of Jews. Jews were seen by the Church as a threat to their authority, and the welfare of Christians, because of their special relationship to Kings as moneylenders. "Jews are the sponges of kings", wrote the theologian William de Montibus, "they are bloodsuckers of Christian purses, by whose robbery kings dispoil and deprive poor men of their goods". The anti-semitic attitudes came about in part because of Christian nobles who permitted the otherwise illegal activity to occur, a symptom of the ongoing power struggle between Church and State.
26THE MAGNA CARTA (The Great Charter): PreambleJohn, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to the archbishop, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciaries, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his bailiffs and liege subjects, greetings. Know that, having regard to God and for the salvation of our soul, and those of all our ancestors and heirs, and unto the honor of God and the advancement of his holy Church and for the rectifying of our realm, we have granted as underwritten by advice of our venerable fathers, Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of the holy Roman Church, Henry, archbishop of Dublin, William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, Benedict of Rochester, bishops; of Master Pandulf, subdeacon and member of the household of our lord the Pope, of brother Aymeric (master of the Knights of the Temple in England), and of the illustrious men William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, William, earl of Salisbury, William, earl of Warenne, William, earl of Arundel, Alan of Galloway (constable of Scotland), Waren Fitz Gerold, Peter Fitz Herbert, Hubert De Burgh (seneschal of Poitou), Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip d'Aubigny, Robert of Roppesley, John Marshal, John Fitz Hugh, and others, our liegemen.
27THE MAGNA CARTA (The Great Charter): 1. In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs forever that the English Church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire, and her liberties inviolate; and we will that it be thus observed; which is apparent from this that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English Church, we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III, before the quarrel arose between us and our barons: and this we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom, for us and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and held by them and their heirs, of us and our heirs forever.2. If any of our earls or barons, or others holding of us in chief by military service shall have died, and at the time of his death his heir shall be full of age and owe "relief", he shall have his inheritance by the old relief, to wit, the heir or heirs of an earl, for the whole baroncy of an earl by L100; the heir or heirs of a baron, L100 for a whole barony; the heir or heirs of a knight, 100s, at most, and whoever owes less let him give less, according to the ancient custom of fees.3. If, however, the heir of any one of the aforesaid has been under age and in wardship, let him have his inheritance without relief and without fine when he comes of age.4. The guardian of the land of an heir who is thus under age, shall take from the land of the heir nothing but reasonable produce, reasonable customs, and reasonable services, and that without destruction or waste of men or goods; and if we have committed the wardship of the lands of any such minor to the sheriff, or to any other who is responsible to us for its issues, and he has made destruction or waster of what he holds in wardship, we will take of him amends, and the land shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall be responsible for the issues to us or to him to whom we shall assign them; and if we have given or sold the wardship of any such land to anyone and he has therein made destruction or waste, he shall lose that wardship, and it shall be transferred to two lawful and discreet men of that fief, who shall be responsible to us in like manner as aforesaid.5. The guardian, moreover, so long as he has the wardship of the land, shall keep up the houses, parks, fishponds, stanks, mills, and other things pertaining to the land, out of the issues of the same land; and he shall restore to the heir, when he has come to full age, all his land, stocked with ploughs and wainage, according as the season of husbandry shall require, and the issues of the land can reasonable bear.6. Heirs shall be married without disparagement, yet so that before the marriage takes place the nearest in blood to that heir shall have notice.
287. A widow, after the death of her husband, shall forthwith and without difficulty have her marriage portion and inheritance; nor shall she give anything for her dower, or for her marriage portion, or for the inheritance which her husband and she held on the day of the death of that husband; and she may remain in the house of her husband for forty days after his death, within which time her dower shall be assigned to her.8. No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she prefers to live without a husband; provided always that she gives security not to marry without our consent, if she holds of us, or without the consent of the lord of whom she holds, if she holds of another.9. Neither we nor our bailiffs will seize any land or rent for any debt, as long as the chattels of the debtor are sufficient to repay the debt; nor shall the sureties of the debtor be distrained so long as the principal debtor is able to satisfy the debt; and if the principal debtor shall fail to pay the debt, having nothing wherewith to pay it, then the sureties shall answer for the debt; and let them have the lands and rents of the debtor, if they desire them, until they are indemnified for the debt which they have paid for him, unless the principal debtor can show proof that he is discharged thereof as against the said sureties.10. If one who has borrowed from the Jews any sum, great or small, die before that loan be repaid, the debt shall not bear interest while the heir is under age, of whomsoever he may hold; and if the debt fall into our hands, we will not take anything except the principal sum contained in the bond.11. And if anyone die indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and pay nothing of that debt; and if any children of the deceased are left under age, necessaries shall be provided for them in keeping with the holding of the deceased; and out of the residue the debt shall be paid, reserving, however, service due to feudal lords; in like manner let it be done touching debts due to others than Jews.12. No scutage not aid shall be imposed on our kingdom, unless by common counsel of our kingdom, except for ransoming our person, for making our eldest son a knight, and for once marrying our eldest daughter; and for these there shall not be levied more than a reasonable aid. In like manner it shall be done concerning aids from the city of London.13. And the city of London shall have all it ancient liberties and free customs, as well by land as by water; furthermore, we decree and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.14. And for obtaining the common counsel of the kingdom anent the assessing of an aid (except in the three cases aforesaid) or of a scutage, we will cause to be summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons, severally by our letters; and we will moveover cause to be summoned generally, through our sheriffs and bailiffs, and others who hold of us in chief, for a fixed date, namely, after the expiry of at least forty days, and at a fixed place; and in all letters of such summons we will specify the reason of the summons. And when the summons has thus been made, the business shall proceed on the day appointed, according to the counsel of such as are present, although not all who were summoned have come.15. We will not for the future grant to anyone license to take an aid from his own free tenants, except to ransom his person, to make his eldest son a knight, and once to marry his eldest daughter; and on each of these occasions there shall be levied only a reasonable aid.16. No one shall be distrained for performance of greater service for a knight's fee, or for any other free tenement, than is due therefrom.17. Common pleas shall not follow our court, but shall be held in some fixed place.
2918. Inquests of novel disseisin, of mort d'ancestor, and of darrein presentment shall not be held elsewhere than in their own county courts, and that in manner following; We, or, if we should be out of the realm, our chief justiciar, will send two justiciaries through every county four times a year, who shall alone with four knights of the county chosen by the county, hold the said assizes in the county court, on the day and in the place of meeting of that court.19. And if any of the said assizes cannot be taken on the day of the county court, let there remain of the knights and freeholders, who were present at the county court on that day, as many as may be required for the efficient making of judgments, according as the business be more or less.20. A freeman shall not be amerced for a slight offense, except in accordance with the degree of the offense; and for a grave offense he shall be amerced in accordance with the gravity of the offense, yet saving always his "contentment"; and a merchant in the same way, saving his "merchandise"; and a villein shall be amerced in the same way, saving his "wainage" if they have fallen into our mercy: and none of the aforesaid amercements shall be imposed except by the oath of honest men of the neighborhood.21. Earls and barons shall not be amerced except through their peers, and only in accordance with the degree of the offense.22. A clerk shall not be amerced in respect of his lay holding except after the manner of the others aforesaid; further, he shall not be amerced in accordance with the extent of his ecclesiastical benefice.23. No village or individual shall be compelled to make bridges at river banks, except those who from of old were legally bound to do so.24. No sheriff, constable, coroners, or others of our bailiffs, shall hold pleas of our Crown.25. All counties, hundred, wapentakes, and trithings (except our demesne manors) shall remain at the old rents, and without any additional payment.26. If anyone holding of us a lay fief shall die, and our sheriff or bailiff shall exhibit our letters patent of summons for a debt which the deceased owed us, it shall be lawful for our sheriff or bailiff to attach and enroll the chattels of the deceased, found upon the lay fief, to the value of that debt, at the sight of law worthy men, provided always that nothing whatever be thence removed until the debt which is evident shall be fully paid to us; and the residue shall be left to the executors to fulfill the will of the deceased; and if there be nothing due from him to us, all the chattels shall go to the deceased, saving to his wife and children their reasonable shares.27. If any freeman shall die intestate, his chattels shall be distributed by the hands of his nearest kinsfolk and friends, under supervision of the Church, saving to every one the debts which the deceased owed to him.28. No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take corn or other provisions from anyone without immediately tendering money therefor, unless he can have postponement thereof by permission of the seller.29. No constable shall compel any knight to give money in lieu of castle-guard, when he is willing to perform it in his own person, or (if he himself cannot do it from any reasonable cause) then by another responsible man. Further, if we have led or sent him upon military service, he shall be relieved from guard in proportion to the time during which he has been on service because of us.30. No sheriff or bailiff of ours, or other person, shall take the horses or carts of any freeman for transport duty, against the will of the said freeman.
3031. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall take, for our castles or for any other work of ours, wood which is not ours, against the will of the owner of that wood.32. We will not retain beyond one year and one day, the lands those who have been convicted of felony, and the lands shall thereafter be handed over to the lords of the fiefs.33. All kydells for the future shall be removed altogether from Thames and Medway, and throughout all England, except upon the seashore.34. The writ which is called praecipe shall not for the future be issued to anyone, regarding any tenement whereby a freeman may lose his court.35. Let there be one measure of wine throughout our whole realm; and one measure of ale; and one measure of corn, to wit, "the London quarter"; and one width of cloth (whether dyed, or russet, or "halberget"), to wit, two ells within the selvedges; of weights also let it be as of measures.36. Nothing in future shall be given or taken for a writ of inquisition of life or limbs, but freely it shall be granted, and never denied.37. If anyone holds of us by fee-farm, either by socage or by burage, or of any other land by knight's service, we will not (by reason of that fee-farm, socage, or burgage), have the wardship of the heir, or of such land of his as if of the fief of that other; nor shall we have wardship of that fee-farm, socage, or burgage, unless such fee-farm owes knight's service. We will not by reason of any small serjeancy which anyone may hold of us by the service of rendering to us knives, arrows, or the like, have wardship of his heir or of the land which he holds of another lord by knight's service.38. No bailiff for the future shall, upon his own unsupported complaint, put anyone to his "law", without credible witnesses brought for this purposes.39. No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.40. To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.
3141. All merchants shall have safe and secure exit from England, and entry to England, with the right to tarry there and to move about as well by land as by water, for buying and selling by the ancient and right customs, quit from all evil tolls, except (in time of war) such merchants as are of the land at war with us. And if such are found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be detained, without injury to their bodies or goods, until information be received by us, or by our chief justiciar, how the merchants of our land found in the land at war with us are treated; and if our men are safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.42. It shall be lawful in future for anyone (excepting always those imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the kingdom, and natives of any country at war with us, and merchants, who shall be treated as if above provided) to leave our kingdom and to return, safe and secure by land and water, except for a short period in time of war, on grounds of public policy- reserving always the allegiance due to us.43. If anyone holding of some escheat (such as the honor of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other escheats which are in our hands and are baronies) shall die, his heir shall give no other relief, and perform no other service to us than he would have done to the baron if that barony had been in the baron's hand; and we shall hold it in the same manner in which the baron held it.44. Men who dwell without the forest need not henceforth come before our justiciaries of the forest upon a general summons, unless they are in plea, or sureties of one or more, who are attached for the forest.45. We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well.46. All barons who have founded abbeys, concerning which they hold charters from the kings of England, or of which they have long continued possession, shall have the wardship of them, when vacant, as they ought to have.47. All forests that have been made such in our time shall forthwith be disafforsted; and a similar course shall be followed with regard to river banks that have been placed "in defense" by us in our time.
3248. All evil customs connected with forests and warrens, foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their officers, river banks and their wardens, shall immediately by inquired into in each county by twelve sworn knights of the same county chosen by the honest men of the same county, and shall, within forty days of the said inquest, be utterly abolished, so as never to be restored, provided always that we previously have intimation thereof, or our justiciar, if we should not be in England.49. We will immediately restore all hostages and charters delivered to us by Englishmen, as sureties of the peace of faithful service.50. We will entirely remove from their bailiwicks, the relations of Gerard of Athee (so that in future they shall have no bailiwick in England); namely, Engelard of Cigogne, Peter, Guy, and Andrew of Chanceaux, Guy of Cigogne, Geoffrey of Martigny with his brothers, Philip Mark with his brothers and his nephew Geoffrey, and the whole brood of the same.51. As soon as peace is restored, we will banish from the kingdom all foreign born knights, crossbowmen, serjeants, and mercenary soldiers who have come with horses and arms to the kingdom's hurt.52. If anyone has been dispossessed or removed by us, without the legal judgment of his peers, from his lands, castles, franchises, or from his right, we will immediately restore them to him; and if a dispute arise over this, then let it be decided by the five and twenty barons of whom mention is made below in the clause for securing the peace. Moreover, for all those possessions, from which anyone has, without the lawful judgment of his peers, been disseised or removed, by our father, King Henry, or by our brother, King Richard, and which we retain in our hand (or which as possessed by others, to whom we are bound to warrant them) we shall have respite until the usual term of crusaders; excepting those things about which a plea has been raised, or an inquest made by our order, before our taking of the cross; but as soon as we return from the expedition, we will immediately grant full justice therein.53. We shall have, moreover, the same respite and in the same manner in rendering justice concerning the disafforestation or retention of those forests which Henry our father and Richard our brother afforested, and concerning the wardship of lands which are of the fief of another (namely, such wardships as we have hitherto had by reason of a fief which anyone held of us by knight's service), and concerning abbeys founded on other fiefs than our own, in which the lord of the fee claims to have right; and when we have returned, or if we desist from our expedition, we will immediately grant full justice to all who complain of such things.54. No one shall be arrested or imprisoned upon the appeal of a woman, for the death of any other than her husband.
3355. All fines made with us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all amercements, imposed unjustly and against the law of the land, shall be entirely remitted, or else it shall be done concerning them according to the decision of the five and twenty barons whom mention is made below in the clause for securing the pease, or according to the judgment of the majority of the same, along with the aforesaid Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and such others as he may wish to bring with him for this purpose, and if he cannot be present the business shall nevertheless proceed without him, provided always that if any one or more of the aforesaid five and twenty barons are in a similar suit, they shall be removed as far as concerns this particular judgment, others being substituted in their places after having been selected by the rest of the same five and twenty for this purpose only, and after having been sworn.56. If we have disseised or removed Welshmen from lands or liberties, or other things, without the legal judgment of their peers in England or in Wales, they shall be immediately restored to them; and if a dispute arise over this, then let it be decided in the marches by the judgment of their peers; for the tenements in England according to the law of England, for tenements in Wales according to the law of Wales, and for tenements in the marches according to the law of the marches. Welshmen shall do the same to us and ours.57. Further, for all those possessions from which any Welshman has, without the lawful judgment of his peers, been disseised or removed by King Henry our father, or King Richard our brother, and which we retain in our hand (or which are possessed by others, and which we ought to warrant), we will have respite until the usual term of crusaders; excepting those things about which a plea has been raised or an inquest made by our order before we took the cross; but as soon as we return (or if perchance we desist from our expedition), we will immediately grant full justice in accordance with the laws of the Welsh and in relation to the foresaid regions.58. We will immediately give up the son of Llywelyn and all the hostages of Wales, and the charters delivered to us as security for the peace.59. We will do towards Alexander, king of Scots, concerning the return of his sisters and his hostages, and concerning his franchises, and his right, in the same manner as we shall do towards our owher barons of England, unless it ought to be otherwise according to the charters which we hold from William his father, formerly king of Scots; and this shall be according to the judgment of his peers in our court.
3460. Moreover, all these aforesaid customs and liberties, the observances of which we have granted in our kingdom as far as pertains to us towards our men, shall be observed by all of our kingdom, as well clergy as laymen, as far as pertains to them towards their men.61. Since, moveover, for God and the amendment of our kingdom and for the better allaying of the quarrel that has arisen between us and our barons, we have granted all these concessions, desirous that they should enjoy them in complete and firm endurance forever, we give and grant to them the underwritten security, namely, that the barons choose five and twenty barons of the kingdom, whomsoever they will, who shall be bound with all their might, to observe and hold, and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties we have granted and confirmed to them by this our present Charter, so that if we, or our justiciar, or our bailiffs or any one of our officers, shall in anything be at fault towards anyone, or shall have broken any one of the articles of this peace or of this security, and the offense be notified to four barons of the foresaid five and twenty, the said four barons shall repair to us (or our justiciar, if we are out of the realm) and, laying the transgression before us, petition to have that transgression redressed without delay. And if we shall not have corrected the transgression (or, in the event of our being out of the realm, if our justiciar shall not have corrected it) within forty days, reckoning from the time it has been intimated to us (or to our justiciar, if we should be out of the realm), the four barons aforesaid shall refer that matter to the rest of the five and twenty barons, and those five and twenty barons shall, together with the community of the whole realm, distrain and distress us in all possible ways, namely, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, and in any other way they can, until redress has been obtained as they deem fit, saving harmless our own person, and the persons of our queen and children; and when redress has been obtained, they shall resume their old relations towards us. And let whoever in the country desires it, swear to obey the orders of the said five and twenty barons for the execution of all the aforesaid matters, and along with them, to molest us to the utmost of his power; and we publicly and freely grant leave to everyone who wishes to swear, and we shall never forbid anyone to swear. All those, moveover, in the land who of themselves and of their own accord are unwilling to swear to the twenty five to help them in constraining and molesting us, we shall by our command compel the same to swear to the effect foresaid. And if any one of the five and twenty barons shall have died or departed from the land, or be incapacitated in any other manner which would prevent the foresaid provisions being carried out, those of the said twenty five barons who are left shall choose another in his place according to their own judgment, and he shall be sworn in the same way as the others. Further, in all matters, the execution of which is entrusted,to these twenty five barons, if perchance these twenty five are present and disagree about anything, or if some of them, after being summoned, are unwilling or unable to be present, that which the majority of those present ordain or command shall be held as fixed and established, exactly as if the whole twenty five had concurred in this; and the said twenty five shall swear that they will faithfully observe all that is aforesaid, and cause it to be observed with all their might. And we shall procure nothing from anyone, directly or indirectly, whereby any part of these concessions and liberties might be revoked or diminished; and if any such things has been procured, let it be void and null, and we shall never use it personally or by another.
3562. And all the will, hatreds, and bitterness that have arisen between us and our men, clergy and lay, from the date of the quarrel, we have completely remitted and pardoned to everyone. Moreover, all trespasses occasioned by the said quarrel, from Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign till the restoration of peace, we have fully remitted to all, both clergy and laymen, and completely forgiven, as far as pertains to us. And on this head, we have caused to be made for them letters testimonial patent of the lord Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, of the lord Henry, archbishop of Dublin, of the bishops aforesaid, and of Master Pandulf as touching this security and the concessions aforesaid.63. Wherefore we will and firmly order that the English Church be free, and that the men in our kingdom have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably, freely and quietly, fully and wholly, for themselves and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all respects and in all places forever, as is aforesaid. An oath, moreover, has been taken, as well on our part as on the art of the barons, that all these conditions aforesaid shall be kept in good faith and without evil intent. Given under our hand - the above named and many others being witnesses - in the meadow which is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign.
37Pre 1945 influencesAttempts to unify the disparate nations of Europe precede the modern nation states and have occurred repeatedly throughout the history of the continent since the collapse of the Mediterranean-centered Roman Empire. Europe's heterogeneous collection of languages and cultures made attempts based on dynastic rights, or enforced through military subjugation of unwilling nations, unstable and doomed to failure.The Frankish empire of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire united large areas under a loose administration for hundreds of years.Once Arabs had conquered ancient centers of Christianity in Syria and Egypt during the 8th century, the concept of "Christendom" became essentially a concept of a unified Europe, but always more of an ideal than an actuality. The Great Schism between Orthodoxy and Catholicism rendered the idea of "Christendom" moot. After the Fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, the first proposal for peaceful methods of unifying Europe against a common enemy emerged. George of Podebrady, a Hussite king of Bohemia proposed the creation of a union of Christian nations against the Turks in 1464.In 1569 the Union of Lublin tranformed the Polish-Lithuanian personal union into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a multi-national federation and elective monarchy, which lasted until the partitions of Poland in 1795.
38Pre 1945 influencesIn 1728 Abbot Charles de Saint-Pierre proposed the creation of a European league of 18 sovereign states, with common treasury, no borders and an economic union.After the American Revolution of 1776 the vision of a United States of Europe similar to the United States of America was shared by some prominent Europeans notably the Marquis de Lafayette and Tadeusz Kosciuszko.Some suggestion of a European Union can be found in Immanuel Kant's 1795 proposal for an eternal peace congress.More recently the 1800s customs union under Napoleon Bonaparte's Continental system was promulgated in November 1806 as an embargo of British goods in the interests of French hegemony. It demonstrated the workability and also the flaws of a supranational economic system for Europe.In the conservative reaction after Napolean's defeat in 1815, the German Confederation (German "Deutscher Bund") was established as a loose association of thirty-eight German states formed by the Congress of Vienna. Napoleon had swept away the Holy Roman Empire and simplified the map of Germany. The German Confederation was an association of independent, equal sovereign nation states. In 1834, the Zollverein (German, "customs union") was formed among the states of the Confederation, in order to create better trade flow and reduce internal competition.
39Pre 1945 influencesItalian writer and politician Giuseppe Mazzini called for the creation of a federation of European republics in This set the stage for perhaps, the best known early proposal for peaceful unification, through cooperation and equality of membership, made by the pacifist Victor Hugo in Hugo spoke in favour of the idea at a peace congress organised by Mazzini, but was laughed out of the hall. He returned to his idea again in 1851 however.Following the catastrophe of the First World War, some thinkers and visionaries again began to float the idea of a politically unified Europe. In 1923, the Austrian Count Coudenhove-Kalergi founded the Pan-Europa movement and hosted the First Paneuropean Congress, held in Vienna in 1926.In 1929, Aristide Briand, French prime minister, gave a speech in the presence of the League of Nations Assembly in which he proposed the idea of a federation of European nations based on solidarity and in the pursuit of economic prosperity and political and social co-operation. Many eminent economists, among them John Maynard Keynes, supported this view. At the League's request Briand presented a Memorandum on the organisation of a system of European Federal Union in 1930.
40Pre 1945 influencesIn 1931 the French politician Edouard Herriot published the book The United States of Europe.The Great Depression, the rise of fascism and subsequently World War II prevented this inter war movement gaining further support.In 1940, following Germany's military successes in World War II and Nazi planning for the creation of a thousand year Reich, a European confederation was proposed by German economists and industrialists. They argued for a "European economic community", with a customs union and fixed internal exchange rates. In 1943, the German ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Cecil von Renthe-Fink eventually proposed the creation of a European confederacy, which would have had a single currency, a central bank in Berlin, a regional principle, a labour policy and economic and trading agreements. The proposed countries to be included were Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Greece and Spain. Such a German-led Europe, it was hoped, would serve as a strong alternative to the Communist Soviet Union and also be a counterweight to British dominance of world trade. The later Foreign Minister Arthur Seyss-Inquart said: "The new Europe of solidarity and co-operation among all its people will find rapidly increasing prosperity once national economic boundaries are removed", while the Vichy French Minister Jacques Benoist-Mechin said that France had to "abandon nationalism and take place in the European community with honour."
41Pre 1945 influencesThese pan-European illusions from the early 1940s were never realized, not least because neither Hitler, nor many of his leading hierarchs such as Goebbels, had the slightest intention to compromise absolute German hegemony through the creation of a European confederation. An integrated Europe based on Nazi conquest and lacking a democratic structure could not have been a true predecessor of the European Union.
42Pre 1945 influencesIn 1943, Jean Monnet a member of the National Liberation Committee of the Free French government in exile in Algiers, and regarded by many as the future architect of European unity, is recorded as declaring to the committee:- "There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty... The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation..."
43Post 1945 impetusBy the end of the war, a new impetus for the founding of (what was later to become) the European Union was the desire to rebuild Europe after the disastrous events of World War II, and to prevent Europe from ever again falling victim to the scourge of war. In order to do this, many supported the idea of forming some form of European federation or government. Winston Churchill gave a speech at the University of Zürich on the September 19, 1946 calling for a "United States of Europe", similar to the United States of America. The immediate result of this speech was the forming of the Council of Europe in The Council of Europe however was (and still remains) a rather restricted organisation, like a regional equivalent of the United Nations (though it has developed some powers in the area of human rights, through the European Court of Human Rights.)
44Chronology of the building of Europe A new idea for Europe The Schuman Declaration by Pascal Fontaine
45Introduction Europe at the service of peace and democracy Community Europe is celebrating its 55th anniversary.On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman made history by putting to the Federal Republic of Germany, and to the other European countries who so wished, the idea of creating a Community of pacific interests. In so doing he extended a hand to yesterday's enemies and erased the bitterness of war and the burden of the past. In addition, he set in train a completely new process in international relations by proposing to old nations to together recover, by exercising jointly their sovereignty, the influence which each of them was incapable of exercising alone.
46The construction of Europe has since then moved forward every day The construction of Europe has since then moved forward every day. It represents the most significant undertaking of the 20th century and a new hope at the dawn of the new century. It derives its momentum from the far-sighted and ambitious project of the founding fathers who emerged from the second world war driven by the resolve to establish between the peoples of Europe the conditions for a lasting peace. This momentum is regenerated unceasingly, spurred on by the challenges which our countries have to face up to in a world of deep-seated and relentless change.Could anyone have foreseen this immense desire for democracy and peace which ultimately brought down the Berlin Wall, put the responsibility for their destinies back into the hands of the people of central and eastern Europe and today, with the prospect before long of further enlargement to seal the unity of the continent, gives a new dimension to the ideal of European construction?
47A historic successAs we approach the dawn of the third millennium, a look back over the 55 years of progress towards European integration shows that the European Union is a historic success. Countries which were hitherto enemies, and in most cases, ravaged by the most horrific atrocities this continent has ever known, today share a common currency, the euro, and manage their economic and commercial interests within the framework of joint institutions.Europeans now settle their differences through peaceful means, applying the rule of law and seeking conciliation. The spirit of superiority and discrimination has been banished from relationships between the Member States, which have entrusted to the four Community institutions, the Council, the Parliament, Commission and the Court of Justice, the responsibility for mediating their conflicts, for defining the general interest of Europeans and for pursuing common policies.
48People's standard of living has improved considerably, much more than would have been possible if each national economy had not been able to benefit from the economies of scale and the gains of growth stemming from the common market and intensification of trade.People are free to move and students to work within a frontier-free internal area. The foundations of common foreign and defence policies have been laid, and moves are already afoot to take common policies of solidarity further in the social, regional and environmental fields, as well as in the fields of research and transport.
49Economic integration every day highlights the need for and takes us closer to political union. At international level, the European Union is wielding increasing influence commensurate with its economic importance, the standard of living of its citizens, its place in diplomatic, commercial and monetary forums.The European Community derives its strength from common values of democracy and human rights, which rally its peoples, and it has preserved the diversity of cultures and languages and the traditions which make it what it is. Its transatlantic solidarity and the attractiveness of its model has enabled a united Europe to withstand the pressure of totalitarianism and to consolidate the rule of law.The European Community stands as a beacon for the expectations of countries near and far which watch the Union's progress with interest as they seek to consolidate their re-emerging democracies or rebuild a ruined economy.
50Today, the Union of the 25 Member States is negotiating the next wave of membership with 3 countries of central and eastern Europe. At a later stage, other countries of former Yugoslavia or which belong to the European sphere will in turn ask to join. The taking on board by the applicant countries of the acquis communautaire, and more generally of the major objectives of the European Union, is central to enlargement negotiations. For the first time in its long history, the continent is preparing to become reunified in peace and freedom.Such developments are momentous in terms of world balance and will have a huge impact on Europe's relations with the United States, Russia, Asia and Latin America. Even now Europe is no longer merely a power which has retained its place in the world. It is a reference point and a hope for peoples attached to peace and the respect of human rights.
51What explains such a great success What explains such a great success? Is it lastingly etched in the continent's history, sufficiently rooted in the collective memory and resolve for the seeds of any intra-European war to have been eradicated?The tragic events of the past and the conflicts which still today undermine the Balkans and are spreading bloodshed throughout the Caucasus and Middle-East should prompt Europeans not to sit back and take lasting peace for granted.
52Sweden FinlandCyprus Malta Slovenia Hungary Slovakia Czech Republic Poland Lithuania Latvia EstoniaGreece Portugal Spain Italy France Luxembourg Ireland United Kingdom Belgium Netherlands Germany Denmark AustriaTurkey Bulgaria Romania
53The challenges of the future After a half century of Community history, Europeans still have a lot of soul-searching to do: what are the elementary values to which they are attached, and what are the best ways of safeguarding them? How far could and should union be taken in order to maximize the strength which derives from unity, without at the same time eroding identity and destroying the individual ethos which makes the richness of our nations, regions and cultures? Can we move forward in step, thanks to the natural harmony which favours consensus between 25 countries, or should we recognise divergences of approach and differentiate our pace of integration? What are the limits of Community Europe, at a time when so many nations, starting with the new democracies of central and eastern Europe and the Balkans, along with Turkey, are asking to join the process of unification in progress? How can we get everyone involved in the Community undertaking and give them the feeling of a European identity which complements and goes beyond fundamental solidarity? How can we get every European citizen closer to the institutions of the Union, and give everyone a chance to embrace the project of a unified Europe which was long the preserve of the deliberations of diplomats and the expertise of civil servants?
54All these are questions of principle which it is impossible to avoid if we are not to enter blind alleys; fundamental questions the answers to which will themselves determine the myriad specific and technical matters addressed daily by those who have the task of taking this Community undertaking forward.For the people of Europe, the question is simple. Either they continue to become organised, assembling their strengths to make themselves heard throughout the world, promote the ideal of democracy and defend their economic and strategic interests. Then Europe will continue to represent more than the 'tip of Eurasia' which Paul Valéry spoke about. It will be a factor of balance and moderation in the relations between hyperindustrialised powers and countries whose development is lagging behind. Or else the people of Europe will not fully appreciate the actual extent of the values they share and will consequently fail to act in defence of their common interests. In which case, the economies of each country will be reduced to sub-contracting roles and consumers' standard of living will decline. Europe, a mere geographical entity, will be placed in the sphere of influence of powers external to it and which will impose upon it the price of its dependence and its need for a protective umbrella.
55The topicality of the Community method A new institutional process was put in train by the decision taken on 11 December 1999 by the European Council meeting in Helsinki to convene an intergovernmental conference with the aim inter alia of adapting the treaties to the conditions whereby a Union enlarged to over 20 members can function smoothly.Our 55-year-old Europe is a hive of activity. Hopes are running at the same level as the ambitions and challenges involved, but the risks of failure are still very much there.Europe merely as a free trade area or Europe as a world-level player? A technocratic Europe or a democratic Europe? An 'every man for himself' Europe or a caring Europe?
56Faced with so many critical choices, so many uncertainties, the Community method which stems from the dialogue established between the Member States and the common institutions exercising together delegated sovereignty is as topical as ever. This is what made it possible, 50 years ago, to set up the European Coal and Steel Community, subsequently followed by the European Economic Community and Euratom, bolstered by the European Single Act, and the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam. A 'catalyst of change' has been incorporated into inter-European relations and this every day generates new effects. Tomorrow, this method may make the best contribution possible to solving the major problems facing Europeans.The founding principles of the European edifice are not simply a matter of institutional mechanics. The Community spirit was invented and carried forward by statesmen who wanted first and foremost to construct a Europe at the service of people and makes the European idea a project for civilisation. The Schuman declaration remains very much 'a new idea for Europe'.
57Historical background The respite which should have followed the cessation of hostilities did not materialize for the people of Europe. No sooner had the Second World War ended than the threat of a third between East and West loomed up very quickly. The breakdown on 24 April 1947 of the Moscow conference on the German issue convinced the West that the Soviet Union, an ally in the fight against the Nazis, was about to become the source of an immediate threat to western democracies. The creation in October 1947 of the Kominform establishing a coalition of the world's communist parties, the 'Prague coup' of 25 February 1948 guaranteeing domination for the communists in Czechoslovakia, then the Berlin blockade in June 1948 which heralded the division of Germany into two countries, further heightened tension. By signing the Atlantic Pact with the United States on 4 April 1949, western Europe laid the basis of its collective security. However, the explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb in September 1949 and the proliferation of threats from the Kremlin leaders contributed to spreading this climate of fear which came to be known as the cold war.
58The status of the Federal Republic of Germany, which itself directed its own internal policy since the promulgation of the fundamental law of 23 May 1949, then became a focal point of East-West rivalry. The United States wanted to step up the economic recovery of a country at the heart of the division of the continent and already in Washington there was a call in some quarters for the defeated power to be re-armed. French diplomacy was torn by a dilemma. Either it yielded to American pressure and, in the face of public opinion, agreed to the reconstitution of the German power on the Ruhr and the Saar; or else it stood firm against its main ally and took its relationship with Bonn into an impasse.In spring 1950 came the hour of truth. Robert Schuman, French Foreign Affairs Minister, had been entrusted by his American and British counterparts with a vital mission, namely to make a proposal to bring Federal Germany back into the western fold.
59Jean Monnet's ideasIn order to unravel this web of difficulties where traditional diplomacy was proving powerless, Robert Schuman called upon the inventive genious of a man as yet unknown to the general public but who had acquired exceptional experience during a very long and eventful international career. Jean Monnet, at the time responsible for the French modernisation plan and appointed by Charles de Gaulle in 1945 to put the country back on its economic feet, was one of the most influential Europeans in the western world.Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman
60During the First World War, he had organised the joint supply structures for the Allied Forces. Deputy Secretary-General of the League of Nations, banker in the United States, western Europe and China, he was one of President Roosevelt's close advisers and the architect of the Victory programme which ensured America's military superiority over the Axis forces. Unfettered by any political mandate, he advised governments and had acquired the reputation of being a pragmatist whose prime concern was effectiveness.The French Minister had approached Jean Monnet with his concerns. The question 'What to do about Germany?' was an obsession for Robert Schuman, a native of Lorraine and a Christian moved by the resolve to do something so that any possibility of further war between the two countries could be averted once and for all.
61At the head of a small team in rue de Martignac, headquarters of the Commissariat au plan, Jean Monnet was himself committed to this quest for a solution. His main concern was international politics. He felt that the cold war was the consequence of competition between the two big powers in Europe and a divided Europe was a source of major concern. Fostering unity in Europe would reduce tension. He pondered the merits of an international-level initiative mainly designed to decompress the situation and establish world peace through a real role played by a reborn, reconciled Europe.Jean Monnet had watched the various unsuccessful attempts to move towards integration which had followed in the wake of the solemn plea, launched at the congress organised by the European movement in The Hague in 1948, for the union of the continent.
62The European Organisation for Economic Cooperation, set up in 1948, had a purely coordinative mission and had been powerless to prevent the economic recovery of European countries coming about in a strictly national framework. The creation of the Council of Europe on 5 May 1949 showed that governments were not prepared to surrender their prerogatives. The advisory body had only deliberative powers and each of its resolutions, which had to be approved by a two-thirds majority, could be vetoed by the ministerial committee. Jean Monnet had understood that any attempt to introduce a comprehensive institutional structure in one go would bring a huge outcry from the different countries and was doomed to failure. It was too early yet to envisage wholesale transfers of sovereignty. The war was too recent an experience in people's minds and national feelings were still running very high.
63Launch of the Schuman plan, 9 May 1950: salon de l'Horloge, Quai d'Orsay, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the microphone, Robert Schuman; on his right, Jean Monnet.
64Jean Monnet and his co-workers during the close of April 1950 drafted a note of a few pages setting out both the rationale behind, and the steps envisaged in, a proposal which was going to radically shake up traditional diplomacy. As he set about his task, instead of the customary consultations of the responsible ministerial departments, Jean Monnet on the contrary maintained the utmost discretion in order to avoid the inevitable objections or counterproposals which would have detracted from the revolutionary nature of the project and removed the advantage of surprise. When he handed over his document to Bernard Clappier, director of Robert Schuman's private office, Jean Monnet knew that the minister's decision could alter the course of events. So when, upon his return from a weekend in his native Lorraine, Robert Schuman told his colleagues: 'I've read this proposal. I'll use it', the initiative had entered the political arena. At the same time as the French Minister was defending his proposal on the morning of 9 May, in front of his government colleagues, a messenger from his private office delivered it personally to Chancellor Adenauer in Bonn. The latter's reaction was immediate and enthusiastic. He immediately replied that he was wholeheartedly behind the proposal
65So, backed by the agreement of both the French and the German Governments, Robert Schuman made his declaration public at a press conference held at 4 p.m. in the salon de l'Horloge at the Quai d'Orsay. He preceded his declaration with a few introductory sentences: 'It is no longer a time for vain words, but for a bold, constructive act. France has acted, and the consequences of her action may be immense. We hope they will. She has acted essentially in the cause of peace. For peace to have a chance, there must first be a Europe. Nearly five years to the day after the unconditional surrender of Germany, France is now taking the first decisive step towards the construction of Europe and is associating Germany in this venture. It is something which must completely change things in Europe and permit other joint actions which were hitherto impossible. Out of all this will come forth Europe, a solid and united Europe. A Europe in which the standard of living will rise thanks to the grouping of production and the expansion of markets, which will bring down prices ...'
66The declaration puts forward a number of principles: - Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through practical achievements which will first create real solidarity;- the age-old enmity between France and Germany must be eliminated; any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries, but it is open to any other European nations which share the aims;- action must be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point: Franco-German production of coal and steel must be placed under a common High Authority;- the fusion of these economic interests will help to raise the standard of living and establish a European Community;- the decisions of the High Authority will be binding on the member countries. The High Authority itself will be composed of independent persons and have equal representation. The authority's decisions will be enforceable.
67The preparation of the ECSC Treaty Swift action was needed for the French initiative, which quickly became a Franco-German initiative, to retain its chances of becoming reality. On 20 June 1950, France convened an intergovernmental conference in Paris, chaired by Jean Monnet. The three Benelux countries (Belgium Luxembourg and the Netherlands )and Italy answered the call and were at the negotiating table. Jean Monnet circumscribed the spirit of the discussions which were about to open: 'We are here to undertake a common task - not to negotiate for our own national advantage, but to seek it to the advantage of all. Only if we eliminate from our debates any particularist feelings shall we reach a solution. In so far as we, gathered here, can change our methods, the attitude of all Europeans will likewise gradually change
68The discussions were an opportunity to clarify the type of international edifice envisaged. The independence and the powers of the High Authority were never questioned, for they constituted the central point of the proposal. At the request of the Netherlands, the Council of Ministers, representing the Member States and which was to give its assent in certain cases, was set up. A Parliamentary Assembly and a Court of Justice were to round off the structure which underpins the institutional system of the current Communities.The negotiators never lost sight of the fact that they had the political mandate to construct an organisation which was totally new with regard to its objectives and methods. It was essential for the emerging institution to avoid all the shortcomings peculiar to the traditional intergovernmental organisations: the requirement of unanimity for national financial contributions, and subordination of the executive to the representatives of the national States.
69Robert Schuman's declaration of 9 May 1950 was followed, on 18 April 1951, by the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the first of the Treaties establishing the European Community.On 18 April 1951, the Treaty establishing the Coal and Steel Community was signed for a period of 50 years. It was ratified by the six signatory countries and on 10 August 1952 the High Authority, chaired by Jean Monnet, took up its seat in Luxembourg.
70The Schuman plan: the birth of Community Europe The Schuman proposals are revolutionary or they are nothing. The indispensable first principle of these proposals is the abnegation of sovereignty in a limited but decisive field. A plan which is not based on this principle can make no useful contribution to the solution of the major problems which undermine our existence. Cooperation between nations, while essential, cannot alone meet our problem. What must be sought is a fusion of the interests of the European peoples and not merely another effort to maintain the equilibrium of those interests ...' Jean Monnet
71The innovatory principles of the first European Community The reason it took nearly a year to conclude the negotiations of the Treaty of Paris was that these negotiations gave rise to a series of fundamental questions to which Jean Monnet wished to provide the most appropriate answers. As we have seen, this was no traditional diplomatic negotiation. The persons designated by the six governments had come together to invent a totally new - and lasting - legal and political system.The preamble to the ECSC Treaty, comprising five short paragraphs, contains the whole philosophy which was to be the leitmotif of the promoters of European construction:
72'Considering that world peace can be safeguarded only by creative efforts commensurate with the dangers that threaten it; convinced that the contribution which an organised and vital Europe can make to civilisation is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations;recognising that Europe can be built only through practical achievements which will first of all create real solidarity, and through the establishment of common bases for economic development;anxious to help, by expanding their basic production, to raise the standard of living and further the works of peace;resolved to substitute for age-old rivalries the merging of their essential interests; to create, by establishing an economic community, the basis for a broader and deeper community among peoples long divided by bloody conflicts; and to lay the foundations for institutions which will give direction to a destiny henceforward shared'.'World peace', 'practical achievements', 'real solidarity', 'merging of essential interests', 'community', 'destiny henceforward shared': these are all key words which are the embryonic form of both the spirit and the Community method and still today retain their rallying potential.
73(Source: Fondation Jean Monnet pour l'Europe, Lausanne). While the prime objective of the ECSC Treaty, i.e. the management of the coal and steel market, today no longer has the same importance as before, for the European economy of the 1950s, the institutional principles which it laid down are still very much topical. They started a momentum of which we are still reaping the benefits and which fuels a political vision which we must be careful not to depart from if we are not to call into question our precious 'acquis communautaire'.The first European iron ingot was cast on 30 April 1953 in Esch-sur-Alzette, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Jean Monnet, President, and the members of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community celebrate the event.(Source: Fondation Jean Monnet pour l'Europe, Lausanne).
74The overarching role of the institutions The application to international relations of the principles of equality, arbitration and conciliation which are in force within democracies is progress for civilisation. The founding fathers (group of men who participated in the writing and signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 ) had experienced the chaos, violence and the arbitrary which are the companions of war. Their entire endeavour was geared at creating a community in which right prevailed over might. Jean Monnet often quoted the Swiss philosopher Amiel: 'Every man's experience is a new start. Only institutions become wiser: they amass the collective experience and thanks to this experience and this wisdom, the nature of men subordinated to the same rules will not change, but their behaviour gradually will.'To place relations between countries on a pacific and democratic footing, casting out the spirit of domination and nationalism, these were the deep-seated motivations which gave the first Community its political content and placed it amongst the major historic achievements.
75The independence of the Community bodies If institutions are to fulfill their functions they must have their own authority. Today's Community institutions still benefit from the three guarantees which were given to the ECSC High Authority:- the appointment of members, today commissioners, by joint agreement between the governments (1). These are not national delegates, but personalities exercising their power collegially and who may not receive instructions from the Member States. The European civil service is subordinated to this same and unique Community allegiance;- financial independence through the levying of own resources and not, as is the case of international organisations, by the payment of national contributions which means they can be called into question;- the responsibility of the High Authority, and today that of the Commission, exclusively to the Assembly (today the European Parliament), which can cast, by a qualified majority vote, a vote of censure.
76Cooperation between the institutions For Jean Monnet, the independence of the High Authority was the cornerstone of the new system. However, as the negotiations continued, he acknowledged the need to give the Member States the opportunity to assert their national interests. This was the safest way of preventing the emerging community from being limited to excessively technical objectives, for it needed to be also able to intervene in sectors in which macroeconomic decisions would be taken and these were a matter for the governments. Hence the creation, alongside the High Authority, of our Council of Ministers the role of which was strictly limited in that it was not called upon to decide unanimously but by majority. Its assent was required only in limited cases. The High Authority retained the monopoly of legislative initiative, a prerogative which, extended to the competences of the present Commission, is essential in that it is the guarantee that all Community interests will be defended in a proposal from the college. From 1951 on, dialogue was organised between the four institutions on a basis not of subordination but of cooperation, each institution exercising its own functions within a comprehensive decision-making system of a pre-federal type.
77Equality between Member States As the principle of representation of States within the Council had been selected, there remained the delicate matter of their respective weighting. The Benelux countries and Italy, fearing that they would be placed in a minority situation on account of the proportion of their production of coal and steel in relation to total production, argued in favour of the rule of unanimity. Germany, on the other hand, advocated a system of representation proportional to production, a proposal which of course could hardly allay partners' misgivings, quite the opposite.Jean Monnet was convinced that only the principle of equality between countries could produce a new mentality. However, he was aware of how difficult it was to get six countries of unequal dimensions to forego the option of a veto. For the big countries in their relations with one another and for the smaller countries in their relations with the bigger countries '... Their innermost security lay in their power to say No, which is the privilege of national sovereignty' (2). The chairman of the conference accordingly met Chancellor Adenauer in Bonn on 4 April 1951 to convince him of the virtues of the principle of equality:
78'I have been authorised to propose to you that relations between France and Germany in the European Community be based on the principle of equality in the Council, the Assembly and all future or existing institutions ... Let me add that this is how I have always envisaged the offer of union which was the starting point of the present Treaty; and I think I am right in saying this is how you envisaged it from the moment we first met. The spirit of discrimination has been the cause of the world's greatest ills, and the Community is an attempt to overcome it'.The Chancellor replied immediately:'You know how much I am attached to equality of rights for my country in the future, and how much I deplore the attempts at domination in which it has been involved in the past. I am happy to pledge my full support for your proposal. I cannot conceive of a Community based on anything but complete equality'.Thus was laid one of the legal and moral foundations which gives the notion of Community its full meaning.
79The ECSC, the first stone in the European edifice In the absence of a peace treaty between the former warring sides, the first European Community was both an act of confidence in the resolve of France and Germany and their partners to sublimate the mistakes of the past and perform an act of faith in a common future of progress. Despite the ups and downs of history and of nationalist opposition, the process began in 1950 was never to stop. The failure of the project for a European Defence Community on 30 August 1954, after the rejection by the French National Assembly of the Treaty signed on 27 May 1952, did not halt the initial momentum. At the initiative of statesmen from the Benelux countries, Paul Henri Spaak, Jan Beyen and Joseph Bech, the process was relaunched at Messina in June The onward march towards the Treaty of Rome, signed on 25 March 1957, establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom, was boosted by external events: the Suez crisis and the repression in Hungary prompted Europe to close ranks. The European Communities set up in Brussels and Luxembourg grew in terms of content and number of participants.
80The common market was consolidated by common policies in agriculture, trade, regional affairs, social affairs, research, the environment, education, and cooperation with the third world. In 1972, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark joined the Communities; later the entry of Greece, Spain and Portugal brought a bigger Mediterranean presence into the Community. In 1995, the 15-country Europe emerges with the membership of Austria, Finland and Sweden.Weakened by the two successive oil shocks of 1973 and 1979, the Community nevertheless resisted centrifugal tendencies and consolidated its cohesion by introducing a European Monetary System in This system gradually paved the way for a slow but irreversible move towards economic and monetary union which came to fruition on 1 January 1999 with the adoption of the euro by 11 Member States of the European Union.Like any undertaking constantly evolving, Europe could not evade teething troubles and growing pains: the institutional crisis of 1965 when one Member State attempted to call into question the majority system of voting; and the financial crisis caused by the mismatch between own resources and the sharp increases in expenditure arising from the proliferation of new policies and the increasing costs of the common agricultural policy.
81Nevertheless, no matter how categorical its demands may have been, no Member State has contemplated leaving a Community which is seen as an irreplaceable framework for the development and international status of its member countries.In 1984, the European Parliament adopted a draft treaty on European union, proposing that the institutions make a quantum leap in terms of integration. By adopting the White Paper on the large internal market in 1985, the Commission, headed by Jacques Delors, gave concrete expression to this resolve for recovery and set a target date of 1 January 1993.By signing the Single Act in 1986, the Member States drew their inspiration and institutional method from the Schuman plan. They supplemented the Treaty of Rome with a series of specific objectives around the central objective of a large frontier-free market and established a timetable. They renewed the decision-making process by extending the scope for decision-making by a qualified majority vote. They restored hope to millions of European citizens by offering them a broader horizon and giving them the wherewithal to come to terms with a changing world.
82While the European institutions were putting the finishing touches to the internal market and increasing the economic and social dimension of Community Europe, history made its presence felt again as an unforeseeable, mighty force, testing the capacities of Europeans to adapt and adjust to a changing world.The fall of the Berlin Wall on 3 October 1990, followed by the reunification of Germany and the democratization of the countries of central and eastern Europe, freed from the yoke of the Soviet Union, itself prey to its own disintegration in December 1991, brought about a radical change in the political structure of our continent.Once again, countries were faced with a dilemma, whether to take the soft option of focusing national policies on immediate interests or embrace a common vision and management of their joint future. Opting to give priority to respect their European commitment and acknowledging the need to incorporate such upheaval into a common perspective, the Member States committed themselves to a process of consolidation of the Union by negotiating a new treaty, of which the new guidelines were adopted at the Maastricht European Council meeting of 9 and 10 December 1991.
83The Treaty on European Union, which entered into force on 1 November 1993 set an ambitious timetable for the Member States: monetary union by 1999, new common policies, European citizenship, common foreign and security policy, and internal security. A revision clause in the Maastricht Treaty prompted the Member States to negotiate a new treaty, signed in Amsterdam on 2 October 1997, adjusting and strengthening the Union's policies and resources, particularly in the areas of legal cooperation, freedom of movement of persons, foreign policy and public health. The European Parliament, direct demo-cratic expression of the Union, received new responsibilities confirming its role as co-legislator.Fifty years of existence have not taken the edge off the driving inspiration from which the European Community emerged.Will the heirs of the founding fathers, today responsible for the destiny of the peoples of the whole continent, from Lisbon to Tallinn, from Dublin to Warsaw, take on board the final message of Jean Monnet (3), the guiding light of this first Community, who urges them to adopt his vision of the future?
85European Union - EU treaties, structure, history 195219581967199319992003?EC - European Community...E U R O P E A N U N I O N ( E U )European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)European Economic Community (EEC)European Community (EC)Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community)...European Communities: ECSC, EEC (EC, 1993), EuratomJustice & Home AffairsPolice & Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCCM)Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)Treaty of ParisTreaties of RomeMerger TreatyTreaty of MaastrichtTreaty of AmsterdamTreaty of NiceEuropean ConstitutionEvolution of the structures of the European Union.