Question 4
Quick revise

Analyse the origins of the European Economic Community

Paragraph One

  • Precedents for European consciousness in:
    • Roman Empire, Charlemagne, Christendom versus Islam (Saracens and Turks)
    • Concert of Europe 19th century
  • Rise of rivalry since 16th century:
    • Reformation
    • Growth of national identity
    • French and Russian Revolutions created ideological divisions
  • Ditto Fascism
  • Economic factors include:
    • Industrial revolution and railways caused huge increase in intra-European trade
    • A customs union could promote economic growth and political unity e.g. German Zollverein
    • The European movement wanted to surrender more and more national sovereignty to pan-European institutions

Paragraph Two

  • Specific circumstances after 1945:
    • European movement strengthened by WWII
    • Some statesmen most concerned in exile during war (Adenauer, Schuman, Monnet) and wartime resistance
  • Pan-European movement helped by circumstances:
    • US economic power immense
    • Communist parties of Eastern Europe backed by Red Army
    • Increasing hostility to colonial powers outside Europe
  • To continue internal political/economic rivalries seemed silly

Paragraph Three

  • Resentment towards Germany from occupied countries
  • The timing of unification can be seen in GB/US rehabilitation of West Germany in Cold War –
    • recovery under Marshall Aid
    • need to strengthen defences of West against Soviets
  • British and US forces stationed in Germany reassured France
  • 1950 acceptance of Schuman Plan (for European Coal & Steel Community) was vital breakthrough

Paragraph Four

  • European advocates in governments of the ‘six’ were looking for a new way forward after the failure of European Defence Community
  • They broadened cooperation in the ECSC to other industries
  • Economic motives now more important than political ones
  • Agreement boosted by surge in Cold War (Hungary and Sputnik)
  • Advocates believed that removal barriers would enhance economic stability and growth
  • Germany wanted larger markets


  • ECSC made EEC possible (a solution to problems of German recovery)
  • EEC also helped by economic growth (which it accelerated) and by the European movement
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