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A Politically and Economically Europe

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A politically and economically united Europe is desirable

The prospect of a united Europe has been in the minds of people since ancient times. The Romans, during their heyday, desired to conquer the entire European continent, and nearly succeeded. Between then and now, there have been other attempts to unify the European continent under one ruler - people such as Charlemagne, Napoleon and Hitler. It is only now that the unification of Europe seems to be possible, but in such a way as has never been thought of in the history of civilized man. No longer is the move towards a single ruler or a conquest of land. Today's unification is one of political and economic borders, in which the "conquered" nations gain a seat in an international High Authority and all people involved prosper. At least, this is the goal of the growing organization in Europe. In the course of history many famous people have spoken or dreamt of a United Europe, ranging from George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, or Giuseppe Mazzini to Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi. But probably the clearest, most concrete vision was articulated by the French writer Victor Hugo. This vision can only be understood against the background of the historic upheavals in nineteenth-century Europe that Victor Hugo experienced at first hand: several wars between France and Germany, Victor Hugo’s enforced exile in the Channel Islands because of his opposition to Napoleon III, the traumatic annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by Germany after the war of 1870/71, and lastly his involvement in the laborious birth of the Third Republic in France. Understandably Victor Hugo yearned then for peace and democracy on the Continent. And at the Paris Peace Congress in the middle of the 19th century he couched his vision of a United States of Europe in the following terms: “ A day will come when your arms will fall from…...

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