JANUARY 16, 2012:
Devastation in war is going to require economic reconstruction, and a large part of
the post war period can be understood economically as an attempt to reconstruct
Political reconstruction took the shape of democratic consolidation.
The fate of Europe was closely tied to Germany and how to deal with the German
problem, and the question is how to avoid a recurrence of wars connected to the
German military industrial complex.
Germany had been historically the economic engine of Europe, so to reconstruct
Germany economically on an industrial base, in order to facilitate European growth,
it was necessary to ensure that the German industrial complex not be put to military
Some policy makers suggested Germany be industrialized entirely, and proposed
plans such as the Morgenthau Plan (by Americans) which keeps them from being a
military threat if Germany was de-industrialized, but this would cause much slower
European economic growth.
The European coal and steel community is the first concrete expression of economic
integration in post-war European, and the sea-bed of the European community and
eventually the European Union.
The Vision of a United Europe: In 1945, interests in economic integration (which
would lead to political integration) emerged from the lesson to learn from looking
back on Germany and the German problem- the interest is in a permanent
settlement of Franco-German relations, where Germany is the culprit and France
has been in 3 wars with them and has a special interest in Germany. They want to
tie the coal and steel community to the rest of Europe. The lesson that emerged
from trade wars in the 1930s that increased tension between states and made it
more likely for military conflict, was that trade policy (protectionist policies, tariffs)
needed to be changed to reflect economic inter-dependence which would make it
more difficult to engage in protectionist policies. The European past also taught the
lesson that the sovereignty of states should not be absolute, and the distinction
between “domestic hierarchy” and “interstate anarchy” must be overcome. This is
an argument that interstate anarchy creates dilemmas in relations between states
that makes the use of force more likely as a policy option. Interstate conflict is
inevitable in a world when state sovereignty is not limited. (Europe needs to be
organized much more differently).
European policy makers realized they needed to do this peacefully and step-by-step.
The strategy is indirection. They start to encourage co-operation and integration in
certain sorts of