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POLI 212 Lecture Notes - Morgenthau Plan, Economic Reconstruction

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 212
Hudson Meadwell

of 2
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
domestic economies.
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 economic sectors where agreement to cooperate is easy to work, and
they hope that it will lead to deeper integration on more fundamental level (the neo-
functionalist method of integration).
Howard (from the reading) says democrats were an embattled minority in Europe,
and this is his argument that the entire 19th century and part of the 20th century was
a virtual civil war in European civilization between the “party of movement” and the
“party of order”. He also highlights the importance of the French Revolution as the
point that crystalized the conflict between order and movement, which is
particularly visible in France. He associates secularization, democratization,
popular sovereignty and the rights of people with the party of movement. The
French Revolution was almost like a civil war- the most radical movement in the
French Revolution was connected to democratic republicanism, which was hostile
to a monarchical principle of political organization or absolutism, but what really
makes it radical was that they rejected any kind of monarch, even if they had
constitutional limits. Republicans were also hostile towards the Catholic Church for
various reasons, such as the ways in which the Catholic Church was a legitimization
for many monarchs, and they are very important in the traditional and monarchical
societies. Democratic republicans wanted a civil religion that established a direct
connection between citizens and Republican regimes and that created a religion
around Republican symbols.
The French Revolution could be considered incomplete because the post-
revolutionary history of France is a long history of instability between two visions of
political organization- along monarchical lines in a regime that reserves a special
place for Catholicism, or should it be organized as a Republic with the separation of
church and state. This conflict destabilized France’s politics until 1958 when the 5th
Republic is created.
1848: Failed Republican Revolutions in different parts of Europe.
From 1870-1871 the Franco-Prussian War occurs, which is a period of turbulence
punctuated by conflict and war. It also sours German-French relations going
forward, and this marks the transition to the 3rd Republic in France (church and
state are finally separated and the Republican regime attempts to penetrate all of
France society to arrange it around Republican values and commitments).
1917: The Russian Revolution
1918: The End of World War 1 and the dissolution of imperial organization in East
and Central Europe (the Hapsburg, Russian, and Ottoman empires dissolve and new
states are formed and rearranged politically).
1933: Hitler comes to power in Germany.
1945: Fascism is militarily defeated.