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Pre-WW 1 European Union

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  • Pre-WW 1 European Union

    In my opinion Kaiser Wilhelm II. should have devoted his life to form a European Union.
    In the west there was nothing to gain for Germany.
    Alsace Lorraine (is that how you spell it in English?) was already part of Germany, another war against France was pointless.

    European Union including Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
    Balkans would have been excluded same as Russia and Ottoman Empire.

    I'm sure that England would have been all for it, same as every minor power (Benelux, Scandinavia... for security reasons).
    France would probably not have been glad about having to forfeit her claims on Alsace Lorraine, but eventually they would have had to succumb to the pressure.

    Who would benefit from it?

    - all minor powers for territorial security
    - England for colonial hegemony (no German threat)
    - Germany (should a war against Russia ever occur it would be in the best position for landgrabs)
    - Austria (stabilizing its fragile empire)

    A European Union pre-WW1 would have secured Europe's hegemony in the world and the existance of its colonial possessions.

    ----------------------

    Questions:

    1. Would it have been possible?
    2. Who would have been the key players in achieving the goal (nation, person...)?
    3. Would you personally have preferred it compared to the present situation?
    "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

    - Jean-Paul Sartre

  • #2
    Originally posted by Stuka Rudel View Post
    A European Union pre-WW1 would have secured Europe's hegemony in the world and the existance of its colonial possessions.
    I can't answer your main points, I've not the knowledge to do so (some might say that about my other posts too ) but I would point out that the US considered Central and South America as well as the Central Pacific and the Philippines to be in their "sphere of influence".

    I doubt also whether a united Europe would have seen the colonial possessions remain colonial possessions for very much longer than was historically the case. Personally I'm not in the slightest bit upset that the Empire collapsed.

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    • #3
      hmm, it would have been nice.. but France, England and even A-H would never have wanted it nor agreed to it.

      France would never have accepted to forfeit alsace-lorraine - never - it was for 40 years in every speach, in every school text, in every newspaper that it was France destiny and every frenchman and woman to get those lands back. they were brainwashed on it - regardless of what the lorains and alsatians were thinking by the way.

      Englans, would have seen a anything with other possible trade competitors as hell on earth, England was much interested in curbing the power of other empires (Ottomans, Russia, Germany, etc.) and was an instigator as much as others of the War. they all wanted war - the silly leaders - not knowing that technology would make it a bloodbath (i.e more than usual - they should have watched more carefully the sino-russian one)
      "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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      • #4
        The whole point about British foreign policy in Europe is that the ultimate aim is usually for a disunited Europe.

        England would never and absolutely would never have signed up to any form of pre-World War EU. The whole point of British foreign policy within Europe was to prevent any one European state from gaining too much power and totally dominating the others. Hence, why Britain used an 80 year old treaty with Belgium as an excuse to join World War I.

        Everytime Europe has been united under one power, Britain has faced invasion and danger.

        Alex
        ----------------------------------
        www.historyofwarfare.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          I agree with Alex. It's the idea of the Concert of Europe. For years we dedicated ourselves to ensuring no power claimed prominence so as not to threaten the Empire. That's a reason (of many) for wars against Napoleonic France, Crimean War Russia and WWI Germany.

          But it would be interesting. Assuming it happened then it might have led to European dominance of the US and Russia. Could these two have ever reached an alliance (even economic) against Europe? If Russia wasn't communist...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
            regardless of what the lorains and alsatians were thinking by the way.
            That's news to me and my family is from Lorraine...

            Everyone there is as French as French can be, and there are many newspaper articles from 1918 that I have read which state that the French soldiers entering those areas were shocked to find out that the populations was indeed as French as they were; with most households speaking French and schools still operating in French, which was permitted by the authorities.

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            • #7
              There is a old story from a news reporter who toured Alsace in 1920 or 1921. He asked a local man If he considered himself a German or Frenchman. The indivdual replied "Ich bin ein Frankreicher!"

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