European Disunion: The Rise and Fall of a Post-War Dream?

Aug 15, 2013

The euro serves as a common currency for most members of the European Union. Euro coins all have one side in common, while the obverse side (examples shown here) is stamped with a national motif. The tension between unity and sovereignty lies at the heart of the EU's history.

The economic crisis in Europe has had many predicting the end of the Eurozone and an end to the grand dreams of European unity. This month historian Donald A. Hempson III charts how the European Union and the Eurozone evolved out of a twin set of goals after World War II: to prevent European nations from going to war again and to foster economic prosperity across the continent. The current tensions are nothing new. Instability has long characterized the EU as it has expanded and integrated. While the EU has grown into one of the most powerful and successful economic blocs in the world, fears of a loss of national sovereignty have long conflicted with the economic and institutional goals of the union as a whole.  Read more here.