Western Europe Dbq Analysis

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At the end of World War II, Western European powers sought political stability after a period of turmoil and devastation. Germany was divided into two spheres of influence: East Germany, controlled by the Soviet Union, and West Germany, controlled by the Allies. Western Europe attempted to unify in the post-war economy, and various views arose regarding this potential unity. The unification of Western Europe was met with opinions that were largely motivated by a nation’s own economic and political interests. In the first few years after World War II, there was conflict between European powers over which nations should found and lead the united Western Europe. Sir Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, stated in 1946, “France and…show more content…
(Doc 2) Still shaken by the events of World War II, where German leader Adolf Hitler invaded France and much of Europe for land power, de Gaulle was fearful that a Western European union with German leadership would undo the resolutions of the war. France, having been allied with Britain in the previous wars against Germany, wanted to renew this alliance in the form of a European Union under French and British leadership. However after the formation of the European Economic Community, an organization promoting economic integration among France, West Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, 21 years later, Charles de Gaulle took a different stance on leadership in Europe. (Doc 8) Having been rejected by Britain in the earliest unification attempts, de Gaulle became supportive of a sans-Britain Community. De Gaulle’s view, removed from the immediacy of French-German conflict, started agreeing with the idea of a French and German led Community, united by similar economies and therefore similar interests. In the beginning of this Community, Robert Schuman, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1950, stated, “Such a transformation will be born out of all this, a Europe that is firmly united and solidly built.” (Doc 5) Schuman is supportive of a French and German economic alliance, believing that establishing common markets with Germany wouldopen new opportunities for French growth following World War

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