From Caesar to Hitler, why has every attempt to unify Europe failed? Indeed, the Third Reich only lasted seven years, while others endured for much longer, such as the Holy Roman Empire's reign, that lasted 1008 years. The idea of empires formed from different cultures is nothing new and has been around since Alexander the Great in 324 BC attempted to forcefully combine Greek and Persian culture, although nowadays he would be accused of cultural appropriation by the left!
The EU is the current, and hopefully last, attempt at a pan-European empire, though one created not by military force but by stealth. Belying the secrecy, the former EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, said on July 10 2007, "Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empire. We have the dimension of an empire". 1
The first pan-European empire was, despite its name, the Roman Republic in 44 BC, and spanned the length and breadth of Western Europe and the Mediterranean. This was achieved due to the conquests of Julius Caesar, who could be called the first unifier of Europe, and was one of history's greatest military commanders. His Gallic Campaign from 58-50 BC was one of the most extraordinary in military history, equal only to Alexander the Great's Persian Campaign in 334-328 BC and Napoleon's Italian Campaign in 1796-97. But all changed on the Ides of March 44 BC (March 15 on the current calendar), when Caesar, who by this time had become dictator perpetuo (dictator in perpetuity), was assassinated by the senators, who had grown jealous of his power, which plunged the Republic into a bloody thirteen years of civil war. It culminated with the naval Battle of Actium on September 2 31 BC, where Octavian, Caesar's adopted son and heir was victorious against Mark Antony and Cleopatra, leaving Octavian in control of the fearless Roman Republic. Now named Augustus by the Senate in 27 BC, he became the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which had united Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans under the mighty wings of the aquila, the height of the empire was over a century later under emperor Trajan's rule in 117 AD.
The loosening of the eagle's grip over the European continent began in 180 AD during the reign of Commodus, the temperamental son of the philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius, was assassinated in 192 AD, and a period of civil war then ensued, as five men claimed to be the emperor, with Septimius Severus, an experienced and capable man, victorious in 197 AD. His son Caracalla, became the sole Emperor in 211 AD, and created the Constitutio Antoniniana (Constitution of Antoninus) in 212 AD, where all freemen and free women in the empire were made Roman citizens, a precursor to EU citizenship. 2 The Hunnic invasion of Europe in 375 AD caused an influx of people migrating to and invading the Roman Empire, which is known as the Barbarian Invasions, but also the Migration Period, this sped up the collapse of the Roman Empire, alongside the military's ineffectiveness after fighting numerous wars, and the rivalries and intrigues of the political class, culminated in full loss of control with the Sack of Rome in 410 AD. The most apt comparison with the modern EU is what happened recently at the Greek border, and in the English Channel, this shows a need for strong borders, then and now, which the EU's freedom of movement does not give, though that is no excuse for the abysmal handling and prevention of the migrants landing at Dover by the government.
The now fractious Roman Empire was a shadow of its former self, and under the reign of Justinian I in 555 AD, the Eastern Roman Empire, now more commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, controlled Italy and part of southern Spain, although it would never regain the former glories and power of centuries passed, and the first attempt to unify Europe under a central control now lay in tatters. With the rise of Islam in the seventh century and their hold on Western Europe gone and divided into barbarian kingdoms, the Byzantines would now turn their gaze east, to a new and formidable foe.
From a fractured Europe arose one kingdom that would unify the western and central parts under one ruler and one religion. This was the kingdom of the Franks, led by the monarch Charlemagne in the eighth century, who with his military conquests of northern Italy and Germany with vassal states in Central Europe had unified more of Europe than anyone else since the Roman emperor Trajan, and could be called the second unifier of Europe, so much so that he is venerated by the EU as their founding father. His conquest of Saxony in 804, which despite being a victory caused the deaths of four Frankish counts and numerous soldiers, and was marked with the massacre of 4,500 Saxons at Verden, where he forcibly converted them to Christianity on pain of death at Verden in 782, but also to remove their identity and assimilate them into Frankish society, and in doing so brought more of Europe under one religion, as opposed to widespread paganism beforehand. 3 With time his empire would split in two, just like the Romans, and became the basis of France and Germany, while the latter's kingdom became known as the Holy Roman Empire.
Gaius Julius Caesar, the first unifier of Europe
With most of Europe unified under Christianity in the eleventh century, in spite of the East-West Schism in 1054 which caused a rift between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, a crusade was launched to capture the Holy Land, now present-day Israel along with parts of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. By the thirteenth century enthusiasm for crusading to the Middle East had waned, with the attention of German knights in particular now focused on converting the idolator pagans in the Baltic to Christianity, and the first ones to do this were called the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, which was founded in 1202, and according to William Urban "all sides saw the civilian population as a legitimate wartime target". 4 Initial successes were undone with the Battle of Saule in 1236, in which the Swordbrothers were decimated and were incorporated into the Teutonic Knights as the Livonian Order, which then attacked the Novgorod Republic and subsequently the Kingdom of Poland, as Latvia and Estonia were now under the order's mailed fist. However, with the forced but also willing conversions to Christianity, the native's culture was suppressed and only survived through their ancient languages. Now that all of Europe was Christian, it was easier to bring it under a centralised rule, though it would also tear Europe asunder in the coming centuries.
The third unifier of Europe, Philip II, ruled the Burgundian State until his death in 1404, and which had encompassed parts of France and Benelux in the fifteenth century. His son Charles the Bold, an ambitious and politically deft man who was the last Duke of Burgundy, and vassal to the Holy Roman Empire, embarked on a series of military campaigns to increase his territory in order for it to be elevated to 'kingdom' status by the Emperor. 5 Charles' death in the Battle of Nancy January 5th 1477 unravelled the Burgundian State, and led King Louis XI to conquer the remaining parts of France, while the Spanish had control of its former territories of Benelux by the middle of the sixteenth century, with the Netherlands independent with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War.
The Holy Roman Empire, like the EU, was comprised of various peoples with different languages and cultures, such as German, Italian, and Czech, but surprisingly it was never centralised. 6 In stark contrast, the EU is slowly creeping towards a federated state, although some of its politicians like to portray it as being the spiritual successor to the Holy Roman Empire, the increasing centralisation of it shows that this is not the case. It never sought to impose a single national identity on its citizens, whereas the EU seeks to erase it and subsume it into a chimera of Europeanised history and bloated bureaucracy. As Jacques Delors said "my objective is that before the end of the millennium Europe should have a true federation." 7 The Holy Roman Empire's reign of 1008 years was the longest of any pan-European empire, although it was not free from conflict, as the division between Catholics and Protestants led Europe into three decades of war in the seventeenth century, though the conflict ultimately devolved into a power struggle between the two leading powers, France and the Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. The era of Napoleon brought about the end of the empire, and from its ruins rose the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806, formed by the princes of the German cities.
Amidst the fractured peace of the charnel house of Europe following the Thirty Years War, a new threat to its nations sovereignty would emerge in the form of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was led by Sultan Mehmed IV, who had a love of hunting more than ruling, and was heavily influenced by his advisors, the most significant of which was Kara Mustafa Pasha, the grand vizier, who had an ambition to Islamise Europe. The invasion of Europe came in 1683, with the Holy Roman Empire's capital of Vienna besieged on July 14th, where the defenders were outnumbered roughly ten to one by the Ottomans, whose army included the elite janissaries, soldiers who had been Christian children, kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam with all ties to their native lands removed, although a relief force led by the Polish king John Sobieski arrived on September 11th 1683. The Battle of Kahlenberg was fought the next day, with a decisive victory for the European forces after the charge of the dauntless Polish Winged Hussars, and ensured the freedom of Europe from the Ottomans. The co-operation of the Imperial and Polish armies shows that a permanent centralised role is not a key factor in success, but shared values and ideals is, which in this case was defending Europe from an Islamic invasion.
The Battle of Vienna/Kahlenberg, 12th September 1683, unified European armies defeat an Islamic invasion
It was not only Western and Central Europe under the control of empires but also Eastern Europe, with the rulers of the Baltic changing most often until Russian domination was established in 1721. In comparison to the previous rulers of the Baltic, Sweden improved the livelihood of the peasants, who were freed from the chokehold of serfdom, with a focus on education, though these reforms would be short-lived once Russian rule was established in 1721 after Tsar Peter I's victory in the Great Northern War, notably the rights of the natives were reduced, while those of the Baltic German nobility were increased. Russian rule of the Eastern Europe was solidified by the end of the nineteenth century, while Tsar Alexander III viewed the non-Russian parts of his empire as provinces, and not as they should have been, nations with distinct cultures and languages, he even renamed the Baltic states, the 'Northwest Provinces' in an attempt to disassociate the native population with their land. 8 In 1885, the tyrannical and paranoid Tsar Alexander III, began the process of Russification, a way to remove native culture and attempt to garner increased loyalty to the empire, as opposed to their own lands and people, much like the EU's attempts at Europeanisation, it served only to embolden the natives against the attempts to eradicate and subvert their heritage. The Russian Empire, full of unrest and civil strife, finally collapsed in 1917, with the unfortunate rise of Communism.
During the eighteenth century, France was the leading power in Europe, with twenty million inhabitants and ruled by Louis XIV, the Sun King, and also the fourth unifier of Europe, had waged war after war after war against his neighbours to expand his territory. 9 While he ruled France, his son Philippe, the Duke of Anjou had become King of Spain in 1700, the dawn of the new century, and ensured French hegemony over Western Europe, but the war he would soon wage would ironically unify most of Western and Central Europe against him. In 1701 the War of the Spanish Succession began, spurred on by Louis' previous victories and desire to keep his son as King of Spain, though it caused France's economy and manpower to haemorrhage, and its eventual defeat in 1714 ended his hopes for French supremacy over Europe, the centuries old animosity between Albion and Gaul remained until their military alliance in the Crimean War in 1854. After his death in 1715, French defeats in the Seven Years War and its inability to become a geopolitical power equal to Britain after the American War of Independence, caused growing discontent in France with the absolute monarchy that he championed, and led to it being overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution.
Until the ascendancy of the Third Reich, the largest pan-European empire was the First French Empire, that emerged from the revolutionary chaos under the leadership of the young Corsican Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. A military genius, he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804 and was the fifth unifier of Europe, whose name would deservedly receive the epithet 'the Great', and had an impeccable knowledge of history, facts, and figures. One of his greatest achievements was the huge undertaking of legal reform, where he and Cambacérè, a flamboyant man renowned for his dinner parties, turned the forty-two legal codes of France into one system, which was called the Napoleonic Code, and summed up by Andrew Roberts as "the product of the rationalising universalism of the Enlightenment". 10 It was used throughout the territories ruled by France during the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently kept in place afterwards, where it is the foundation of the law in most European countries. In a letter to his brother Louis in 1807, he declared "I want the whole of Europe to have one currency" and it did with the establishment of standardised coinage, and foreshadowed the adoption of the Euro by most European nations. 11
With most of central and Western Europe under his control after the Battle of Austerlitz on 2nd December 1805, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, which was Napoleon's greatest victory and ended the reign of the Holy Roman Empire, he now planned to remove Britain as a threat to his empire, as it had experienced growing economic success. He ordered the creation of a customs union, the first of its kind, was called the Continental System, and in a futile attempt to enforce it he annexed Swedish Pomerania, which caused Sweden to make peace with Russia and ensured that his planned invasion of Russia would be much more difficult, given that he would no longer be able to ally with Sweden. 12 The Continental System backfired as German towns could not produce enough clothing such as greatcoats, and had to import the Grande Armée's uniform from Britain! In order to prevent British exports from reaching their allies, Napoleon invaded Portugal and Russia in 1807 and 1812 respectively, mistakes that would cost him his empire.
Napoleon's Invasion of Russia began on 24 June 1812, with a Pyhrric victory at Borodino on 7 September, the Grande Armée arrived at Moscow soon after on 14 September, although it was razed to the ground before Napoleon arrived, on 19 October he made the decision to leave the desolate city, and with his army began the long march back to Lithuania in the freezing depths of Russian winter, and was assailed by endless blizzards and harried by Cossacks, where it fought a series of intense rearguard actions, akin to the March of the Ten Thousand led by Xenophon in 401 BC, although now it looked more like a funeral cortège than the Grande Armée, and finally reached safety at the city of Vilnius in December 1812. The idea of a Europe united under French rule ended with the demise of Napoleon's Empire, and shattered the hopes of vassal states for independence, but not for those in South America, where the final battle for its liberation took place at Ayacucho in Peru on December 9 1824. With Napoleon defeated in 1815 in the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to St. Helena, the nations of Europe were now at peace with each other, although this would only last until the Greeks successfully fought a war of independence against the Ottomans in 1821, who had ruled over them for more than 250 years, subsequent uprisings by natives against their foreign rulers in the rest of Europe soon followed. 13
The nineteenth century was one of upheaval for the European empires, internally and abroad, as civil unrest spread like wildfire that began in Greece, and only ended in the 1880s, with Balkan states truly but also only nominally independent from the Ottoman Empire after the Congress of Berlin in 1878. The July Revolution in France in 1830, in which the citizens were filled with righteous anger, and who after three days of fighting in the streets of Paris triumphed in their aims, as the Chamber of Peers became a nominated house as opposed to a hereditary one, with the iconic Tricolore adopted as the national flag. Its success led to the Belgian Revolution in August, who then gained their independence from the Netherlands the year after, although unfortunately the November Uprising in Poland against Russia had failed, and was subsequently forcibly incorporated into the Russian Empire soon after.
After this, the high-water mark for the revolutions was in 1848, known as the Spring of Nations, where the people of Europe rose up and bled for their freedom, though it would be denied to them as their rulers saw them as hellions, and not as citizens who quite naturally demanded their civil rights. In Italy however, the Risorgimento (Resurgence) movement led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, unified most of the Italian city-states by 1861, with the last ones captured by the end of the Great War, after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, while German unification was also successful by 1871, after the stunning and rapid defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, which allowed Kaiser Wilhelm I and Bismarck, the 'Iron Chancellor' to incorporate Baden, Bavaria, and Württemberg into the newly formed German Reich. These revolutions show that when people's voices are not heard, they are more prone to taking action against those they perceive to be hindering them, whether real or imaginary, by peacefully protesting or resorting to violence, with the collapse of empires shows that the people are like the Sword of Damocles to the political class, something the EU should take note of.
In 1867, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created from the weak Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, as it had lost its territory in Italy and Germany. The demographic makeup of the empire was one of the most varied, second only to the Third Reich, and comprised nationalities such as Italian in Tyrol and even Polish. In 1848, during the tumultuous period of rising national identity, the Hungarians revolted against the Austrians who had ruled them for forty four years, and its failure the year after caused Austria to impose martial law on it, but with its defeat in the Austro-Prussian war came the realisation that it had to make the Kingdom of Hungary an equal partner, otherwise it would go the way of the final chapter of the Holy Roman Empire. The Great War brought about the downfall of the empire, with Central Europe now fragmented into nation states, such as Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.
A bullet shattered the eerie peace of Europe, with the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28th June 1914, the belligerents divided into two alliances, the Entente which comprised Great Britain, France, and Russia, and the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. The Great War raged for four bloody years from the muddy and shell-torn battlefields of Belgium and France, up to the peaks of the Alps and through the vast forests and steppes of Eastern Europe, to the scalding desert sands of the Middle East. The aftermath brought about the death of empires and the rise of nations, with some independent for the first time in their long and storied history, although it was not easily obtained. Before its end, Russia, one of the largest pan-European empires, was thrust into chaos after the February Revolution in 1917, and with its hold on Eastern Europe gone by the conclusion of the Great War, the Baltic states were the first to become independent, which was solidified after their wars of independence, against the Germans and the Russians, while the rest of it followed soon after, with another world war prevented with the Bolshevik defeat at Warsaw, as the red plague would have spread to the rest of Europe, as Germany in particular was fighting a civil war between the Freikorps and Spartacists, although the peace in Europe would only last a mere thirteen years before the Spanish Civil War began.
On September 1st 1939, Europe was plunged into another world war, with Poland invaded by Nazi Germany, but also by the Soviet Union soon after, and in May 1940 the German Blitzkrieg swept across Europe, and only halted when it reached the French Atlantic Coast at the end of June, while only the Lion stood against the Eagle, until the Soviet Union was invaded by the Germans.
Adolf Hitler, the Führer of Nazi Germany, and the sixth unifier of Europe, who lacked the understanding of strategy, but had a good grasp on weapon specifications and was charismatic, although as Andrew Roberts correctly points out, "charisma is a harlot's trick", he only appeared charismatic due to his techniques and support staff, such as the cinematographer Leni Riefenstahl. 14The apogee of Nazi dominance over Europe was in 1941, after key Axis successes in Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union), which began on June 22nd 1941, although it would come crashing down after the defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad, with the Italian, Hungarian and Romanian armies encircled and annihilated by the Soviets in Operation Little Saturn in December 1942.
The titanic clash between Nazism and Communism, was characterised by brutal close-combat, freezing conditions and the systematic murder and oppression of supposed 'enemies of the state' by both sides, and featured massive barrages with artillery or what Stalin called the "god of war", with Eastern Europe, as ever trapped between the hammer and the anvil of pan-European empires, where its people had to decide which of the two superpowers was the lesser of two evils. While the two largest pan-European empires clashed, Britain with the Commonwealth and European allies fought against Germany and Italy on the desert plains of North Africa, and eventually fought their way to Sicily and the Italian mainland via the province of Campania, with North-West Europe invaded on 6th June 1944 at Normandy, and the end of the European theatre of war on May 8th 1945. From the end of 1941 to August 1945, the Japanese Empire waged a brutal and merciless war against the Western Allies in the Pacific and Far East, although it had been at war with the Chinese since 1937, and committed numerous war crimes against the civilian population and soldiers alike.
The Battle of Stalingrad, almost six months of fierce close-combat
As the situation on the Eastern Front became more desperate, the Nazis resorted to recruiting and conscripting European nationals into the Waffen-SS, even those they considered to be 'sub-human', which eventually totalled thirty-eight divisions, and even though some were never at divisional strength, half of them comprised mostly of Europeans commanded by German officers, such as the Latvian Legion. 16 The Eastern European conscripts, not enthused by the lofty idea of a united Europe and driven more by vengeance against the Communists, who had murdered their families and ravaged their lands, but the soldiers from Western Europe were avid proponents of unification, as they had not suffered occupation by the red vipers, although a hatred of Bolshevism was still embedded within them, primarily as they saw it and its followers as godless creatures. Eurocorps is comprised of battle groups formed from multi-national brigades, and under overall EU command, though I'm sure they will be renamed Kampfgruppens and be under German command, once the EU becomes the United States of Europe, that is, if it hasn't hopefully imploded by then. It is the most similar to the Waffen-SS, though that is due to its multi-ethnic organisational structure and not its actions, although it is also similar to how leading German officials planned a European wide army defence in 1943. 17
The idea of a European Confederation was proposed by Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister, in 1943, and would be similar in idea to the EU, but surprisingly with the nation states independent of Germany. 18 This was rejected by Hitler, as he maintained that Europe would be unified, not with countries equal to each other, but ruled by Teutonic steel, and it could be argued that the proposal was only lip-service to the Nazi's European allies. In France, the feeling of being European as opposed to French was becoming a common occurrence, as the Vichy Prime Minister Pierre Laval was supportive of it, and a Frenchman joined the LVF (Légion des volontaires français contre le bolchévisme), primarily to fight against Communism and later believed "that France should 'disregard its nationalism by integrating itself into a greater European organisation, following the example of Germany'". 19 Yet the proposal of a European customs union was made not just by the Nazi's, but also by some resistance groups during the war, although this varied from being part of a greater federated system, to a solely economic one so the states can focus on more pressing matters. 20 21
1945 brought about the death throes of the Third Reich, after the failure of the Ardennes Offensive and the Soviet assault along the Vistula-Oder rivers, and culminated with the Communists in the heart of Germany. The Battle in Berlin began on April 20th with the clash of steel and the gods of war duelling above as the sound reverberated around his underground bunker, and was defended by Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS and Volkssturm militia, but also included the French 33rd SS "Charlemagne" division, the Scandinavian 11th SS "Nordland" Panzergrenadier division, and even Spanish soldiers, where the invading Soviets and Poles utilised urban warfare tactics perfected through their numerous city battles such as Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Kolberg, and conquered the city by the beginning of May. Hitler's dream for a thousand-year Reich, free of what he termed "lesser races" and of a unified Europe, never materialised and lay dying in a pool of blood, after he had ignominiously shot himself on the 30th. Europe lay shattered in the wake of almost six years of a relentless, brutal war, with the question of unification now at the forefront of the Continent's politicians minds.
With Europe now divided into two spheres of influence between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the struggle for world dominance began between the two leading powers of America and the Soviet Union, with the Middle East in particular a testing ground for military technology, particularly tanks, with Israel supplied by the West and the Arabs mainly by the USSR, in their futile attempts to eradicate the Jews in their homeland. The Cold War turned questionable allies into undisputed enemies, and pitched the forces of freedom against those of Communism, whether it was in the former provinces of Indochina in Southeast Asia, the Korean Peninsula, or even in the Baltic states. Following the end of the Second World War, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania had been occupied by the Soviets, with the anti-Communist citizens into partisan groups called the Forest Brothers, and resisted them until the 1950s where it was supported by MI6, the CIA, and the Swedish intelligence services, but by this time the Soviets began their second attempt at the Russification of the Baltic states, and subsequently began mass deportations of the population again, removed their infrastructure, forcibly collectivised farms, and terrorised the citizens into spying on neighbours and denouncing them. 22 23
In Hungary growing unrest with the Communist collaborators led to widespread protests in 1956, though they were crushed by Soviet steel before the end of the year, but it would not be the last protest against the Soviets, and the onset of the 1980s brought with it increasing discontent within the Soviet Union and its vassal states, exacerbated by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, with key events such as the Berlin Wall collapse and Baltic Way in 1989, and caused it to finally collapse in 1991, which eventually lead to more of Europe controlled by the EU. The power dynamic between the USSR and its vassal states is similar to how the EU operates with its less powerful Eastern member states, were the Soviets used force and threatening behaviour the EU uses the might of economics and regulation to subdue them.
The current attempt at a pan-European empire, the European Union, began in the early days of the Cold War, with the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, although the idea was first promulgated by Friedrich Naumann in his book "Mittel Europa" in 1915, and one in which Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, a well-connected and influential count, championed in the 1920s, and found fertile ground for it in the wake of the Second World War. 24 In 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed by the six founding nations of France, Germany, Italy, and Benelux, and pushed Europe onto the road of ever-closer union, which turned an economic organisation into an increasingly politicised one, and enabled the centralisation of its finances. During the 1960s the EEC was under the influence of France, and attempts by Britain to join it were met with De Gaulle's 'non', even though he had owed his career as leader of the Free French in the Second World War to Macmillan, the Prime Minister and veteran of the Great War, but it eventually was allowed to join in 1973. 25 With the signing of the Maastricht Treaty on February 7 1992, the EEC was transformed into the European Union, with the exception of France, Denmark, and Ireland, as they had to put it to a referendum first, which they did and joined, now comprises of twenty seven nations, as thankfully Britain voted to leave on June 23rd 2016.
Like the previous attempts at pan-European empires, the EU will inevitably fail as it is based on the nonsensical idea that you can combine completely different nations and cultures under one government, with the sole reason that they share the same continent, and as Bismarck said, "Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression". 26The notion that the EU is responsible for peace in Europe is preposterous, given that it is NATO that has maintained the balance of power, and during the Cold War the threat was from the USSR, and not from within the EEC's borders, while the battleground had shifted to the rest of the world, and once it ended, new conflicts in Europe emerged such as those in Yugoslavia, Ossetia, and Abkhazia, and were racially driven as opposed to what are now obsolete land grabs, although in South America there are still wars fought about territory, the most recent one being the Cenepa War in 1995 between Peru and Ecuador, in which the former ultimately won, with the disputed area of Tiwinza recognised as theirs, and ended the almost 200-year-old border dispute. "A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavours can never take root", said Napoleon, and which explains why the EU is so determined to ensure people identify as European first and nation state second, and/while the eventual corruption of European history through the lens of unification will only lead to more division, where the Second World War will be portrayed as an attempt to prevent the unification of Europe by the bellicose nations of Britain, America and the Soviet Union. 27
The removal of national currency is one way that the EU is cementing its hold on Europe, as it causes smaller nations like Greece to be more dependent on Germany, the nation that is the power behind the throne of Brussels, and alongside the removal of nations elite units such as the Bersaglieri, Gebirgsjäger, and the French Foreign Legion, will make integration into the European Army easier, but both will ensure nations lose their sense of identity, while Switzerland is regarded as the l'enfant sauvage of Europe, given that it is not yet part of the EU, and will most likely eventually be forced in, to gain control over its vast reserves of money. For the EU, freedom is a stain that must be washed out, with its planned obsolescence of nations as it takes an increasing amount of power from them, and abolishes their borders so that its reach stretches the entire continent, and its emergence as a malignant, corporatist authoritarian superpower. Democracy in the EU is viewed as the same way that the Ancient Mariner originally saw the albatross and sea creatures, as a curse, and not a blessing, for without it there would be no accountability for the political class, with its Potemkin parliament only having one choice for the Commission presidency, chosen by the heads of states not for their ability, but for their political connections. As its leadership has the dangerous combination of hubris and power, it has grown accustomed to the idea that it is a Torii, the gateway between the mundane pan-European empires and the sacred United States of Europe.
After all the failed attempts at European unification, has the leadership of the EU learned that it will never be achieved? Like the alchemists of the Renaissance, they have set out to achieve an impossible task, and will only speed up its own demise. All of the most powerful pan-European empires have been held together by a key personality, whether it be Napoleon or Hitler, and in the EU I am unable to see any key politician that has the leadership skills to hold it together in a time of crisis, each personality has tried to unify Europe, tried, and failed. They have created a maze of lies, in which people believe European unification is in their best interests, when it is in fact about more control over people's lives. The EU's greed for more territory will inevitably lead to it collapsing under its own weight, and will cause Europe to revert to conflicts over land, as by then the inner borders would have completely disappeared. Once again the Ouroboros of European unity will eat its own tail.
1. Jose Manuel Barroso, 10 July 2007, Strasbourg
2. Caracalla Pg. 141
3. King and Emperor Pg. 197
4. The Teutonic Knights Pg. 89
5. Revolt in the Netherlands Pg. 21
6. The Holy Roman Empire Pg. 235.
7. Delors - Inside the House that Jacques Built Pg. 135
8. Latvia A Short History Pg. 105
9. Blenheim Battle for Europe Pg. 27
10. Napoleon the Great Pg. 276
11. Letter to Louis Bonaparte May 6 1807
12. Napoleon the Great Pg. 570
13. Islamic Imperialism Pg. 105
14. Leadership in War Pg. 69
15. Storm of War Pg. 554
16. Blood in the Forest Pg. 19
17. Documents on the History of European Integration Vol. 1 Pg. 157
18. Documents on the History of European Integration Vol. 1 Pg. 127
19. For Europe Pg. 229
20. Documents on the History of European Integration Vol. 1 Pg. 136
21. Documents on the History of European Integration Vol. 1 Pg. 521
22. Between Giants Pg. 322
23. Latvia A Short History Pg. 162-3
24. Journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs Vol. 9 No. 1 (Jan 1930) Pg. 4
25. Harold Macmillan Vol. 2 Pg. 447
26. Bismarck, May 14 1872, Reichstag Speech
27. Statement by Napoleon, 1803