The failure of the European Defense Community
The European Defense Community was created in 1952 by a treaty signed in Paris France. The community was aimed at ensuring that Europe is a more secure and peaceful place. It was also aimed towards unifying Europe and ensuring that the continent does not suffer from another war. However, the community did not manage to achieve its goals the community failed in 1954. Many people believe that the community failed because the French did not ratify the treaty which created it. However, this was not the actual scenario. There are a lot of events and circumstances that led to the creation of the community and its failure in 1954. While most believe that the French were the driving force behind the formation of the European Defense Community. France was just an agent for the united States ensure that its interest of a united Europe is achieved. This study is going to examine if United States was the main driving force behind the European Defense Community and its interests is what led to the failure of the community. The research will also weigh between what the United States found essential between a unified Europe of the fight against communism in Europe.
Formation of the European Defense Community
On 27[th] May 1952, the treaty putting the European Defense Community was signed. The treaty was made up of 132 articles which were to govern the activities and mandate of the community. The first move by the treaty was to create a 100,000 man army which was to serve as a special security branch for the entire Europe. A community was also set up under the treaty to make sure that the army is equipped with the right skills and weapons to fight any threat against Europe. The United States was right in the middle of the formation of the European Defense Community. This indicates that any enemy to the United States and the community can be viewed as an enemy of Europe since the treaty and the community was both made up of strong and powerful European countries. The treaty also contained an article that had a vision for a federally united Europe.
Under article 38 of the treaty, at some point the European society could be converted into federal government whose army will be under the control of the European Defense Community. The treaty gave French he task of overseeing the West German troops. France was also expected to give the highest number of troops under the new federal system. After its creation, NATO realized that E.D.C goals were similar to its own goals. This created ties between the two European organizations. Their common goal was to ensure the security of the Atlantic area. This made the relationship between the two organizations stronger and they vowed to reinforce each other. This gave the European Defense Community the edge it required to pursue its goals. This was another item for list of United State`s achievements in Europe considering the fact that the E.D.C represented their interests both economic wise and ideologically.
European Defense Community and the Marshall treaty
The 1930s was one of the worst periods for the United States. The country found itself in a poor economic state. Unemployment was high and those in employment positions suffered from low incomes. In order to save itself from this economic dilemma, the United States had to look for ways to get back in their feet. They decided to turn to Europe for raw materials and other forms of input that will help them recuperate economically. However, it was extremely hard for a country to move freely and access markets and raw materials. The United States had to come up with a way to do so. The main reason why the United States turned to Europe is that, economic conditions in Europe were not the same with those in the United States.
A main challenge being faced by main European powers by that time was that they were loosing colonies and most of them had resolved to self government. However, this was not an issue because trade between countries in Europe was successful. Another aspect that limited the United States is that the Second World War was around the corner and states were busy saving for the war and to ensure that they remain in a good economic position after the war. However, this did not succeed because main European economies were destroyed after the Second World War.
The business environment was absolutely destroyed both business and physical infrastructure did not exist anymore and it was critical to make sure that sanity is restored. However, it is safe to say that any developments done to improve Europe by the United States were for their own interest but not the European states interest. This is because the economic wreckage in Europe would soon spread into the United States if something was not done quickly. United States authorities had to act quickly to save Europe or they face the same consequences back at home. According to Marshall it was a brilliant move for the United States to fight to improve the economic situation across the globe.
A divided Europe was not the best place to invest their resources and inadequate control over the place could lead to failure to the Marshall plan. Therefore, due to the success they helped some European countries attain victory in the Second World War it was time to use the concept of military and security as a way to unite Europe. It was easier for the United States to control a continent with uniform ideas rather than control a continent with divided ideas. With varying ideas in play, it would be hard to control the continent since there will be those countries and individuals who will be fighting the ideologies put in place by the United States.
Therefore, it is safe to say that having a United Europe was in the best interest of the United States. This is because it assures them control over the continent. Another element that helped people see the intentions of the United States that they were ready to assist any country which played according to their rules. As it will be seen earlier, though it refrained from drafting the new European unity program it offered its terms and conditions to the most powerful European countries.
The then United States Marshall clearly stated that any international policies pursued by the United States were not against any country. He made it extremely clear that all those efforts were aimed at fighting chaos, hunger, desperation and poverty. The main purpose of those policies was to ensure that all economies go back to their initial position. The United States was a powerful country during this time and its efforts were greatly respected. The Marshall plan had both direct and indirect effects. If the plan was put to place, there will be increased wages and improved economic stats for individuals. The plan also favored those United States citizens who were doing business in Europe.
The main goal of the plan was to put the United States in a strong economic position by improving the economic conditions in Europe. The Marshall plan was accepted by United State citizens, farmers, business men and bankers. Most people must have missed on the main point of this plan. Europe was to open gates for the United States both as a market for their exports and a raw materials source. In return, the United States was to offer financial aid to the European countries. However, Europe`s productivity was law due to the effects of the war. Therefore, they were to use the financial aid from the United States to buy goods and access services from United States businessmen hence boosting the economic status of the U.S. other terms of the Marshall plan played an essential role in boosting the U.S currency value compared to other currencies making the United States economy to flourish.
The need for European unity
In order to support European economic recuperation, the United States was ready to offer financial assistance. However, this was for their own benefit due to their economic dependence on Europe. After putting the Marshall plan in effect, the United States had a wider look at the situation in Europe and saw that a united Europe will serve a better purpose than a divided Europe. To most people, a united Europe was possible but with the effects of the Second World War there was extremely little optimism. Gorge Marshall believed that there was need for a united Europe and if there was any agreement to be reached between the European countries, it was to be entirely based on the prevailing circumstance. Given the fact that United States was part of the situation it was a must that the country will have ultimate control over the new United Europe.
The United States refused to take part in designing the program to help Europe get back to its economic feet. However, it clearly stated what it expects from leading European economic powers. What the U.S expected was economic freedom in Europe. This involved an opportunity to do trade in Europe without any sanctions. The United States also recommended that the new agreement should run parallel with the Marshall treaty and should involve a given number of European countries if not all of them. The new program for Europe`s economic recovery was designed in line with the recommendations and needs of the United States. The most positive aspect of the agreement was that it was able to unite Europe after the Second World War. However, the program was not fair and entirely presented the interests of the United States. Germany greatly benefited from the economic and psychological favors that came along with the program due to the support from the United States. However, countries like France had extremely little to enjoy from the program.
The new program favored Germany due to the great support if offered the new program. The German chancellor took the initiative to explain the economic and political importance of the treaty to European countries. Having a common political goal for all the European countries was viewed as extremely crucial and the program provided just that. The German leader further explained the role of the U.S in the initiative. This is due to their efforts to promote European Unity. It is through this that most realized how the United States had worked hard to ensure European integration and more importantly the European Defense Community.
European Defense Community: European integration or trade interests
The role of this new community was not fully outlined. People looking from the sidelines were in a dilemma whether it is in place to ensure European unity of United State`s trade interests. Those in middle of it all had their own perspectives of the community. However, the United States had a clear picture of what constituted it and they were only interested in their economic dominance of Europe. Apart from fighting for economic resurrection and unity, the United States found them doing something else. It was in the fight to boost morale in the European community in order t combat the fast approaching communist threat. This was an ideology that was completely against the United State`s policy of a free world and market.
Therefore, in order to continue their dominance in Europe, they had to fight this new ideology. The task of boosting morale was given to General Eisenhower who played a pivotal role to ensure victory during the Second World War. His relationship with countries that made up the allied forces was a main factor in ensuring he succeeds in the efforts to build morale in Europe. However, the main goal of the U.S was to put to an end the spread of communism since it posed a threat to its economic and trade interests. General Eisenhower emphasized on the importance of having a united commons security force and the need for enlightened leadership. He went ahead to clarify that America`s presence in Europe was there to provide the required enlightened leadership and that it was the basis of collective security.
The United States being a positive image in Europe and Eisenhower being a war hero made the United State`s presence in Europe a success without nobody knowing the real reason why they are there. However, Eisenhower had a clear picture of what was going on. He understood that America needed raw materials available in Europe to sustain the living standards of the people of America and to maintain their economic dominance. Its presence in Europe ensured the security of its citizens since they were able to access minerals necessary to manufacture ammunition and weapons required to promote security in the country. Therefore, the main goal of their foreign policy was to keep on accessing materials necessary for their economic growth.
They had great ability after the war compared to other countries therefore great export capability. Tough there were minerals in other parts of the world their main interest was in Europe. Unlike other regions, Europe also offered a highly skilled labor force. This indicates that Europe offered the United States all factors of production. With such great control and capability, the United States was to serve as the central nerve for weapons for the entire world. Due to their alliance with European economic giants, the United States pushed them too towards attaining military superiority.
Russia was an obstacle
The Marshall plan was aimed at using Europe as a way of ensuring the United State`s economic superiority. The presence of different ideas within the continent will greatly limit the success of America in this new initiative. It had to devise mechanisms that will help combat the upcoming ideology started by Russia back in Asia. According to most accounts that described the Second World War, two super powers emerged after the war i.e. Russia and the United States. However, the truth was that, two ideologies emerged from the war. The United States championed for capitalism while Russia championed for communism. Russia strongly opposed the United State`s idea of a free market. This means that if Russia had dominance over Europe, efforts by the United States could fail because of different ideas. Part of the Marshall treaty that required European states to let the United States to trade freely in Europe would be automatically rejected leaving the United States at an unwanted economic position. Therefore, it was necessary to see to it that not two ideologies exist Europe but one which is capitalism. This is what contributed to the close relationship between the United States and Germany.
The two states were enemies during the Second World War. However, in the treaty forming the European Defense Community and in the E.D.C sessions, the United States was strongly behind German. This is because they had to struggle and make sure that Germany does not fall under the communist ideology. The close relationship with Germany is what clearly brought out the interests of the United States in Europe. The move to decide to rearm Germany can be viewed as a move to fight the first approaching communism ideology that was gaining attention across Europe. This move was received by great resentment by the French. This already displayed non uniformity in some states that were under the European Defense Community.
Rearmament of Germany
In 1950, the United States made a move to rearm Germany. This move entirely made to ensure that the Germans have enough fire power to stop the incumbent communist threat. Germany was denied military power after the Second World War and it was a sure thing that any country that was going to support its rearmament will win its support. The other nation which had the political and economic power to take over the support of Germany was Russia. However, due to the fact that they were communists and they were strongly against a free world. The United States could not let this happen at all costs. However, the move to rearm Germany was not welcomed warmly by other European powers especially France. This is the reason why Germany benefited greatly from the presence of a European Defense Community later in the 1952 more than France.
The French were strongly against this new move by the United States. at that time, Germany did not have any arms and the French Minister for Foreign Affairs declared that Germany will not have any arms. The French could not handle the fact that the world was going to witness a military and economically strong Germany. However, the French opinion did not matter at that time because the United States had been decisive and it was not ready to change its position. It will take more than being one of the European powers to go against a directive by the United States. It required economic military and political power to do so. However, the French lack this at the time because they had spent a lot of time and resources on the Second World War. On the other hand the United States was the one calling shots at that time and had a lot of economic and political power.
During the Second World War, the French suffered a lot under the Germans and would not like to see Germany regain the same economic and military superiority they had before the were. This is the reason why they were strongly against the new move by the United States. Citizens plus media houses joined the French government in the fight against rearmament of Germany. However, the French Military division had a different perspective. French generals and military planners from the United States were in agreement that without a rearmed Germany, the Europe defenses were weak. Therefore, it was in the best interest of the entire European community that the German had enough fire power.
However, Monnet knew better and advised the French authorities to act quickly. This is because he knew the move to rearm Germany was not in the best interest of Europe but it was aimed to keep protecting the interests of the United States. However, it was already late and the plan to rearm Germany was among the top agendas of the European Defense Community. It is extremely strange that even the German leadership was against it rearmament. Konrad Adenauer who was leader of German clearly stated he is being forced to create a new army for Germany. The German leader was against the rearmament of Germany because he knew that this will bring conflict in Europe. However, he was against any further wars and he was aimed at creating a more unified Europe. At this point it is clear that any party that was interested to ensure a unified Europe was against any rearmament and would support the French. This is a clear indication that the United States vouched for a less united Europe and a more protected Europe. A protected German will see to it that its ideologies are protected against communism.
Projections indicated that a rearmed Germany posed an extremely great threat to French. Even with this, the United States was not ready to give up the view that the Germans can be rearmed and the necessary controls be put in place to ensure that it does not lose its cool. Even the Europe Defense Community which the French created as its solution to the problems that faced it before the war regretted why it supported its formation. It was no longer serving the interest of the European community and event its own purpose of ensuring a safer Europe. This made the French to vote against the ratification of the E.D.C treaty by the French National Assembly in 1954. This led to its failure since French was its main supporter back in 1952.
Forming the European Defense Community was an extremely wise move by the French authorities. It was the right move to counter the power which the United States had collected and all the strategies it had in place to take over Europe. The decision by the United States is what contributed to a shift of mind in the side of the French. However, the United States was in play all along. It was calling shots all along and had a lot of influence in Europe and over the European Defense Community. First, it offered financial assistance to European countries after the Second World War with a lot of conditions. This substantially contributed to the power that the United States had over some countries.
It forced most of the European countries to sign the E.D.C treaty and went ahead to create a positive relationship between E.D.C and NATO. Therefore, it is quite evident that most countries under the treaty did not support the community but simply because the United States said they should join they had to. Therefore, the European Defense Community was not a European idea but an American idea. This greatly contributed to its failure. On the other hand, the move by the United States to rearm Germany contributed to the failure of the E.D.C. This is because it made the community loses the support of the French who were the creators of the Community. Therefore, the U.S is the cause for failure of the European Defense Community. On the other hand, the United States found preventing the entrance of communism in Europe more essential that ensuring unity in Europe.
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