By Tony Judt

“I am enthusiastically eu; no proficient individual may heavily desire to go back to the embattled, collectively adverse circle of suspicious and introverted international locations that was once the eu continent within the particularly contemporary earlier. however it is something to imagine an consequence fascinating, relatively one other to believe it truly is attainable. it truly is my rivalry really united Europe is adequately not going for it to be unwise and self-defeating to insist upon it. i'm hence, i assume, a Euro-pessimist.” —Tony Judt

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What is more, and despite the contribution of Marshall Aid, GATT, OECD, EFTA, and the EEC itself, the West European economies did not regain 1913 levels of import and export (as a percentage of GNP) until the mid-1970s. Until then they were simply making up for the cataclysmic collapse in trade of the years in between. 7 percent in 1980. K. paid for failing to join the European club. But France, whose 9. " She was wrong in both cases. {34} A GRAND ILLUSION? 9 percent in 1929, had climbed back to 10 percent by 1980.

5. Michael Howard, The Lessons of History (London, 1987), p. 127. 6. M. Durbin, Problems of Economic Planning (London, 1949). [25] TONY JUDT The Second World War was peculiar both in that it had divided countries against themselves and in that almost every European participant lost. It thus had the interesting and lasting consequence of giving the subContinent something else in common: a shared recent memory of war, civil war, occupation, and defeat. Despite the huge human losses of the First World War the sense of a common experience of conflict and destruction was far greater after 1945.

Certainly, a failure to reconstruct Europe in these years would have been disastrous; in 1946 there was little confidence in the prospect. "9 But what exactly was achieved as a result of the recovery of confidence and the economic renewal that ensued? , the Western Europeans contributed to their own prosperity by selling goods to one another. But this simply put Western Europeans back to where they had been in 1913, when some 60 percent of European countries' commerce was with one another. If anything, the interdependence of European trade and capital flows in the years 1850-1913 was probably greater than that achieved by the European Economic Community, at least until very recently.

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