Degree Name

BA

Department

Germanic and Slavic Languages

College

Humanities

Defense Date

2005

Publication Date

2005-10

First Faculty Advisor

Robert McFarland

Honors Coordinator

Scott Miller

Abstract

The Hauptargumenten of politicians and citizens concerning the advantages and disadvantages of the EU are almost exclusively economic or political in nature: lower tariffs; loss of monetary instruments; immigration; disenfranchisement; etc. The object of my thesis is to remind everyone, amid the flurry of speculation and uncertainty prevalent in Europe since the French rejection of the EU constitution, that a major benefit of the European integration is peace, on a continent that has been ravaged by war for centuries. I prove that the establishment of peace was a major element in European unification by confirming links between peace movements and evolving pan European ideas and political machinery. Limiting my research to the late 19th century, I focus on the following specific peace conferences, organizations, and activists: the 1899 Hague Peace Conference; the Interparliamentary Union; the Universal Peace Congress; and Bertha von Suttner. My research has yielded compelling evidence of early calls and movements for a united Europe in the name of peace, as well as actual political “peace” mechanisms and measures to bring about this unification. Understanding that peace was a major element in the development of modern united Europe reminds the EU of its heritage, helping resolve the current EU crisis by arguing for integration, which fosters peace.

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