Federal Plans for Post War European Order Within Anti-Fascist Movements During World War Two Term Paper
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European Federalism: Historical Analysis
Fascism is considered to be a political belief and concept, which is based on the principle that social, economic and cultural and traditional beliefs of a country must be used in order to increase nationalism. In Europe, fascist movements had emerged in twentieth century. The goal of these fascist movements was to promote fundamentalist and fanatic beliefs in order to deal with the social and political turmoil that occurred in the European region after the end of World War I. Federalism is considered to be the theory, which is based on the principles of federation, which seeks to create a balance of power by dividing it among the member of the same institution. The aim of this paper is to historically analyze the rise of European Union from 1918 to the end of World War II in the lights of broad and diverse academic resources. Furthermore, the Threat of Fascism
Fascism is considered to be a political belief and concept, which is based on the principle that social, economic and cultural and traditional beliefs of a country must be used in order to increase nationalism. It completely repudiates the principles of liberty including freedom rights, individual rights and other democratic values and ideas (Boka, 2005, 7). The goals and objectives of fascism are idealistic in nature and promise to build utopia to its followers but in reality, fascist movements have brought nothing but destruction to societies where it is entrenched. There is no doubt that fascism represents racism, discrimination, violence, aggression, fundamentalism, etc.
The term was introduced by Benito Mussolini in the year 1919, an Italian dictator. " The term comes from the Italian word fascio, which means ?nion-or ?eague. It also refers to the ancient Roman symbol of power, the fasces, a bundle of sticks bound to an ax, which represented civic unity and the authority of Roman officials to punish wrongdoers" (Boka, 2005, 9).
In Europe, fascist movements had emerged in twentieth century. The goal of these fascist movements was to promote fundamentalist and fanatic beliefs in order to deal with the social and political turmoil that occurred in the European region after the end of World War I (Boka, 2005,15)
. The fascist movements in Europe failed in the European region except for Germany and Italy. During the time of World War I, the fascist movements in Germany and Italy had been successful in gaining complete power in their respective countries and thus, sought to seek full and complete control over Europe. This resulted in World War II, in which millions of innocent people died. The impact of fascism on the European community cannot be forgotten and therefore, the era of 1918 till 1945 is considered to be the fascist era.
Federalism is considered to be the theory, which is based on the principles of federal, which seeks to create a balance of power by dividing it among the member of the same institution. A federal state is different from the unitary state on the basis of power as the "sovereignty in federal political orders is non-centralized, often constitutionally, between at least two levels so that units at each level have final authority and can be self-governing in some issue area" (Boka, 2005, 18). Thus, citizens living in federation have individual rights. The member unit and the center have the power, which is divided. This division is dependent on international, foreign and defense policy. The member units responsible for making decisions can also take active part in the central decision process. Federalism has gained significant attention worldwide. It is defined as a theory or concept, which divides the power between each and every member unit in a federation. A federation is defined as "a territorial division of power between constituent units -- sometimes called 'provinces', 'cantons', or confusingly 'states' -- and a common government. This division of power is typically entrenched in a constitution which neither a member unit nor the common government can alter unilaterally" (Boka, 2005, 18).
History of Federalism
This section of the paper seeks to discuss the history of federalism. According to researchers, Johannes Athusius is considered to be the pioneer of federalism theory. He written a book by the name of Politica Methodice Digesta, in which he made arguments that the city of Emden must be autonomous. Authusius had madea strong impact on several individuals and communities specifically
Calvinism and French Huguenots (Boka 2006,310). To show opposition against oppression and tyranny, Calvinists devised "a doctrine of resistance as the right and duty of "natural leaders" to resist tyranny"( Boka 2006,311)
. Their belief was that "sovereignty in the social circles subordinate only to God's laws" (Boka 2006,311). On the other hand, the French Huguenots were Protestants and they adopted a theory of legitimacy. The theory had been presented in the year 1579 in Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. According to the French Huguenots, God had given power to communities to resist tyrant rulers. Athusius was a staunch oppose of theocracy and thus, introduced the political theory of federation in order to voice against religious involvements of the state to promote the right religion (Boka 2006, 312). Authsius promoted secular agreements in order to promote alliances among different communities to safeguard and protect the right of everyone. On basis of alliances, Ludolph Hugo is considered to be the first individual, who gave the idea of double governments, which power distributed on basis of territory. Montesquieu also gave the idea of federalism. In his Spirit of Laws, which was introduced in 1748, he stated that a confederation can be proved to be beneficial for all small and large political components (Levi, 1990, 114). He believed that confederation provided security and protected the rights of smaller political units. Simultaneously, military protection can be given to larger states, which are in the confederation. Furthermore, he believed that a confederate republic allowed the distribution of power, which could not be misused. In return, the larger states get the power to maintain the security of the entire confederate republic. The confederate republic also allows each member units to check on another in order to see if the power is being misused by one member state on another. In terms of federalism, David Hume did not agree with Montesquieu on the grounds that the smaller size of the unit is better. Instead, he preferred a large democracy in order to maintain the principles and fundamentals of democracy.
During the eighteenth century, In Europe, confederation plans had been made by Abbe Charles de Saint-Pierre in order to "allow intervention in member units to quell rebellion and wars on non-members to force them to join an established confederation, and required unanimity for changes to the agreement" (Lindberg, 1963, 17). The idea of confederation has also been supported by Immanuel Kant in his work, On Perpetual Peace. According to him,
Perpetual Peace holds that the right of nations shall be based on a pacific federation among free states rather than a peace treaty or an international state: "This federation does not aim to acquire any power like that of a state, but merely to preserve and secure the freedom of each state in itself, along with that of the other confederated states, although this does not mean that they need to submit to public laws and to a coercive power which enforces them, as do men in a state of nature."( Boka 2006,322) .
The Constitution of United States in the year 1787 also laid down the fundamental and clear development in terms of federalism (Boka, 2006, 322). The main element in federation was that all the states and citizens were unified as in accordance to the constitution of U.S..
The concept of federalism emerged in the Europe as a result of opposition against tyrant rulers and dictators in order to create a unified Europe, with no racism and no borders. The idea of European federation is not new and it can be found during the eighteenth century. In the year 1941, Ventotene Manifesto "set out the "dividing line between progress and reaction" between those who regard a European federation to be the primary objective of the political struggle, and those who continue to think that the values of liberty, freedom and social justice can be pursued within the nation-state. It was for this reason that the Movimento Federalista Europeo was founded in Italy" (Loth, 1990, 178). After the end of World War II, the European nations sought for the unification of Europe and to develop a federation in order to maintain the security, rights and welfare of its citizens. During the fifties, significant attempts were made by Jean Monnet and Altiero Spinelli, in order to unify the European governments to achieve and attain political stability and unity. After the end of World War I, several attempts were made to achieve European federalism in order to combat the fascist movements that had emerged in Italy and Germany (Boka 2006,325) ."In Germany, from 1914, the group Neues Vaterland…
Sources Used in Documents:
1. Boka Eva (2005): The Democratic European Idea in Central Europe, 1849-1945 (Federalism contra Nationalism) Specimina Nova, University of Pecs,2005. 7-24
2. Boka Eva (2006): In Search of European federalism. Society and Economy (The Journal of the Corvinus University of Budapest), 28. 2006. 3. 309-331.
3. Levi, Lucio (ed.) (1990): Altiero Spinelli and Federalism in Europe and in the World. Franco Angeli, Milan
4. Lindberg, Leon (1963): The Political Dynamics of European Economic Integration. Stanford University Press
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