• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The two world wars had the most significant impact on the development of European identity in the twentieth century.' Discuss

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The two world wars had the most significant impact on the development of European identity in the twentieth century.' Discuss Words 1698 European identity is a concept much deliberated due to its ambiguous nature, for it is a matter of opinion. However, in accordance to David Miller's, On Nationality, the main components of the formation of one's identity usually derive from five factors, which are; firstly through a recognition of one another shared by the members of the nation, secondly through an identifiable historical continuity, the third feature being an active identity of cohesive decisions, the fourth being the connection to a geographical place, and finally an identity requires shared characteristics. The development of a European identity has been a question of the definition, for the nations that symbolise Europe can be categorised through different aspects, such as political, economic, cultural or religious, and geographical. Therefore classing a nation, as 'typically' European is difficult, for to create an overview of a culture made of different nations is too ambiguous, and therefore this is vague enough to incorporate all aspects of being 'European'. Throughout the evolution of Europe significant points in history have altered the identity and ideas within it, such as the domination of religion throughout the Middle Ages which defined Europe through; the split of Rome in 395 and the fall of Constantinople to Mohammed II in 1435. ...read more.

Middle

They continued to live their lives (as Europeans), absorbed in national and ideological struggles and in the maintenance and extension of their cultural heritage."3 These wars threatened the nature of being European and as such drew its citizens closer to protecting it, as Amin Maalouf states in On Identity "It can happen that some incident fortunate or unfortunate accident, even a chance encounter, influences our sense of identity more strongly than ancient affiliation."4 Thus the impact of the wars brought about a change in identifying one another based upon a new sense of recognition. The wars altered the diversity of nations, the second world war saw Hitler's persecution of Jews lead to mass extermination, and as this was discovered a new breed of acceptance emerged after the war, such as with the embracement of black's in America through the helping in the war effort and the acceptance of women and their movements, such as universal suffrage in the UK 'as women over thirty were enfranchised in 1918, and those between twenty-one and thirty in 1928.'5 For incorporating and accepting those diverse from oneself it led to a widening of a common identity through recognizable characteristics. "We customarily take gender, ethnicity, and class as given parameters and boundaries within which we create our own social identities."6 Therefore to understand issues on identity and how they affect and are affected by social, political ...read more.

Conclusion

so incorporate them in to the 'European ideal' therefore this common European identity will be shared through the embracing and acknowledgement of a shared history, although turbulent it allows for a deeper recognition of one another's turmoil and history and provides the citizens with a shared experience as well as a shared will to avoid conflict. Thereby the world wars were extremely significant in provoking a reaction to embrace a European culture, and through nostalgia, such as films and television series such as Dads Army as Richards suggests, nostalgia towards the war will provoke this identity in to re-emerging. 1 Jeffery Richards, Films and British National Identity, From dickens to dads army, (Manchester University Press, 1997) P351 2 Emsley, et al, War, Peace and Social Change in Twentieth-Century Europe, (Open University Press, 1989) P129 3 H. Stuart Hughes, Contemporary Europe: A History (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall, 1971, 3rd edition) P1 4 Amin Maalouf, On Identity, trans Barbara Bray (London: Harvill, 2000) Pp10-11 5 Alan Palmer, The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Europe, (1789-1945), (Penguin Books, 1983) P275 6 John J. Gumperz, Introduction to language and social identity, (1993) P1 7 Jeffery Richards, Films and British National Identity, From dickens to dads army, (Manchester University Press, 1997) P351-3 8 David Welch, Modern European History, (Routledge, 1999), P94 9 Martin J. Dedman, The Origins and Development of the European Union 1945-95 (Routledge 1996) P3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. Why did many British colonies demand independence from Britain in the years immediately after ...

    countries so manufacturers there would have a large market to sell in even bigger than USA. Britain refused to join the EEC because they still looked on themselves as a world power. But after the EEC was doing well, Britain joined a new group called EFTA, this group was not a success.

  2. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    Training and development Training and development are vitally important for the overall efficiency and competitiveness of an organisation. There are several types of training and development programmes designed to fulfil a variety of company needs: * coaching * apprenticeship

  1. The French Revolution

    The King had failed to introduce the potato as an important crop in France and this meant there was even less food in France than in other areas of Europe suffering a famine. Secondly, the previous king had fought many wars for France which cost them a lot of money, and led the country towards bankruptcy.

  2. The EU's CFSP and the Iraq Crisis: A Catalyst for Change?

    Though the EU by-and-large prefers to work through the UN in matters of war and peace, ironically, it does not exist at the UN as a legal personality. And thus the EU is left to work through a Security Council which invites Britain and France, the respective ringleaders of opposing

  1. Transformation of the U.S. Hegemony in Europe through NATO after the Cold War

    These new initiatives, together with NATO's traditional security and defense policy regarding Europe was melted in the same pot, known as "European Security and Policy Identity (ESDI)", which was envisioned in NATO Strategic Concept of 1991.This new identity was

  2. What does citizenship mean in the European context?

    Neither the subjective element (the sense of shared collective identity and loyalty) nor the objective conditions which could produce these (the kind of homogeneity of the organic national-cultural conditions on which peoplehood depend such as shared culture, a shared sense of history, a shared means of communication(!)

  1. EU army

    in 1949 to provide the security apparatus ready to defend mainland Europe against a possible Soviet invasion. During the First and Second World Wars, the US's assistance was vital. The USSR possessed more troops than the whole of Western Europe, so US had to intervene to provide some parity.

  2. Regulation 2560/2001 on cross-border payments in Europe.

    In short, the handling of cross-border money transfers is inefficient and thus costly. Moreover, the relative unimportance of cross-border payments do not justify high investment costs. The second argument in Mr. Arnold's speech is the incompatibility of the processing systems in the various euro area countries.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work