April 27th in German History: The Ratification of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss

Page one of the printed edition of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss. Image Credit: Wikipedia

The Holy Roman Empire was a confederation of states that was the major power in central Europe for nearly a thousand years. Created when Charlemagne was made the first Holy Roman Emperor, the Empire changed dramatically from a single state with a hereditary monarch to a coalition of states with one of the rulers elected as emperor, to a Hegemony controlled by Austria to, finally, after the Thirty Year’s War, an entity with little real significance as the states became more and more independent and the title of Emperor was increasingly just a title tacked on before the name of the Austrian Emperor. In the waning days of the Holy Roman Empire, as Protestant Prussia grew in power and Austria stagnated, there were attempts at reform and consolidation of the empire, but they failed to reduce its decline. The death blow came during the French Revolution, when Napoleon defeated several Austrian armies and annexed territories west of the Rhine river into France. This understandably angered many of the affected German States, and so Russia and France, the Emperor was shut out of the decision-making process, made a plan in June of 1802 to compensate the German Princes for lost land. Based on the Plan a law, the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, or the Final Recess, was submitted to the Reichstag which secularized 70 ecclesiastical states and incorporated 45 Imperial Free Cities into nearby states. The ecclesiastical states, a category including bishoprics, abbeys, and priories, were given to various princes as compensation for lost land with the exception of the Archbishopric of Regensburg and the lands of the Knights of Saint John and also of the Teutonic Knights. The law was ratified by the Emperor on April 27th of 1803 after the Reichstag passed it unanimously.

The Final Recess weakened the Emperor as many of the bishoprics and abbeys were under Imperial control and so provided revenues to the Emperor. The abolition of all but six Imperial Free Cities also weakened the Emperor’s position as it strengthened the states that were nominally under his control and decreased his revenues. The consolidation of territories into larger states like Bavaria, Baden, and Prussia shifted the balance of power out of Austria’s favor. It also shifted the balance in favor of Protestant states, as they received the most land from it. Further, the resolution also established the precedent that France and her allies in Germany could gain territory and status, which they would do most notably in 1806-when 80 states were annexed into larger states of the confederation of the Rhine, a French satellite state. That same year, the Holy Roman Empire would cease to exist, finally ending one of the last vestiges of the Middle Ages. Austria would continue to be a major power, but it would lose more and more influence in the rest of Germany until, finally, the German Empire was formed under Prussia rather than under Austria. The dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire serves as yet another example of the dangers of unrestrained autonomy and separate levels of sovereignty. The German States all had competing interests and were often unable to unite against outside threats. The Holy Roman Empire fell victim to the same competing nationalism and self-interest that broke up Yugoslavia and accelerated the collapse of the Soviet Union. When nations consider giving sub-regions autonomy or delegating authority to local governments, they should consider what long-term effects the creation of another governmental entity with its authority and its own objectives will have on the nation as a whole.

April 26th in German History: The Bombing of Guernica

10 Facts About Guernica by Pablo Picasso
Guernica. Credit: Pablo Picasso.org

The Spanish Civil War is a conflict not often mentioned in most American history classes. Such classes perhaps merit a brief mention by teachers or perhaps a few pages of a reading assignment, but little time is spent examining the causes, effects, and details of the war. If anything, the Spanish Civil War is featured more prominently in literature classes because of books like For Whom the Bell Tolls and Homage to Catalonia. Perhaps the most well-known part of the war is such because it is the subject of an odd-looking painting by Pablo Picasso. I refer to, of course, of the bombing of Guernica by German bombers on April 25th of 1937.

The Spanish Civil War began in 1936 and multiple nations soon sent troops and weapons to the two sides. In addition to wanting to ensure that their preferred side won the war, many nations intervened in order to test new weapons. The two largest contributors were Fascist Germany and Nazi Germany, which supported Nationalist Spain, but the Soviet Union also provided aid to the Republicans. The German “Volunteers” were part of the Condor Legion, which at the start of the Civil War had flown Nationalist leader Francisco Franco to mainland France from Africa along with the well-trained Army of Africa that he commanded. The Condor Legion was made entirely of personnel from the German Luftwaffe. Germany sent no ground forces, and throughout the war it would aid the Nationalists by carrying out tactical and strategic bombing campaigns and helping supply Nationalist ground forces. Their most famous operation was the bombing of Guernica, a town in the Basque region of Northern Spain. The town of Guernica had proclaimed neutrality in the conflict, although the Basque region as a whole did oppose the Nationalists as the Republicans promised them more autonomy. The Condor Legion, in accordance with a request from the Nationalist side, began bombing the town at 4:30 pm when the market in the center of the town was the busiest. The bombing lasted for three hours and was carried out by Ju 52 and He 111 planes. The estimates of civilians killed vary from 150 to 1650, the smaller number having been provided by local authorities and the other one by the Basque government. The Republican government commissioned Picasso to paint Guernica to commemorate and communicate the horror of the bombing.

The bombing of Guernica created widespread outrage and increased anti-Fascist sentiment in many nations. New York Times reporter George Steer found concrete evidence that the bombs were German and so proved that the official German position of neutrality in the war was a lie. However, the international revulsion at the bombing did not stop it from being repeated on hundreds of cities in the coming years. Germany would use tactics learned in the Spanish Civil War in its bombings of British and French cities, and the Allies would use strategic bombing to a far greater effect on German and Japanese cities. If a tactic is effective in war, there is little that international condemnation can do to stop its use, especially in a conflict as large as the Second World War. The concept of a civilized war is a fallacy, nations will do whatever is necessary to win, they will not suffer defeat just because the methods necessary to victory are inhumane. Preventing war in the first place is the only real solution, for the rules of war will be broken as soon as one side believes that doing so will give them a necessary advantage.

April 25th in German History: Elbe Day, American and Soviet Forces meet

An arranged photo of an American and a Russian solider to commemorate the meeting of the two nations on April 25th. Image Credit: Wikipedia.

The Second World War was the single deadliest conflict in human history. Germany, or at least its leader, began the war believing that it could carve out a new Empire in Europe and secure Germany’s position as the greatest nation on the planet. That belief was kept alive even as German armies stalled in Russia and Africa and then began to suffer defeat after defeat. By the time the war entered its fourth year, the German people and much of the military leadership began to loose faith in victory, not least because German cities were reduced to rubble by Allied bombers. In this crisis of morale, the German leadership attempted to convince the people that they would win in the end. One of the ways they did this was by proposing the idea that the Eastern and Western Allies would turn on each other. Because the two halves of the Alliance were so ideologically opposed, their alliance would surely breakdown once they neared victory and that Germany could play the two sides off of each other. This theory was peddled more and more as the Soviet Union advanced from the East and the British and Americans from the West, the two sides coming closer and closer into contact with each other. However, attempts by conspirators to negotiate a separate peace with the West were rebuffed, and all of the Allied Powers remained committed to forcing Germany into an unconditional surrender. Nevertheless, as Germany collapsed some in the leadership still believed that the Alliance would break down. This fever dream was finally dispelled when on April 25th, 1945 the Soviet Union encircled Berlin and Soviet forces came into contact with American troops on the Western bank of the Elbe River and in Torgau. This bisection of Germany was not only another nail in the coffin for the Third Reich, but was a culmination of Allied diplomacy and cooperation far greater and far more effective than any cooperation between the Axis Powers. Celebrations were held in both New York and Moscow once news of the meeting was spread. In Moscow, 324 guns were fired in salute and in New York crowds celebrated in Times Square. The Battle of Berlin would still carry on for another week, but the remaining military actions would be essentially mop up operations against Hitler’s shattered armies.

While the cutting in half of Germany was certainly a strategically important accomplishment, that is not its main significance. At that point there was nothing the Germans could have done to win the war. German formations were almost entirely depleted, the German people were exhausted, and German industry was in either Allied hands, in ruins, or both. The meeting between Soviet and American forces is important because it showed once and for all the unity of the Allied Powers. This was in contrast to the competition between Axis Powers and also within Germany itself. While the Western Allies would very soon find themselves at odds with the Soviet Union, that was yet to come. The victory that resulted from their cooperation shows what nations can do when working together. Common goals can overcome even the most stark ideological differences and allow disparate nations to do great things.

April 23rd in German History: The Birth of Max Planck

Max Planck | Biography, Discoveries, & Quantum Theory | Britannica

When one thinks of physicists one generally thinks of Einstein, the most famous, or maybe more recent examples like Stephen Hawking. One who I think deserves far more recognition and popular attention than he receives is Max Planck.

Planck was born on April 23rd of 1858 in the city of Kiel in Holstein. Planck was there when Prussian and Austrian troops entered the city during the Second Schleswig War, but his family moved to Munich three years after in 1867. Planck first encountered physics when Herman Muller taught him about the conservation of energy, and he would go on to study theoretical physics and earn a doctorate in it by 1880. Planck would hold various academic positions but would not become a person of note until 1900 when he presented a paper detailing an explanation of phenomena he had observed in blackbody radiation. In it, he argued that energy is transferred in amount of specific size and in a discrete manner. He proposed the equation E=hv for the energy of a quanta, his proposed unit of energy, where h is his constant and v is the frequency of the radiation. In order to create this equation Planck had to assume a statistical interpretation of the second Law of Thermodynamics which essentially says that entropy is not decreased in a reaction because it is statistically very unlikely. Initially, Plank did not think of the quantized energy assumption as something of great importance, but it has since been considered the birth of modern physics. Planck was a conservative minded scientist and tried to reconcile energy quanta with classical physics, but to no avail. Following the publishing of his work, Planck became one of the most influential scientists in Europe. He was one of the few who initially realized the importance of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and worked to extend it and make it accepted in Europe. Einstein was able to convince Planck of the truth of the photon at the First Solvay Conference and the two became friends after Planck, as Dean of the University of Berlin, made Einstein a professor there. Planck would make no more major scientific contributions, but would become the most influential scientist in Germany because of what he had already done. He initially supported the First World War but towards the end began to criticize Germany’s war policies. During the interwar period he initially attempted to wait out the Nazis, believing they would lose power quickly, but eventually began to subvert them by allowing Jewish scientists to continue working. Planck thus became a target of the Nazi’s ire and was pressured not to seek another term as the President of Kaiser Wilhelm Society in 1936. The Prussian Academy was taken over by the Nazis in 1938 and Planck resigned in protest. Planck continued to give talks but generally faded from the public scene and spent most of his time in his home in Berlin. In 1944 his son Erwin was arrested for suspected involvement in the plot to kill Hitler and he was executed in 1945. This devastated Planck and he died in the the city of Gottingen in 1947.

Max Planck was an interesting case of a scientist who disliked the implications of his own discovery and attempted to push back against work that built on it. He, along with Einstein, especially detested the philosophical implications of the Quantum Mechanics of Heisenberg and Pauli but was unable to argue against the experimental results which supported it. Planck should be remembered for his groundbreaking work, yes, but also for what his attitude shows us. Those who revolutionize science are not always eager mavericks heedlessly pushing forward without any concern for what their discoveries mean. Many, like Max Planck, are forced towards their conclusions out of desperation and are unwilling in their revolutionizing of science and the world at large.

April 22nd in German History: Chemical Weapons on the Western Front

Land Battles - Second Ypres | Canada and the First World War
Canadian troops defend against German assaults. Image Credit: Canadian War Museum.

On April 22nd, 1915, the Second Battle of Ypres began with a German offensive against Allied lines in Flanders. The battle is notorious because it saw the first use of chemical warfare on the Western Front as the Germans unleashed chlorine gas on Allied defenders. The Germans has used chemical weapons on the Russian front earlier that year, but on a relatively small scale. Gas was first used in the Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge, part of the great Second Battle of Ypres. The gas initially caused around 1000 fatalities among the French defenders and thousands more wounded. Many of the defenders fled from the gas, although many stayed and attempted to wait out the gas cloud. The Germans recorded twelve dead from gas during the battle, a testament to the fickle nature of the wind which would often blow the gas back towards German lines. The Germans would use gas a second time on the 24th of April during the Battle of St. Julien, although by this time the French, British, and Canadian defenders had begun to use cloth soaked in urine as an improvised gas mask, as ammonia helped neutralize the effects of the Chlorine. The Germans were further unable to break the British lines at the Battles of Frezenberg and Bellwaarde in May, in part because German troops were hesitant to advance into areas recently targeted with gas. In the end, the Second battle of Ypres would result in only minimal German gains, although the Germans were able to inflict more casualties than they received. Chlorine gas would not break the stalemate on the Western Front.

Despite this initially mediocre performance, the Allied Powers immateriality began to develop their own gas and would use it on the Germans in the same year. Both sides would also develop better and better gas masks that would eventually negate most the the impact of chlorine gas. The Germans would maintain the lead in Chemical Warfare development, however, with the introduction of mustard gas in 1917. Mustard gas damaged the skin and so ignored gas masks, but the implementation of protective clothing was able to mitigate its impacts. In the end, chemical weapons would not be the miracle weapon that would break the trenches as both sides had the resources necessary to develop protective measures. Around 30,000 troops were killed by chemical weapons over the course of the war, a large number but one far smaller than the number of troops killed by artillery or simply rifles. Chemical warfare has been far more effective, however, as a weapon against the defenseless. Fascist Italy used it against Ethiopia when their invasion proved too costly, and it was used in the Iran-Iraq War and in Yemen in the 1960s. In all of these cases the target lacked gas masks and other protective measures and so suffered horribly. Chemical weapons are thus a weapon best used by the strong against the weak or against civilian populations, as a strong military can easily guard against it. The measures to limit their stockpiling and ban their use must be enforced so as to prevent warfare from becoming even more indiscriminate and deadly than it already is. War is already bad enough for civilians caught in the middle; it need not be made worse by one of the most gruesome products of humanity’s cold genius.

April 21st in German History: The Last Flight of the Red Baron

Manfred von Richthofen - Wikipedia
Manfred von Richthofen.

On April 21st, 1917, Manfred von Richthofen died. More popularly known as the Red Baron, his exploits during the First World War are famous not just in Germany, but in Europe and the world at large. Gaining the name because of his noble heritage and his plane’s distinctive color, Manfred was the most successful fighter pilot of the war in terms of confirmed kills and received a great deal of attention and popularization during his life and after his death. The Red Baron has been the subject of movies, books, and even things as mundane as the names of businesses and references in children’s cartoons. He and his flying circus, the popular name for the squadron he commanded, have become to some extent idolized as a more glamorous side of warfare.

Manfred von Richthofen was born in 1892 in Silesia, which is now part of Poland, into an aristocratic family. He began military training at the age of 11 and joined a unit of Ulhans, light lancer cavalry, in 1911. The German Army quickly realized that cavalry was hopelessly outdated in modern warfare, and Manfred’s regiment was dismounted and served as dispatch runners. Manfred disliked this, and so applied for a transfer to the Air Service and was accepted. He joined the flying service in May of 1915. He was initially a poor pilot, he crashed during his first flight, but quickly improved and shot down a French plane over Verdun on April 26th of 1916, although he did not receive credit. He scored his first confirmed kill over Cambraii in September and began the practice of engraving a silver cup with the date and type of each aircraft he shot down. He would continue this practice until Germany’s depleted silver levels prevented the supply of silver cups. Manfred would go on to win dozens of victories and would eventually be given command of his own squadron and alter a flight wing. Manfred was tactically adept, and he trained the pilots under his command. These pilots began painting their aircraft red in imitation of the Baron, and this along with his squadron’s use of tents and caravans resulted in it being called the “Flying Circus.” On July 6th, 1917 Manfred sustained a head injury in a dogfight with British aircraft, and had to be hospitalized. However, he returned to combat against the wishes of his doctor on the 25th of July, but later had to take leave for two months. During his time on leave the German Military ordered him to write an autobiographic sketch for propaganda purposes, and it, The Red Fighter Pilot, was heavily edited. Further, the Military did not wanted Manfred to resume flying for fear of the morale damage that his death would do to the German population. Manfred, however, insisted on resuming flying and did so for several months. He was killed on the 21st of April, 1918, while pursuing a British fighter near the Somme. A single bullet shot from either his quarry or ground forces damaged his heart and quickly killed him, although he was able to land. The lack of judgement that Manfred displayed in this last action, he made himself vulnerable to ground fire and traveled over enemy lines, has led to speculation that combat stress and his head injury affected his performance. Regardless, that a pilot with such notoriety and able to survive for multiple years in that era, when parachutes were not common and planes were rickety wooden contraptions, is a testament to his skill.

While the Red Baron’s skill at combat and fame should not be understated, neither he nor any other person who gains fame for their personal exploits in combat should be idolized, especially by a populace in peacetime. The idolization of those who fight well is certainly understandable, but it can lead to the glorification of war in general. The glorification of war is never a good thing. War is at best necessary, never good, and it should be avoided lest it lead a populace to more readily go to war. We must remember that so many of these war heroes, including the Red Baron, died in combat. His success ended in tragedy. Tragedy is the single most common result of all armed conflict.

April 20th in German History: Adolf Hitler’s Birthday

Adolf Hitler as an infant. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Today is one of the darkest days in German History, and a day that is very sensitive to a lot of people who know what happened on it. On April 20th, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, an Austrian Town, to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl.

Hitler had a troubled childhood. His family moved a great deal and he did poorly in school. Hitler’s father beat him for this, and Hitler developed a hatred of him and a great affection for his mother. It was also during his younger years that Hitler developed a strong sense of German nationalism, and he sang a German anthem rather than the Austrian one and used the Heil greeting with his friends. After his father died in 1903, Hitler was allowed to leave his school and Linz by his mother and enrolled in one at Steyr. He was able to pass his final exam at that school, but after leaving it had no career or educational aspirations. In 1907 Hitler tried to enter the Vienna art school but was rejected twice. It that same year his mother died. This left Hitler emotionally distraught and he soon also ran out of money. He was left homeless and made a living as a day laborer and selling his artwork. It was in this state of abject failure that Hitler was first introduced to racist and antisemitic rhetoric by the Populists like Vienna mayor Karl Lueger and local newspapers. Further, Hitler became influenced by philosophers like Georg Ritter von Schonerer, whose German Nationalist and anti Catholic philosophy further influenced Hitler’s mindset. Hitler was conscripted into the Austrian Army in 1913 but was deemed unfit for service due to medical reasons. Hitler joined the Bavarian Army during WWI and served with distinction, being awarded the Iron Cross, ironically at the recommendation of his Jewish commanding officer. While recuperating from his wound in a hospital Hitler received word of the German capitulation, which surprised and angered him. He almost immediately began to believe in the stab-in-the-back myth, which said that the army had been betrayed by Communists, Jews, and civilians who signed the armistice. Hitler remained in the army after WWI and was sent to spy on the German Worker’s Party. He found the Party’s message appealing and soon joined it, resigning from the army in 1920. He became the Party’s main spokesperson and soon supplanted Anton Drexler as its leader. The Party had by this time changed its name to the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, or Nazi Party. The Party attempted to take over the government of Bavaria in the Beer Hall Pusch but was stopped and Hitler was arrested. The judges were sympathetic to him and gave him a lenient sentence and during his time in prison he wrote Mein Kampf. After leaving prison, Hitler set about rehabilitating the Nazi Party’s image, but was unable to gain traction in an era of relative prosperity and stability. Once the Great Depression plunged Germany into a new era of poverty, instability, and paranoia, though, the popularity of the Nazi Party soared and Hitler was invited into the government. Hitler quickly set about securing himself more power and after President Hindenburg died he established the office of Fuhrer, supreme leader, and appointed himself to it. The next several years were spent securing his control over Germany, rearming, and implementing his racial policies. Several years of expansion came to a head when in 1939 Hitler invaded Poland and in response France and Britain declared war on Germany. The war initially went well for the Germans, with Poland, France, and several minor nations capitulating and leaving Britain isolated. However, in accordance with Hitler’s desire for Lebensraum and hatred of communism, Germany invaded Russia in 1941 and quickly became bogged down. The war gradually turned against Germany as the US entered the war and reverses in North Africa and the Atlantic put Germany on the defensive. Disasters at Stalingrad and the capitulation of Italy to the Allies in 1943 would decisively turn the war against Germany, and Hitler would become more and more unstable and deranged as Germany collapsed around him. It was at this point that the Nazis intensified their racial plans, and implemented the final solution, killing millions. After three years of setbacks and defeats, Germany would be pushed back to Berlin and Hitler would commit suicide in his bunker on April 30th, just ten days after his 56th birthday.

I often say that it is important to remember history so that we may learn from it and not repeat its mistakes. At the risk of sounding redundant, the life and crimes of Adolf Hitler must be remembered not only in the countries he lead or invaded but around the world. In the West younger generations are taught a lot about Hitler both in school and by most aspects of our media and culture, but that is not so everywhere. In many East Asian nations, Hitler and Nazism is seen as a joke by those who never experienced it first hand. People wear Nazi armbands and SS uniforms are popularized in entertainment and popular culture. This worries me, as it suggests that the world, in its complacency, may yet come to forget how Hitler rose to power and let a similar leader do the same.

April 19th in German History: The Protestant Reformation

John, the elector of Saxony. One of the protesters. Image Credit: Wikipedia

One of the most influential events in the history of Germany, one that still divides Germany today, is the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation first began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church and it quickly spread across Europe via the printing press. It spread first to the German principalities and cities which were closer to the point where the Reformation started. These States had traditionally enjoyed a great deal of autonomy within the Holy Roman Empire and so thought that they had the right to choose whether or not they would accept the reformation. The Imperial Diet had, however, in 1521 banned the word of Martin Luther in an attempt to maintain religious unity within the Empire. In the 1526 Imperial Diet, the Edict of Worms allowed each prince to choose which faith their state followed. However, at the beginning of the 1529 Diet, Ferdinand, brother of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, announced that the 1526 decision would be annulled and the ban on Protestantism would be restored. Most princes accepted this, but Principalities and 14 Free Cities opposed this ban, and so on April 19th in 1529 six princes and representatives of the Free Cities petitioned the Diet to allow the spread of Luther’s belief and end the ban on Luther’s works. Ferdinand refused to listen to their protests and on April 20th the “Letter of Protestation”, written and signed by the evangelical princes, was read out loud and printed. At the final day of the Diet, on April 24th, the majority decision was read out, without mention of the dissent of the princes. In response, on April 25th the protesting princes wrote an Instrementum Appellationis which contained their grievances with the Diet’s decision. It was later brought to Charles V. The adherents of Luther’s movement thus became known as Protestants.

The protest of the Evangelic princes, even against the opposition of their Emperor as well as the majority of the other German princes, show the resilience of new ideas against the opposition of the old. That Protestantism survived and spread even as it faced violent persecution shows how futile attempts are to suppress new ideas and movements. This has been proven time and time again in history when new ideas spread even when they faced stiff opposition from established authorities. It is thus pointless to attempt to stop the spread of new ideas and more focus should be on how to adapt to them and how to best mitigate their, at times, disruptive impacts.

April 18th in German History: European Coal and Steel Community Established

Treaty of Paris
The Signing of the 1951 Treaty of Paris. Image Credit European Parliament.

In this blog I attempt to cover all aspects of German history with both the brighter and darker moments of it. April 18th is the anniversary of one of the brighter moments. On April 18th, 1951, West Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands all signed the Treaty of Paris, or more specifically the Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community. This treaty was born out of the instability and violence of the first half of the 20th century and aimed to protect European peace just as much as it was meant to increase economic prosperity among member nations. One has to remember that at that time there was a very real fear, especially on the part of the French, that in twenty or so years Germany would rebuild its economy and military and embark on yet another war of conquest, just as it had done twice before. In fact, the Community was proposed first by Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, as a way to prevent a future war with Germany by making war materially impossible. The 1951 Treaty of Paris thus helped ensure that Europe would never again descend into such a destructive war just as it promoted economic growth.

The European Coal and Steel Community was one of the first multinational economic cooperatives. It created a common market for coal and steel in which tariffs and other trade barriers were lowered or eliminated. Further, it created four bodies to oversee the community. The various bodies were composed of both appointed ministers and members of national parliaments. This structure would serve as a basis for later super national agreements, most notably the European Union. The Community was able to improve conditions for coal and steel workers. It financed 112,500 houses for workers and payed for half the relocation costs of the recently unemployed. Further, by reducing tariffs it lowered steel and coal costs and so increased inter-European trade. This lessened the need to import steel from the US and helped economic growth. The ESC also gave out loans to mines and factories and created 100,000 jobs. The main failure of the Community was that it failed to extend its policies to new energy resources like oil and nuclear power. Further, there was some resurgence in coal and steel cartels, although this was minimized by the instruction of new energy sources. The European Coal and Steel Community ceased to exist in 2002 and its functions have been absorbed into the European Union.

It is somewhat disheartening that the horrors of war are not enough of a deterrent to prevent it from being waged between nations. That economic integration and collective self interest are necessary to preserve peace is perhaps the best evidence for the fundamental selfishness of humans, especially those in power. Nevertheless, the achievements of the European Coal and Steel Community should not be dismissed, and should serve as encouragement for cooperation between potentially rival nations around the world.