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Assess the influence the United States has had on the European integration in the 1950s

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  1. The political context of the Cold War, and the strategic role of Europe, led to a more unified Europe - initiatives in the 1950's
  2. US support to European integration
  3. The economic side : the Atlantic framework allowed Europe to integrate more
  4. What were the motives for America's support in European integration?
  5. Still the United States could rarely dictate to the Europeans what they were to do, and suffered significant, although relatively few, defeats in the 1950s

The concept of Europe has changed dramatically during the twentieth century. It moved from a collection of imperial systems engaged in a balance of power, through internal division and catastrophic wars, to a more integrated Western Europe. The United States played a huge role in this transformation, since they had become the leading power in the world after the Second World War. Two kinds of American influence on European integration can be defined: a political influence to integration, for war and security concerns, in order to cooperate with the increasingly unified Western Europe against USSR. And an economical influence, to gain support through financial aid. Moreover, the United States was indirectly an incentive to increase European economic co-operation, by challenging the economies of western countries. The West-Europeans retracted from their empires, rescued their 'nation-states' and enhanced competition with the US through integration and negotiating. But to what extent did the United States influence European unification?

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