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Ch 5: The History of the European Union

About This Chapter

Watch online history video lessons to learn about the origin and expansion of the European Union. These engaging lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

The History of the European Union - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Explore the union resulting from six countries' efforts to prevent another devastating world war. In this chapter, our instructors outline the agreements designed to facilitate trade and strengthen the economies of member states in the European Union's early years. They'll also help you chart the growing strength of the EU alongside the decline of Communism in Eastern Europe during the second half of the 20th century. Watch the video lessons included here and learn to:

  • Pinpoint the European Union's origins
  • Identify the founding member states
  • Describe key trade and economic policies

Video Objectives
1945-1959: The Beginning of European Cooperation Trace the European Union's origins. Outline the rationale behind economic treaties forged in the early years of the EU's existence.
1960-1969: A Period of European Economic Growth Explore the agricultural policies and trade agreements spurring commerce among member states.
1970-1979: The First Enlargement of the European Union Watch as the six initial member states are joined by the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark.
1980-1989: The Fall of The Berlin Wall Explore the decade in which the EU acquires 12 members as Soviet influence begins to wane.
1990-1999: Europe Without Borders Outline the EU's efforts to introduce the euro and encourage travel between member states. List former Soviet territories negotiating to join the EU during this period.
2000-2009: Europe Expands Further Examine treaties designed to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and improve the EU's democratic processes as membership climbs to 27 states.

6 Lessons in Chapter 5: The History of the European Union
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
1945 - 1959:  The Beginning of European Cooperation

1. 1945 - 1959: The Beginning of European Cooperation

In this lesson, we explore the beginnings of greater European cooperation, from the end of WWII to the beginning of the 1960s, covering the birth of the ECSC, EEC, and other developments.

1960 - 1969:  A Period of European Economic Growth

2. 1960 - 1969: A Period of European Economic Growth

In this lesson, we explore the growth of the European Union concept in the 1960s, when the six nations who had founded the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951 grew quickly and integrated their economies further.

1970 - 1979: The First Enlargement of the European Union

3. 1970 - 1979: The First Enlargement of the European Union

In this lesson, we explore the 1970s and the growth of the institutions that have become today's European Union (EU). The 1970s were a time of growth and greater economic integration for the fledgling EU.

1980 - 1989: The Fall of Berlin Wall

4. 1980 - 1989: The Fall of Berlin Wall

In this lesson, we explore the developments of the European Economic Community (today's European Union) during the 1980s and the questions it was confronted with by the fall of communism.

1990 - 1999: Europe Without Borders

5. 1990 - 1999: Europe Without Borders

In this lesson, we explore the European Union in the 1990s, a time of change and growth, which also saw the first introduction of the Euro, a common pan-European currency.

2000 - 2009: Europe Expands Further

6. 2000 - 2009: Europe Expands Further

In this lesson, we explore the history of the European Union (EU) in the 21st century, from its further expansion into Eastern Europe to its growing role internationally.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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