About This Chapter
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
|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.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the History 109: Western Europe Since 1945 course
- Review of World War II
- The Cold War in Western & Eastern Europe
- The End of the Cold War
- National Developments in the Postwar Period
- The Institutions of The European Union (EU)
- European Government, Political Processes, and Institutions
- European Political Parties
- European Issues and Policies
- Government of the United Kingdom
- Government of France
- Government of Spain
- Government of Germany
- Government of Italy