Blog Post 10/4

1.) Tony Judt discusses numerous thematic shapes in post-war Europe, one more valuable theme that we see is the role America played in Europe during the postwar period. Europe after World War 1 was a place of great economic and cultural turmoil. Many countries, such as Germany, took on great amounts of debt which was nearly impossible to pay back. We see things like this become less dramatic with the help of US support with things such as the Dawes act. US support helped restructure much of Europe in a time where it was desperately needed, the cultural and economic turmoil is characterized by Judt when he says “in the west……not least thanks to American aid (and pressure).” (Judt 6). This overt American influenced much of western Europe in a way that made them emulate American culture and ideologies.

2.) The transitions of political topography in Europe over the past 130 years has been one that consists of great turmoil. From the territorial revisions made after World War 1 and 2 to the wars held in Yugoslavia, we see millions of deaths for the borders of countries to be changed. Europe and its political topography have directly reflected the conflicts that occurred within Europe as the transitions of boarders are usually a direct reason or result of the conflicts that occurred. A good example of this is the conflicts within Yugoslavia prior to its dissolution, the civil war that occurred there resulted in thousands of deaths and the creation of numerous new countries. This conflict occurred because of the need for new borders and as a result, the political topography of Europe was changed.

3.) The dichotomy between Judts description as a “limited Europe” vs the more optimistic description of the formation of the EU from  A World Transformed is one that depicts both outlooks on the new age of Europe. When Judt points to the “limitations of a post-national prescription for a better European future” (p.797) we see his outlook as one that has more pessimism regarding Europe’s future. Judt argues that Europe will be more reserved in their ideological decisions however is arguably wrong due to the formation of the EU. on the other hand, A World Transformed describes “Europe’s rightful role and place in a world being built” (P. 337). This characterization is somewhat more optimistic than Judt as it shows Europe as a place that wants to make itself the exact antithesis of what it once was.

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