Europe’s Inner Tensions

Attempts to unify a diverse continent require subtlety and respect. 

 © Bridgeman Images.‘The concept of Europe implies unity. The reality of Europe, especially as it has developed over the past 500 years or so, reveals a marked degree of disunity’, wrote the historian J.H. Elliott in his masterly 1992 essay, ‘A Europe of Composite Monarchies’. It feels pertinent at the moment.

What gives Europe its dynamism is the diversity of the lands, peoples and languages packed within the continent. But the desire to unify its constituent parts is centuries old, a constant.

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