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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

European Union, Historical Evolution

Franz C Mayer, Simon P Thies

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 August 2020

1815 to World War I — World War I to World War II

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The idea of a European Union is not an invention of the 20th century. The earliest proposals for cooperation at the European level of the 17th and 18th centuries by William Penn, Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre, and Immanuel Kant were strictly confederal in nature, and intended European institutions to serve as forums for peaceful conflict resolution between States. One of the first to propose institutional structures that would have materially altered the prevailing nation-State system was Henri de Saint-Simon in 1814. A fledgling system of international...
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