National Construction and European Issues


The idea of a tension between national and European ideas, today widespread in public opinion, is simply the result of long-term tensions which have left their mark on European history since the Middle Ages, from the rivalry between a papal Europe and a continental Europe in the medieval and early modern period to projects for a European balance of power in 1815 based on supranational empires opposed to national movements. The national idea itself was not always expressed in opposition to Europe, particularly in the nineteenth century; in fact, it has often directly or indirectly fed off this idea.

Rundgemälde von Europa im August MDCCCXLIX (1849). Caricature of defeat of the revolution in Europe by Ferdinand Schröder. Represented: Victoria (Queen of United Kingdom), Friedrich Wilhelm IV. (Prussian emperor), Christian VIII. (King of Denmark) et Napoléon III. (French emperor).