Does the EU work?

List of wars involving France and one of its neighbors in continental Europe, or the United Kingdom in reverse chronological order:

  • 1945: World War II ends (74 years and counting)
  • 1939: World War II begins
  • 1919: World War I ends (20 years)
  • 1914: World War I begins
  • 1871: Franco-Prussian War ends (43 years)
  • 1870: Franco-Prussian War begins
  • 1859: Second Italian War of Independence (11 years)
  • 1839: Pastry War (20 years)
  • 1831: Belgian Revolution ends (8 years)
  • 1830: Belgian Revolution begins
  • 1823: Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis (7 years)
  • 1815: Napoleonic Wars end (8 years)
  • 1803: Napoleonic Wars begin
  • 1801: War of the Oranges (2 years)
  • 1783: American Revolutionary War ends (18 years)
  • 1778: France enters the American Revolutionary War
  • 1769: French Conquest of Corsica (9 years)
  • 1763: Seven Years’ War ends (6 years)
  • 1756: Seven Years’ War begins
  • 1748: War of the Austrian Succession ends (8 years)
  • 1740: War of the Austrian Succession begins
  • 1735: War of the Polish Succession ends (5 years)
  • 1733: War of the Polish Succession begins
  • 1720: War of the Quadruple Alliance ends (13 years)
  • 1718: War of the Quadruple Alliance begins
  • 1714: War of the Spanish Succession ends (4 years)
  • 1701: War of the Spanish Succession begins
  • 1697: Nine Years War ends (4 years)
  • 1688: Nine Years War begins
  • 1684: War of the Reunions ends (4 years)
  • 1678: Franco-Dutch war end
  • 1668: War of Devolution ends (10 years)
  • 1667: War of Devolution begins
  • 1659: Franco-Spanish War ends, continuation of the Thirty Years War (8 years)
  • 1618: Thirty Years War begins
  • 1583: War of the Portuguese Succession ends (35 years)
  • 1598: French Wars of Religion end
  • 1580: War of the Portuguese Succession begins
  • 1562: French Wars of Religion begin
  • 1559: Italian Wars end (3 years)
  • 1494: Italian Wars begin
  • 1488: Mad War ends (6 years)
  • 1485: Mad War begins
  • 1482: War of the Burgundian Succession ends (3 years)
  • 1477: War of the Burgundian Succession begins
  • 1453: Hundred Years’ War ends (24 years)
  • 1337: Hundred Years’ War begins
  • 1326: Invasion of England (9 years)
  • 1324: War of Saint-Sardos (2 years)
  • 1305: Franco-Flemish War ends (19 years)
  • 1302: War of the Sicilian Vespers ends
  • 1297: Franco-Flemish War begins
  • 1282: War of the Sicilian Vespers begins
  • 1243: Saintonge War ends (39 years)
  • 1242: Saintonge War begins
  • 1222: War of the Succession of Champagne ends (20 years)
  • 1217: First Barons’ War ends
  • 1216: War of the Succession of Champagne begins
  • 1215: First Baron’s War begins
  • 1214: Anglo-French War ends (1 year)
  • 1213: Anglo-French War begins
  • 1204: Normandy Campaigns end (9 years)
  • 1202: Normandy Campaigns begin
  • 1199: Anglo-French War ends (3 years)
  • 1193: Anglo-French War begins
  • 1174: Revolt of 1173-1174 (19 years)
  • 1173: Revolt of 1173-1174 begins

The longest periods of peace between France and its European neighbors hence  are:

  • The current period (74 years and counting)
  • Post-Franco Prussian War to World War I (43 years)
  • War of the Portuguese Succession to Thirty Years War (35 years)

These are the only periods in time since 1150 where France has had more than 30 years of peace with its neighbors, and in 9 years our current period will be twice that of the second period.

Most of the wars France fought involved England, in the Middle Ages this started in 1066 with the Norman invasion of England which was the first time that the King of England also held significant land on the continent. This would remain true until the Italian War of 1551-1559 which would result in the United Kingdom losing Calais. Animosity would continue due to the French-Scottish alliance until King James VI of Scotland was the next in line for the British throne in 1603, and then the crowns were merged in 1660 when the Scottish Parliament was resolved. Disputes continued revolving the Netherlands and the succession of various monarchies during the era before the American Revolution. The last bullets between the United Kingdom and France as part of a declared were shot in 1815

Idea for European history eras
This is off-topic, but reading about European History, I think it would make sense to make a better timeline, and here is my attempt based on the most important events in European history:

  • Fall of communism: 1991
  • End of World War II, start of Cold War, beginning of European integration: 1945
  • World War II: 1939
  • Interwar era, Democracy vs Fascism/Communism: 1919
  • Formation of Germany: 1871
  • End of Napoleon: 1815
  • American Independence: 1781
  • Columbus lands in America: 1492
  • Byzantine Empire falls: 1453

We are currently in the longest period of peace in European history, which is growing by the day. I believe this is caused by the standard predictions of the Liberal Paradigm in International Relations, based on the integration of trade and establishment of mechanisms for dialogue and discussions between countries so they can discuss problems before they blow up into armed conflict. The interdependence of the European economy is so strong that the cost of going to war is far greater than any potential benefits of going to war. There is no need to go to war for any material gain, since they are part of a true free trade area, and the peoples of each country may freely visit each other, growing people to people relationships.

This leads me to the conclusion that the European Union does indeed work and has succeeded in his goal. We should all support this great institution and the formation of similar institutions around the world which are designed to foster trade and peace between nations.

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