Nazi Occupation The wartime resistance to Nazi occupation ultimately set the stage for a more unified Europe after World War II. The war itself was responsible for changing the opinions of many about the idea of a unified Europe. For centuries, a great deal of nationalism caused many European nations to dispel any notions of a European union. It was thought that a unified body could not exist with such differing countries. However, during the war, these countries put their differences aside to achieve a common goal. This wartime unification continued after the war into the reconstruction period.
Again, it was thought that the European community could ban together and repair their war-torn motherland. The winds of change swept through Europe carrying a new spirit. A European Federation seemed to be on the horizon. The idea of a federated Europe was also appealing to non-European countries. Delusions of grandeur danced in the heads of United States leaders regarding the possibility of a European counterpart.
Even the Soviet Union was not opposed to European unification. It appeared as if things were too good to be true. And, unfortunately, they were. At nearly the same rate that the idea of a federated Europe grew, it began to diminish. Individual agendas to reconstruct Europe surfaced. Political parties had changed and more important issues arose. The first order of business was the European economy.
Because of the war, Europe had fallen behind economically and badly needed to reclaim its position as an economic leader. This coupled with the regional threat of communism and other war related domestic problems caused a bump in the road for integration. Once again, it was the same old story for European nations, before you clean up the neighborhood, take care of your own back yard. Although not immediately successful, the wheels were still in motion for a European Union. Many Resistance activists were not about to give up just yet.
Europe had grown a little closer through the events during and after World War II. It simply needed a little more time to warm up to the idea of federation. Eventually, a European Union would result.