EU and Britain – the treaty of Rome, source related study

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1. Source A is a primary source; part of a speech made by Konrad Adenauer, chancellor of West Germany, at the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

The source is quite reliable but may not reflect the true situation, as we can see later when Britain applies for a membership, and also the source is biased as it may represent the EEC as a great community that will do anything to accept new European countries to it.

In it Adenauer declares that the European Union (EU) is open to any European country that desires to enter, in the instance where a country may feel that they are not able to become full members of the community other links will be arranged to create a closer bond.

As we can see from the speech the main purpose of the EU was to create a single entity between the strong European estates but also to allow smaller countries to join in alternative ways, thus expanding the European Unions territory and population.

2. Source B is an extract of a primary source, the main aims of the European Union as set out in the Treaty of Rome.

The only reflects the theoretical aims of the EEC but does not describe the action that members of the EEC took when certain situation presented themselves, for example when Britain applied for a membership in the EEC.

As we can see from the extract, the EU was set mainly to create a singular economic and in some ways political entity that will posses common economic, social and political policies to promote stability, economic growth and better living standards.

As we can see from Sources A and B the main aims of the EU was to create a singular economic and political entity within Europe to promote stability, growth and encourage better relations between all the European countries, even those who cannot become a full members.

Source C is a primary source, a cartoon published in a British daily newspaper in early 1963, as a result this Source may be biased towards the British.

The source is reliable but it only describes what the British believed was the reason why they did not gain access to the EEC.

In Source C we can see John F. Kennedy in an American car with a nuclear submarine, the Polaris, in its trunk. Beside him you can see Harold Macmillan, Prime minister of Britain at that time, driving the British Mini.

Charles de Gaulle dressed as a French policeman, prevents them from entering.

The meaning of the Cartoon is to show that the French don’t the British to join the European Union EU, because they believe that they will bring the Americans along with them and with the Americans the nuclear submarine Polaris to the zone.

We can see that Source C does not support Source A and B as it shows that not all European countries can join the EU, also we can see that the French’s were the ones deciding who would be accepted, this shows us that their was no real common governing between the representatives of the European countries who formed the European Community.

3. Source D a primary source, an extract of a speech made by Charles de Gaulle, president of France, made in January 1963.

The source is reliable but is radically biased towards De Gaulle’s opinion.

In it De Gaulle says that Britain refused the offer to join the EU while setting up the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) with Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Austria and Portugal. De Gaulle also argued that Britain is an island and doesn’t form part of main land Europe, thus relying more on water and air based trading to reach the many colonies and former-colonies that form the common-wealth.

Overall De Gaulle claims that Britain as always tried to be a separate body and has always relied on colonies and links with countries far away from Europe.

Source E is a primary Source; a cartoon published In a British newspaper in early 1963, as the source was taken from a British newspaper it may be biased.

The source is pretty reliable in describing what the British believed was the reason for them not being able to gain a membership in the EEC.

In the cartoon we can see de Gaulle and Adenauer in football uniforms and Harold Macmillan in a cricket uniform standing at the door, beside him the list of rules in the European football club.

This cartoon shows us that the British believed that their application for the EU was vetoed because Macmillan wanted special terms which did not form part of the Treaty of Rome; therefore they are not allowed to join the game.

Source D and E tell us different reasons for refusing Britain’s application, one of them ,expressed in Source D by De Gaulle, is that Britain relied mainly on is colonies and other European countries that did not belong to the EU, De Gaulle also claims that Britain attempted to create a separate European trading union, known as EFTA.

The second reason, showed in Source E, was the fact that Macmillan wanted special terms for Britain, such as free unrestricted entry of her food products, De Gaulle and Adenauer refused, claiming that it doesn’t form part of the original goals and terms set by the Treaty of Rome this is represented in the cartoon by the list of European Football Club rules that had already been signed by the other players, as the Treaty of Rome which was already agreed upon by other European countries.

5. Source H is a secondary source, part of a history text book published in the 1990s, the source is considerably reliable as it proceeds from an analysed overview of the situation, but the source may be biased but at this time I am not aware of the author’s nationality so a decision on its opinion cannot be made.

From the source we can learn that the British Government is determined to access the EEC but De Gaulle is still a major obstacle he argues that the EEC will not benefit from a British membership.

Source I is a primary source, a photograph of the British Prime Minister Edward Heath signing the Treaty of Rome, the source is extremely reliable as it shows the situation as it is with no alterations or a biased opinion. But not much can be deduced from this source as it only shows us what we already know, Britain joined the EU.

Source J is a primary source, Headlines from British newspapers published on the 1st of January 1973. The source may be biased towards the British and may only reflect their opinion on the issue.

From this Source we can learn that Britain is very supportive of joining the EEC and that Britain will be a better place from now on.

During the course of time people argued that De Gaulle’s death was the main event which allowed the British to receive membership in the EEC.

Others argue that the death of De Gaulle had no connection with Britain’s acceptance to the union.

I, in turn believe in a mid point, De Gaulle had some effect on the Issue but we cannot ignore the state at which Britain was during the first two Vetoed applications.

De Gaulle argued that Britain was a burden for the EEC; economically Britain was at a worse position then the European Community and De Gaulle said that it will only drag down the community as we can see from Source H.

He also argued that Britain was too reliable on the common wealth and it was never really a part of Europe as we can see in Source D.

US influence over Britain scared De Gaulle who feared US involvement in European affairs, as we can see from Source C, which presents the De Gaulle as a policeman preventing the Britain from joining the US.

Many members within the EEC wanted Britain to join, by doing so the EEC will gain political strength and population size, and so they will be able to achieve their goals sooner without much control from the British government.

One of these issues was the vast amounts of pollution that originated from Europe and the only way to address them was at a continental scale. At the time Britain was one of the largest polluters in the European continent, so the EEC was forced to have some influence on the British government to address this issue.

As we can see De Gaulle did represent an obstacle for a British membership but we cannot negate the changes that occurred in Britain between the first two vetoed application and their acceptance to the EEC.

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