The Power of Non-Powers: An archival analysis of the reaction to, and influence of, the BENELUX nations on American Financial intervention in Europe and its role in Early Cold War European Security Strategy (1948-1960).


CALL: 2015

DOMAIN: SC - Education and Learning

FIRST NAME: Spero Simeon Zachary

LAST NAME: Paravantis



HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: BENELUX, Western European Union, Archives, International History

START: 2016-09-01

END: 2019-08-31


Submitted Abstract

The separation in the Cold War and European Integration historiographies has widely been acknowledge as being artificial, since both processes developed at the same time and involved many of the same actors. This project will address this separation by researching the impact that military considerations and spending had on the EI movement, particularly in the Benelux region, and the role that US military spending (in support of the American ‘containment’ policy) had on EI. This project will do so by comparing and contrasting US and Benelux perceptions about each other, specifically in regards to US Military spending in Europe from 1948 to 1960. The main sources to be used to assess their positions are the archives of the Western European Union (WEU), the US national archives in Washington, the AID archives (which house the Marshall Plan documents), The National Archives in the UK, and the BENELUX archives in Brussels. Of key importance to the research are the Archives of the Western European Union (WEU), which were transferred to Luxembourg once the WEU ceased operations. On June 30th 2011, the contracting states of the Western European Union (WEU) decided to close the organization, and the Luxembourg National Archives were appointed as custodian. Most of the records have been declassified up to 1982, which suits this project perfectly. Using these archives, in combination with US, Belgian, UK and other archives (if necessary) this project will shed light on the question of what impact did the massive early Cold War American military financial intervention in Western Europe have on the early European Integration movement, and the reactions of the Benelux nations to those developments. In so doing, this project will make an original contribution to the CORE program by focusing on the Benelux countries during the early Cold war period of the European Integration movement. It will also open a new branch of research at the university of Luxembourg in International history. Externally, it can also contribute to the ongoing effort to unify the historiographies of the History of the Cold War and the History of European Integration, while also contributing to the fields of 20th Century US and European History. The project’s originality lies in the examination of the link between the US, BENELUX, and European Integration during the early cold war period, but also with the use of the WEU archives themselves. Several of the files, namely those dealing with arms and finances, have yet to be analyzed, let alone in the ways in which this project proposed, thereby increasing the likelihood of uncovering new findings and insights, and highlighting the WEU archives and Luxembourg as a destination for other researchers in European International History.

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