A different look at the euro zone crisis with a look at the very idea of the European Union. It grew out of the wreckage of World War II, with politicians determined to end the rivalries which had driven Europe to war twice in 25 years. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, presiding at the Hague Congress in 1948, launched the call for a political, economic and monetary union of Europe. This landmark conference would eventually see six European countries coming together to sign the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which created the European Economic Community — now of course, the much larger 27-member European Union.
Peter Heather, professor of mediaeval history at Kings College, London and author of "Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe," discusses the history of the European Union and the end of the nation state.