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August 21 , 2009

Jean Monnet and Canada

Early Travels and the Idea of European Unity


Jean Monnet (1888-1979) is often viewed as the chief architect of the European Coal and Steel Community, which over time evolved into today's European Union. Monnet spent his early years working as an agent for his father, a cognac producer. It was this experience that took him to Scandinavia, England, the United States, and most importantly Canada, where he was exposed to the country's unique form of federalism.

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A man fades in and out of sight standing right next to people. They can hear his voice but can't see him. His wife is so terrified by it she tells him to never come back. He must struggle to avoid being nabbed by police, so he can solve this mysterious phenomenon before he is dissected to see what makes him tick. But that's the least of…

Drawing on a wide variety of empirical sources, including unpublished documents, correspondence, and original historical data extracted from archives both in Canada and Europe, Trygve Ugland's Jean Monnet and Canada argues that the extensive period of time Monnet spent in Canada between 1907 and 1914 had a formative influence on the achievements of his later years, particularly on the institutional 'construction of Europe.'

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