Whatever happened to Old Europe? by - Mark Mazower
Europe has never been a matter of boundaries alone. “European civilization has entered into the truth, into the plan of Providence”, as the historian-statesman François Guizot put it. “It advances according to the ways of God. That is the rational principle of its superiority.” Borders themselves – the Sava River, the Bosphorus, the Urals – were always negotiable. Because it stood for so much more than mere territory, Europe’s nineteenth-century Powers had no difficulty universalizing their values in its name. Backed by their temporary but highly impressive technological and military superiority, they were able to impose the emergent rules of their state system on the rest of the world as the epitome of civilized order.