by Louis Rouanet
What is Europe? It seems that no rigorous answer can be provided. Europe is not exactly a continent. It is not a political entity. It is not a united people. The best definition, in fact, may be that Europe is the outcome of a long historical process that engendered unique institutions and a unique vision of what men ought to be. The idea that men ought to be free from violent government interference. Europe has no founding fathers. Its birth was not orchestrated but completely spontaneous. Its development was not imposed by armies and governments but was the voluntary product of clerics, merchants, serfs, and intellectuals who were seeking to interact freely with each other. Europeans were united by their freedoms and divided by their governments. In other words, Europe was built against States and their arbitrary restrictions, not by them.