Westphalia: Church Politics Adjusts Boundaries, Then Everything Changes
In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia created the modern nation-state.
SEVERAL years ago, I attended a public meeting at the Federal Reserve, surrounded by well-dressed strangers. At a contentious moment in the discussion, the man next to me rose and announced he was the Finance Minister of a large European nation and had a prediction to make. Within twenty years, he believed, there would only be three economically functioning nations in the world: America, India, and China. Since he was sitting next to me, I asked him the obvious question: what about Europe, what about Japan? He shrugged me off as if the question was too stupid to answer. As things have turned out, maybe it was.
Originally published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012; most-recently modified: Wednesday, May 29, 2019