The euro confronts conformity

By on September 25, 2003

As some of you may know, a group of nation called the European Union are attempting to unify Europe through the use of a single monetary unit – the euro. They feel that this will enhance trade between the countries and basically bring peace to all who adopt it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could give everyone the same kind of money and suddenly achieve world peace? Why didn’t we think of that before?

Okay, now am I missing something here? There is no way that forcing these countries to use the same currency will unify them.

For hundreds of years, countries have been able to trade with one another quite peaceably despite the differences in monetary standards.

Each nation had its own unique form of currency, which was a reflection of that nation. The bills and coins contained portraits of historical figures from that country, as well as works of art and phrases that the country deemed important or noteworthy.

Now rather than embrace the differences of the European nations, people feel that they should be stripped of their identities and forced to conform. Does anyone else see this as being an issue?

The unique monetary designs can give you a great deal of insight into the mindset of the citizens and the government. If someone sat down and decided to put a person’s face on a piece of paper or a bit of metal that they know would reach a wide audience, does that not mean they feel this is someone who should receive recognition?

Take our currency as an example. If our Congress turned around tomorrow and said that they are going to share a kind of money with Canada, and that the U.S. presidents would no longer be featured on bills or coins, would you think that this is just?

Their pictures are on display because they helped to shape our nation. They are a vital part of our national history and pride, and we want other nations to see this when they trade with us. Why would anyone want to lose that sense of national identity?

Perhaps, I am reading too deeply into this matter, but I think that it would be a shame if the European nations all give up their own currency to adopt the euro. It is like telling everyone to wear the same clothes or listen to the same music.

Individuality should be encouraged and embraced, not shunned and stripped away.


About Nancy Hall