Map2  Map3  Map4   Map5  Map6  Map7  Map8
The Principles of Federation
Leopold Kohr
(first published as an appendix to The Breakdown of Nations)



The United States of America

Switzerland by Canton

Federal Germany

The European Federation of Nation States

Switzerland by Language

USA à l'Europe

Europe à l'USA

Europe of Little States

1. Successful Federation - the USA
With 48 states, roughly equal in size and potential strength, no authority in the United States except the federal can rule over all of them. Such a small-state organization makes the development of an oversized member impossible. Federal power, even if small, outweighs any other 47 to 1, is therefore always effective.

2. Successful Federation - Switzerland by Cantons
Switzerland, oldest federal experiment, is organized on the basis of 22 states (cantons), not of its four unequal nationalities. State division, without regard to nationalities, has destroyed the unbalanced blocks, has created the great idea of Swiss balance and village democracy instead.

3. Unsuccessful Federation - Germany
Germany's smaller nations were federated with the Great Power of Prussia which - with a population of 40 million - became naturally the dominant power in the federation. Germany was thus ruled by Prussia, not by a federal authority which could not have enforced its laws on Prussia without her consent.

4. Unsuccessful Federation - Europe
European federation, based on its great national blocks, unequal in size and strength, would in the end become a federation in the interest of Germany, because Germany alone would be large enough to enforce a federal law, and no law could be enforced without Germany's consent. Germany would be arbiter and master.

5. Unsuccessful Federation - Switzerland by Language
Were Switzerland organized on national lines as shown on this map, German Switzerland would outweigh the others 2 to 1. French, Italian, Romansch would be minorities. By cutting the unequal national blocks into numerous small states, every nationality has its own or several states, and is thus never a minority.

6. Unsuccessful Federation - USA à l'Europe
Were America organized as shown here, on the pattern of Europe's simplified, but unequally large blocks, Washington would be a purely decorative centre as Geneva was for the League of Nations. To enforce its authority it would have to ask the support of one or more of the powerful members. Wars would be as frequent as in Europe.

7. Europe à l'USA
As on the preceding map America is shown 'simplified' in European style, the harmony and balance of its 48 states destroyed, this map shows Europe divided in American style. The arrogant, unco-operative, proud, self-glorifying nations (great powers) have given way to small states which could as easily be ruled by Geneva as the U.S. is ruled by Washington. A successful power maniac would be as harmless for the rest as Huey Long.

8. Europe of Little States
The purely geometrical division of America would, however, have to be modified in Europe along the traditional tribal frontiers. This map shows approximately the genuine component parts of Europe, historically subdividing the great powers, products not of nature but of force. Being all equal in size they are ideally fit to form a successful federation. Thus Europe's problem - as that of any federation - is one of division, not of union

 Map2  Map3  Map4   Map5  Map6  Map7  Map8