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The Tsar, seated, and the Kaiser, who both spoke movingly of European Union  © Mary Evans Picture Library

To mark the centenary of the Great Crisis of 1914, here is an excerpt from AJP Taylor’s unpublished masterpiece, “The Struggle for European Union,” which opens with an account of the signing of the Treaty of Paris at Versailles in September 1939:

The historic resonance and opulence were matched only by the grandeur of the two senior crowned heads who opened the proceedings: the 80-year-old Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and the…

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