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THE UNION IS DISSOLVEDWhen I was a child, my father had a framed copy of the Charleston Mercury’s broadside from 20 Dec 1860 on the wall of his study. It proclaimed in 150pt type THE UNION IS DISSOLVED, and announced the start of the civil war.

I’ve never been sure why he had this posted, he is not a man who longs for the confederacy, though he does love history.

But as the torturous euro-crisis has unfolded I think I may begin to understand. There is something fascinating it the breakup of a grand union. One stands with Shelley, staring at the ruins and wondering at the former cry “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.”

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