Originally Posted by creeposaurus
Post it again Thrash, I forgot
WAIKT BETTER HERS STUFF THAT I KNOW ABOUT EUROPE BECAUSE THATS WHERE AKLL THE KINGS AND GUYS ARE I WROTE THIS THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT EUROPE
(pronunciation: /ˈjʊəɹəp/ yewr-əp; /ˈjuɹəp/ or /ˈjəɹəp/ yur-əp) is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents
. Comprising the westernmost peninsula
, Europe is generally 'divided'
to its east by the watershed divides
of the Ural
Mountains, the Ural River
, the Caspian
Seas, and the waterways
connecting the Black and Aegean
Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean
and other bodies of water to the north, the Atlantic Ocean
to the west, the Mediterranean Sea
to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity
—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic
term "continent" can incorporate cultural and political
Europe is the world's second-smallest
continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe's approximately 50 states, Russia
is the largest by both area and population (although the country has territory in both Europe and Asia), while the Vatican City
is the smallest. Europe is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa
, with a population
of 733 million or about 11% of the world's population
In 1900, Europe's share of the world's population was 25%.
Europe, in particular Ancient Greece
, is the birthplace of Western culture
It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 16th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism
. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas
, most of Africa
, and large portions of Asia. Both World Wars
were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European
dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States
and Soviet Union
During the Cold War
, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain
in the west and the Warsaw Pact
in the east. European integration
led to the formation of the Council of Europe
and the European Union
in Western Europe
, both of which have been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union
Further information: List of countries spanning more than one continent
Further information: Borders of the continents
Reconstruction of Herodotus
' world map
A medieval T and O map
from 1472 showing the division of the world into 3 continents
map from Münster (1570)
. The British Isles and Scandinavia are not included in Europe proper.
The use of the term "Europe" has developed gradually throughout history.
In antiquity, the Greek historian Herodotus
mentioned that the world had been divided by unknown persons into the three continents
of Europe, Asia, and Libya (Africa), with the Nile
and the River Phasis
forming their boundaries—though he also states that some considered the River Don
, rather than the Phasis, as the boundary between Europe and Asia.
Europe's eastern frontier was defined in the 1st century by geographer Strabo
at the River Don Flavius
and the Book of Jubilees
described the continents as the lands given by Noah
to his three sons; Europe was defined as stretching from the Pillars of Hercules
at the Strait of Gibraltar
, separating it from Africa, to the Don
, separating it from Asia.
A cultural definition of Europe as the lands of Latin Christendom
coalesced in the 8th century, signifying the new cultural condominium created through the confluence of Germanic traditions and Christian-Latin culture, defined partly in contrast with Byzantium
, and limited to northern Iberia, the British Isles, France, Christianized western Germany, the Alpine regions and northern and central Italy.
The concept is one of the lasting legacies of the Carolingian Renaissance
: "Europa" often figures in the letters of Charlemagne's cultural minister, Alcuin
This division—as much cultural as geographical—was used until the Late Middle Ages
, when it was challenged by the Age of Discovery
The problem of redefining Europe was finally resolved in 1730 when, instead of waterways, the Swedish geographer and cartographer von Strahlenberg
proposed the Ural Mountains
as the most significant eastern boundary, a suggestion that found favour in Russia
and throughout Europe.
Europe is now generally defined by geographers as the westernmost peninsula
of Eurasia, with its boundaries marked by large bodies of water to the north, west and south; Europe's limits to the far east are usually taken to be the Urals, the Ural River
, and the Caspian Sea
; to the south-east, the Caucasus Mountains
, the Black Sea
and the waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
Because of sociopolitical and cultural differences, there are various descriptions of Europe's boundary. For example, Cyprus
is approximate to Anatolia (or Asia Minor)
, but is often considered part of Europe and currently is a member state of the EU. In addition, Malta
was considered an island of Africa for centuries,
, though nearer to Greenland
(North America), is also generally included in Europe.
Sometimes, the word 'Europe' is used in a geopolitically limiting way
to refer only to the European Union or, even more exclusively, a culturally defined core. On the other hand, the Council of Europe
has 47 member countries, and only 27 member states are in the EU.
In addition, people living in insular areas such as Ireland
, the United Kingdom
, the North Atlantic
islands and also in Scandinavia
may routinely refer to "continental" or "mainland" Europe
simply as Europe or "the Continent".
Clickable map of Europe, showing one of the most commonly used continental boundaries
Key: blue: states which straddle the border between Europe and Asia; green: states not geographically in Europe, but closely associated politically
In ancient Greek mythology
was a Phoenician
princess whom Zeus
abducted after assuming the form of a dazzling white bull. He took her to the island of Crete
where she gave birth to Minos
. For Homer
, Europe (Greek
: Εὐρώπη, Eurṓpē
; see also List of Greek place names
) was a mythological queen of Crete, not a geographical designation. Later, Europa
stood for central-north Greece
, and by 500 BC its meaning had been extended to the lands to the north.
The name of Europa
is of uncertain etymology.
One theory suggests that it is derived from the Greek roots
meaning broad (εὐρ(υ)- eur(u)-
) and eye (ὤψ/ὠπ-/ὀπτ- ōps
), hence Eurṓpē
, "wide-gazing", "broad of aspect" (compare with glaukōpis (γλαυκῶπις 'grey-eyed') Athena
or boōpis (βοὠπις 'ox-eyed') Hera
has been an epithet
itself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion
Another theory suggests that it is actually based on a Semitic
word such as the Akkadian erebu
meaning "to go down, set" (cf. Occident
to Phoenician 'ereb
"evening; west" and Arabic Maghreb
, Hebrew ma'ariv
(see also Erebus
, PIE *h1regʷos
, "darkness"). However, M. L. West states that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is very poor".
Most major world languages use words derived from "Europa" to refer to the "continent" (peninsula). Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu
(歐洲), which is an abbreviation of the transliterated name Ōuluóbā zhōu
(歐羅巴洲); this term is also used by the European Union
-language diplomatic relations, despite the katakana Yōroppa (ヨーロッパ?)
being more commonly used. However, in some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan
(land of the Franks
) is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa
Main article: History of Europe
Main article: Prehistoric Europe
The Lady of Vinča
, neolithic pottery from Serbia
, a prehistoric monument in the United Kingdom
The Nebra sky disk
from Bronze age Germany
, which lived roughly 1.8 million years ago in Georgia
, is the earliest hominid
to have been discovered in Europe.
Other hominid remains, dating back roughly 1 million years, have been discovered in Atapuerca
. Neanderthal man
(named for the Neandertal
valley in Germany
) appeared in Europe 150,000 years ago and disappeared from the fossil record about 30,000 years ago. The Neanderthals were supplanted by modern humans (Cro-Magnons
), who appeared in Europe around 40,000 years ago.
The European Neolithic
period—marked by the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock, increased numbers of settlements and the widespread use of pottery—began around 7000 BC in Greece
and the Balkans
, probably influenced by earlier farming practices in Anatolia
and the Near East
. It spread from South Eastern Europe along the valleys of the Danube
and the Rhine
(Linear Pottery culture
) and along the Mediterranean coast
). Between 4500 and 3000 BC, these central European neolithic cultures developed further to the west and the north, transmitting newly acquired skills in producing copper artefacts. In Western Europe the Neolithic period was characterized not by large agricultural settlements but by field monuments, such as causewayed enclosures
, burial mounds
and megalithic tombs
The Corded Ware
cultural horizon flourished at the transition from the Neolithic to the Chalcolithic
. During this period giant megalithic
monuments, such as the Megalithic Temples of Malta
, were constructed throughout Western and Southern Europe.
The European Bronze Age
began in the late 3rd millennium BC with the Beaker culture
The European Iron Age
began around 800 BC, with the Hallstatt culture
. Iron Age colonisation by the Phoenicians
gave rise to early Mediterranean
cities. Early Iron Age Italy
from around the 8th century BC gradually gave rise to historical Classical antiquity.
Main article: Classical antiquity
See also: Ancient Greece
and Ancient Rome
The Greek Temple of Apollo, Paestum
had a profound impact on Western civilisation. Western democratic
and individualistic culture
are often attributed to Ancient Greece.
The Greeks invented the polis
, or city-state, which played a fundamental role in their concept of identity.
These Greek political ideals were rediscovered in the late 18th century by European philosophers and idealists. Greece also generated many cultural contributions: in philosophy
; in history
; in dramatic and narrative verse, starting with the epic poems of Homer
and in science with Pythagoras
The Roman Empire
at its greatest extent
Another major influence on Europe came from the Roman Empire
which left its mark on law
, and government
During the pax romana
, the Roman Empire expanded to encompass the entire Mediterranean Basin
and much of Europe.
influenced Roman emperors
such as Hadrian
, Antoninus Pius
, and Marcus Aurelius
, who all spent time on the Empire's northern border fighting Germanic
was eventually legitimised
by Constantine I
after three centuries of imperial persecution
Early Middle Ages
Main articles: Late Antiquity
and Early Middle Ages
See also: Dark Ages (historiography)
and Age of Migrations
, Holy Roman Emperor
During the decline of the Roman Empire
, Europe entered a long period of change arising from what historians call the "Age of Migrations
". There were numerous invasions and migrations amongst the Ostrogoths
and, later still, the Vikings
thinkers such as Petrarch
would later refer to this as the "Dark Ages
Isolated monastic communities were the only places to safeguard and compile written knowledge accumulated previously; apart from this very few written records survive and much literature, philosophy, mathematics, and other thinking from the classical period disappeared from Europe.
During the Dark Ages, the Western Roman Empire
fell under the control of various tribes. The Germanic and Slav tribes established their domains over Western and Eastern Europe respectively.
Eventually the Frankish tribes
were united under Clovis I
, a Frankish king of the Carolingian
dynasty who had conquered most of Western Europe, was anointed "Holy Roman Emperor
" by the Pope in 800. This led to the founding of the Holy Roman Empire
, which eventually became centred in the German principalities of central Europe.
The predominantly Greek speaking Eastern Roman Empire
became known in the west as the Byzantine Empire
. Its capital was Constantinople
. Emperor Justinian I
presided over Constantinople's first golden age: he established a legal code
, funded the construction of the Hagia Sophia
and brought the Christian church under state control.
Fatally weakened by the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade
, the Byzantines fell in 1453 when they were conquered by the Ottoman Empire
Main articles: High Middle Ages
, Late Middle Ages
, and Middle Ages
See also: Medieval demography
The economic growth of Europe around the year 1000, together with the lack of safety on the mainland trading routes, made possible the development of major commercial routes along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea
. In this context, the growing independence acquired by some coastal cities gave the Maritime Republics
a leading role in the European scene.
and Philip II
, during the Third Crusade
The Middle Ages
on the mainland were dominated by the two upper echelons of the social structure: the nobility and the clergy. Feudalism
developed in France
in the Early Middle Ages
and soon spread throughout Europe.
A struggle for influence between the nobility
and the monarchy
in England led to the writing of the Magna Carta
and the establishment of a parliament
The primary source of culture in this period came from the Roman Catholic Church
. Through monasteries and cathedral schools, the Church was responsible for education in much of Europe.
reached the height of its power during the High Middle Ages. A East-West Schism
in 1054 split the former Roman Empire religiously, with the Eastern Orthodox Church
in the Byzantine Empire
and the Roman Catholic Church
in the former Western Roman Empire. In 1095 Pope Urban II
called for a crusade
and the Holy Land
In Europe itself, the Church organised the Inquisition
against heretics. In Spain
, the Reconquista
concluded with the fall of Granada
in 1492, ending over seven centuries of Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula
The Battle of Crécy
in 1346, from a manuscript of Jean Froissart
; the battle established England as a military power.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic
tribes, such as the Pechenegs
and the Kipchaks
, caused a massive migration of Slavic
populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north.
Like many other parts of Eurasia
, these territories were overrun by the Mongols
The invaders, later known as Tatars
, formed the state of the Golden Horde
, which ruled the southern and central expanses of Russia for over three centuries.
The Great Famine of 1315–1317
was the first crisis
that would strike Europe in the late Middle Ages.
The period between 1348 and 1420 witnessed the heaviest loss. The population of France
was reduced by half.
Medieval Britain was afflicted by 95 famines,
and France suffered the effects of 75 or more in the same period.
Europe was devastated in the mid-14th century by the Black Death
, one of the most deadly pandemics
in human history which killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe alone—a third of the European population
at the time.
The plague had a devastating effect on Europe's social structure; it induced people to live for the moment as illustrated by Giovanni Boccaccio
in The Decameron
(1353). It was a serious blow to the Roman Catholic Church
and led to increased persecution of Jews
, foreigners, beggars
The plague is thought to have returned every generation with varying virulence
and mortalities until the 18th century.
During this period, more than 100 plague epidemics
swept across Europe.
Early modern period
Main article: Early modern period
See also: Renaissance
, Protestant Reformation
, Scientific Revolution
, and Age of Discovery
The School of Athens
: Contemporaries such as Michelangelo
and Leonardo da Vinci
(centre) are portrayed as classical scholars
Battle of Vienna
in 1683 broke the advance of the Ottoman Empire
was a period of cultural change originating in Florence
and later spreading to the rest of Europe. in the 14th century. The rise of a new humanism
was accompanied by the recovery of forgotten classical Greek
and Arabic knowledge from monastic libraries, often re-translanted from Arabic into Latin.
The Renaissance spread across Europe between the 14th and 16th centuries: it saw the flowering of art, philosophy, music, and the sciences, under the joint patronage of royalty, the nobility, the Roman Catholic Church, and an emerging merchant class.
Patrons in Italy, including the Medici
family of Florentine
bankers and the Popes
, funded prolific quattrocento
artists such as Raphael
, and Leonardo da Vinci
Political intrigue within the Church in the mid-14th century caused the Great Schism
. During this forty-year period, two popes—one in Avignon
and one in Rome
—claimed rulership over the Church. Although the schism was eventually healed in 1417, the papacy's spiritual authority had suffered greatly.
The Church's power was further weakened by the Protestant Reformation
(1517–1648), initially sparked by the works of
German theologian Martin Luther
, a result of the lack of reform within the Church. The Reformation also damaged the Holy Roman Empire's power, as German princes became divided between Protestant
and Roman Catholic faiths.
This eventually led to the Thirty Years War
(1618–1648), which crippled the Holy Roman Empire and devastated much of Germany
, killing between 25 and 40 percent of its population.
In the aftermath of the Peace of Westphalia
rose to predominance within Europe.
The 17th century in southern and eastern Europe was a period of general decline.
Eastern Europe experienced more than 150 famines in a 200-year period between 1501 to 1700.
The Renaissance and the New Monarchs
marked the start of an Age of Discovery
, a period of exploration, invention, and scientific development.
According to Peter Barrett, "It is widely accepted that 'modern science' arose in the Europe of the 17th century (towards the end of the Renaissance), introducing a new understanding of the natural world."
In the 15th century, Portugal
, two of the greatest naval powers of the time, took the lead in exploring the world. Christopher Columbus
reached the New World
in 1492, and soon after the Spanish and Portuguese began establishing colonial empires in the Americas. France
, the Netherlands
soon followed in building large colonial empires with vast holdings in Africa, the Americas
, and Asia.
18th and 19th centuries
Main article: Modern history
See also: Industrial Revolution
, French Revolution
, and Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment
was a powerful intellectual movement during the 18th century promoting scientific and reason-based thoughts.
Discontent with the aristocracy and clergy's monopoly on political power in France resulted in the French Revolution
and the establishment of the First Republic
as a result of which the monarchy and many of the nobility perished during the initial reign of terror
. Napoleon Bonaparte
rose to power in the aftermath of the French Revolution and established the First French Empire
that, during the Napoleonic Wars
, grew to encompass large parts of Europe before collapsing in 1815 with the Battle of Waterloo
Napoleon's Empire in 1811
The Industrial Revolution
started in Great Britain
resulted in the further dissemination of the ideals of the French Revolution, including that of the nation-state
, as well as the widespread adoption of the French models of administration
, and education
The Congress of Vienna
, convened after Napoleon's downfall, established a new balance of power
in Europe centred on the five "Great Powers
": the United Kingdom
, Habsburg Austria
, and Russia.
This balance would remain in place until the Revolutions of 1848
, during which liberal uprisings affected all of Europe except for Russia and the United Kingdom. These revolutions were eventually put down by conservative elements and few reforms resulted.
In 1867, the Austro-Hungarian empire
; and 1871 saw the unifications of both Italy
from smaller principalities.
Likewise, in 1878 the Congress of Berlin
has conveyed formal recognition to the de facto
independent principalities of Montenegro
The Industrial Revolution
started in Great Britain
in the last part of the 18th century and spread throughout Europe. The invention and implementation of new technologies resulted in rapid urban growth, mass employment, and the rise of a new working class.
Reforms in social and economic spheres followed, including the first laws
on child labour
, the legalisation of trade unions
and the abolition of slavery
, the Public Health Act 1875
was passed, which significantly improved living conditions in many British cities. Europe’s population
population increased from about 100 million in 1700 to 400 million by 1900.
In the 19th century, 70 million people left Europe in migrations to various European colonies abroad and to the United States
20th century to present
Main articles: Modern era
and History of Europe
See also: World War I
, Great Depression
, Interwar period
, World War II
, Cold War
, and History of the European Union
European military alliances just prior to the start of WWI
Two World Wars and an economic depression dominated the first half of the 20th century. World War I
was fought between 1914 and 1918. It started when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
was assassinated by the Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip
Most European nations were drawn into the war, which was fought between the Entente Powers
, the United Kingdom
, and later Italy
, and the United States
) and the Central Powers
, and the Ottoman Empire
). The War left more than 16 million civilians and military dead.
Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilised from 1914–1918.
Partly as a result of its defeat Russia was plunged into the Russian Revolution
, which threw down the Tsarist monarchy
and replaced it with the communist Soviet Union
and the Ottoman Empire
collapsed and broke up into separate nations, and many other nations had their borders redrawn. The Treaty of Versailles
, which officially ended World War I
in 1919, was harsh towards Germany
, upon whom it placed full responsibility for the war and imposed heavy sanctions.
Economic instability, caused in part by debts incurred in the First World War and 'loans' to Germany played havoc in Europe in the late 1920s and 1930s. This and the Wall Street Crash of 1929
brought about the worldwide Great Depression
. Helped by the economic crisis, social instability and the threat of communism, fascist movements
developed throughout Europe placing Adolf Hitler
of Nazi Germany
, Francisco Franco
and Benito Mussolini
Up to eight million people may have died in the Soviet famine
Stalin's Great Terror
began in December 1934. By the time the purges subsided in 1938, millions of Soviet citizens had been executed, imprisoned, or exiled.
In 1933, Hitler became the leader of Germany and began to work towards his goal of building Greater Germany. Germany re-expanded and took back the Saarland
in 1935 and 1936. In 1938, Austria
became a part of Germany too, following the Anschluss
. Later that year, Germany annexed the German Sudetenland
, which had become a part of Czechoslovakia
after the war. This move was highly contested by the other powers, but ultimately permitted in the hopes of avoiding war and appeasing
Burned-out buildings in Hamburg
, 1944 or 45.
Shortly afterwards, Poland and Hungary started to press for the annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia with Polish and Hungarian majorities. Hitler encouraged the Slovaks to do the same and in early 1939, the remainder of Czechoslovakia was split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
, controlled by Germany, and the Slovak Republic
, while other smaller regions went to Poland and Hungary. With tensions mounting between Germany and Poland over the future of Danzig
, the Germans turned to the Soviets, and signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
. Germany invaded Poland
on 1 September 1939, prompting France and the United Kingdom to declare war on Germany on 3 September, opening the European theatre
of World War II
The Soviet invasion of Poland
started on 17 September and Poland fell soon thereafter.
On 24 September, the Soviet Union attacked the Baltic countries
and later, Finland. The British hoped to land at Narvik and send troops to aid Finland, but their primary objective in the landing was to encircle Germany and cut the Germans off from Scandinavian resources. Nevertheless, the Germans knew of Britain's plans and got to Narvik first, repulsing the attack. Around the same time, Germany moved troops into Denmark, which left no room for a front except for where the last war had been fought or by landing at sea. The Phoney War
In May 1940, Germany attacked France through the Low Countries. France capitulated in June 1940. However, the British refused to negotiate peace terms with the Germans and the war continued. By August Germany began a bombing offensive on Britain
, but failed to convince the Britons to give up.
In 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in the ultimately unsuccessful Operation Barbarossa
On 7 December 1941 Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor
drew the United States into the conflict as allies of the British Empire
and other allied
After the staggering Battle of Stalingrad
in 1943, the German offensive in the Soviet Union turned into a continual fallback. In 1944, British and American forces invaded France in the D-Day
landings, opening a new front against Germany. Berlin
finally fell in 1945, ending World War II in Europe. The war was the largest and most destructive in human history, with 60 million dead across the world
More than 40 million people in Europe had died as a result of the war by the time World War II ended,
including between 11 and 17 million people who perished during the Holocaust
The Soviet Union
lost around 27 million people during the war, about half of all World War II casualties.
By the end of World War II, Europe had more than 40 million refugees
Several post-war expulsions
in Central and Eastern Europe displaced a total of about 20 million people.
The Schuman Declaration
1950) led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community
. It began the integration process
which today comprises the European Union
of 27 democratic countries in Europe