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Europe is second in size continent. The name Europe or Europa or Europa, is believed to have Greek origins, since Europa is the name given to a princess from Greek mythology. The name Europe could also originate from the combination of two Greek origins “eur”“wide” (wide) and the word op (seeing) which would make the expression “wide-gazing.”
Europe is usually described as being a ” peninsula of peninsulas.” A peninsula is a section of land that is surrounded by water on all three sides. Europe is one of the peninsulas on the Eurasian supercontinent that is separated with Europe by the Arctic Ocean to the north as well as to the north, Atlantic Ocean to the west as well as the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas to the south.

The main peninsulas of Europe are the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan which are located in the southern part of Europe and those of Scandinavian as well as Jutland which are located within northern Europe. The connection between these three peninsulas has made Europe the dominant economic as well as social and cultural power throughout recorded time.

The European continent’s geographical geographic, environment and resources and the human geography are distinct.

Presently, Europe is home to the people from Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales as well as Northern Ireland), and Vatican City.

Cultural Geography

Europe has a long and rich history of human advancement and is considered to be the place of birth for Western Civilization. Nowadays, this wealth of culture can be used to build Europe’s European Community and is exported to the the world, making it one of the greatest assets of the continent.

Historic Cultures
cultures were shaped by their world, and were influenced by the diverse geographic features of Europe. Physical characteristics, weather-related events as well as local resources had a profound influence on how the ancient European societies flourished as they interacted and believed their world functioned.

The climate and geography in the Mediterranean region, for instance directly had an impact on Greek mythology. The majority of Greek goddesses and gods represent the physical elements active which comprised the landscape of the region. These volcanoes, Lemnos the island of the Mediterranean and Mount Etna in the Greek island Sicily were believed to represent the forges of Hephaestus The Greek god of fire. The ancient Greeks also believed that that the reigning gods held lesser gods under the volcanoes. The volcano’s violent nature was a result of the work of Hephaestus as well as the anger of gods imprisoned.

The ancient Greeks were awed by the sea was also a major influence on their beliefs about mythology. The numerous earthquakes that struck Greece, as well as their tsunamis that they caused were associated with the god of the sea, Poseidon who was also known by the name of “Earth Shaker.” Temples and cults that were centered around Poseidon were constructed throughout all of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas in the hopes to please the god.

In the course of time, as sea trading and exploration grew in the region, the winds and currents that were linked to Poseidon were a major factor within Greek mythology. The gods were able to be rewarded or punished by travelers and traders in favorable or adverse sea conditions. This is the central concept that runs through The Odyssey, an epic poem composed by Homer where these essential elements of the sea aid and harm the hero.

Other cultures evolved around the special resources they had at their disposal. For instance, the Sami society of Scandinavia is an example. It was closely linked to the reindeer herds indigenous to the Arctic. The Sami took care of and accompanied the herds throughout their grazing season. In the winter months it was believed that the Sami consumed all the parts from the animal. They made tents and clothing from the reindeer hides by sewing the cloth using twine that was made from the animal’s tendon.

The tracking of herds as well as individual animals became more crucial during Sami life. To differentiate families, herds, and communities came up with patterns of cuts and notch marks on the animals ears.

Reindeer were also Sami’s principal method of transporting products on their nomad travels. The length of these journeys varied according to the patterns of migration for specific reindeer herds. Certain reindeer herds can have home ranges that can be as large as 5 000 sq km (1,930 acres).

Herding reindeer is essential to Sami culture, and is still flourishing across the northern part of Scandinavia along with the Russian Kola Peninsula.

Different physical characteristics affected the way European societies interacted with each the other. Because of its central European geographical location, but also its geographic isolation and its geographical isolation, the Alps region grew into a distinct crossroads for the dominant languages of Europe, and also a refuge for ancient languages. This diversity of languages can be seen across many of the Alpine regions of numerous modern European nations today.

Switzerland is a good example. It includes four different official languages, including German, French, Italian and Romansch. In the Middle Ages, the dominant European powers ruled this strategically important mountain region in the Alps. Around 400 CE The Alemanni were an ethnic group belonging to the Germanic tribe, conquered modern-day northern Switzerland. It is now the German-speaking area of the country.

At the same time, Roman conquerors took over the present-day southern Switzerland. Latin is the language spoken in Rome developed in French in the west and Italian to the south. Due to their isolation However, all these regions are distinctive dialects that are slightly different from their mother language. Swiss-Italian can be distinguished from Italian.

Romansch is one of the in danger of becoming a dialect, originated from Latin. Only a few thousand people are proficient of Romansch. The language has survived in Switzerland due to the geographical isolation that its speakers are from.

Contemporary Cultures Europe’s diverse and rich culture continues to thrive in the present. With this many of nations incorporated into the smallest space, Europe strongly supports individual identity and cultural products.

The European Capitals of Culture program was established in 1985 and has grown to become one of Europe’s biggest and well-known cultural events. The objectives that the programme aims to achieve are regional, local regional as well as global. It highlights Europe’s rich cultural diversity, highlights its cultural ties, and draws people of diverse European background together. The program has brought an economic boost for towns and cities, boosted their international profile and increased their image before their own citizens.

Every year, between two and three cities are selected to host a calendar of cultural activities. This event must not just draw attention to the city’s unique culture history, but it should also include innovative events that bring together various different cultural practices across Europe. The events should be organized around a common topic or theme. One Capital of Culture of 2011 in Turku, Finland, focused on the positive impact of culture on well-being and health. A lot of the events promoted involvement of the community as well as civic involvement. The plans are to be in the city beyond 2011; some sculptures could be used to promote athletics, for example. Turku representatives hope to encourage others in European nations to take on similar initiatives.

Europe also helps strengthen ties among the diverse cultures and people of Europe by promoting education that is multilingual. It is the European Union has 23 official languages and Europe has sixty indigenous languages. A flourishing immigrants community members are contributing different languages into the continent which include Arabic, Hindi, and Mandarin.

The 2006 European study found the fact that 53 per cent of people were able to speak a second language, and that 28 percent were able to have two languages. The study also revealed that only 8 percent respondents believed that learning a language was irrelevant.

The European Union has adopted a multilingual language policy that has the intention that every person can speak more than two languages addition to their native language. In implementing this policy in this way, it is the European Union hopes it will improve educational, social and professional connections within Europe and help make Europe more competitive on the global market.

Europe’s cultural offerings also help to unify the region. Certain regions and countries have developed a distinct image or “branding” that is focused on particular exports and products.

Scandinavian style, for example is focused on homewares and fashion. It is distinguished by its minimalist, minimalist design and affordable mass production. It is important to note that Scandinavian firms that focus on designing products include Electrolux that makes home electronic products as well as Ikea and H&M known all over the world for their low-cost but stylish home furnishings and clothing, respectively.

Italian fashions are also a significant export of culture. Milan is a city that Milan is known as an important fashion center, and hosts the world’s largest fashion show twice every year. It is also home to the corporate headquarters for luxurious brands like Valentino, Gucci, Versace and Prada. Milan is also the home of important European fashion magazines including GraziaVogue Italia, and Vera.

German design for automobiles has earned an international reputation for quality and the utmost prestige. Automobile manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are renowned around the world for producing vehicles that are dynamic and offer an exciting driving experience. It has also been home to a variety of excellent schools for design in the automotive industry, including the Hochschule Esslingen as well as the Hochschule Pforzheim.

Political Geography

Europe’s long-running history and its the development of its economy are shaped by its political geography. Political geography refers to the internal and external relationships among governments as well as citizens and even territories. The early Europeans actually developed global notions of citizenship and the role of government. These concepts were tested during periods of peace and war and are still being refining them today.

Old Issues
The earliest political history of Europe can be traced to early Greece and Rome both of which profoundly affected the way Western civilizations manage their territory and their the citizens of their respective territories.

As the place of birth in democracy and democracy, antiquity’s Greece was a hub of the polis or city-state. The city-state was unique in the fact that they were not controlled by an the dynastic governor, but instead by an elected body of its citizens. The concept of citizenship – of being a part of and being a part of your community–was the foundational element of democracy. The term “democracy” is derived from Greek root: demos– is a Greek word that means “people,” and – kratos which means “power.” Prominent Greek philosophers like Socrates and Plato have discussed democratic principles through their works. Politicians and philosophers have utilized these works to promote their democratic ideals from the beginning.

Roman culture had significant influence on Western ideas in the areas of government, law as well as the military. At its peak, Rome controlled approximately 6.5 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles) of the land.

The Roman strategy of controlling and conquering the territory is thought as the foundation of Western Imperialism. The term “imperialism” refers to increasing a nation’s power or influence by diplomatic means or force. The concept of imperialism has been utilized throughout the past, but most notable by European powers as well as by the United States. Other institutions of the political system of Rome remain across Europe as well as former European colonies. A few of these ideas include the notion that there is an elective Senate and the deployment of troops from military troops outside of a nation’s home region.

World War I and World War II significantly impacted the political geographical landscape of Europe. World War I (1914-1918) caused about 16 million dead. In 1914, the Central Powers (led by the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire as well as the Ottoman Empire) fell to the forces of the Allied Powers (led by the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire). After the end in the conflict, both the Austro-Hungarian as well as the Ottoman empires fell apart and split into a dozen distinct nations. The borders between nations like Poland and Russia were completely redrawn.

World War II (1939-1945) resulted in the death of around 43 million Europeans in the grave, including approximately 6 million people who died during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the mass killing of Jews under the Nazi regime. World War II also left more than 40 million refugees as well as helped to establish the independence of European colonies across the globe and destroyed cities and the structure of several European cities.

In the wake of the destruction of World War II, Western Europe’s role in world politics waned. In the aftermath of World War II, the United States began to lead the Western world and it was the Soviet Union, with its capital located in Russia’s Eastern European city of Moscow, Russia, led the so-called Eastern Bloc. This was the relation between United States, with a free market economy as well as that of the Soviet Union, with a communist economy was referred to by the name of Cold War.

“The “Iron Curtain” symbolizes Europe’s political landscape in the Cold War. It was the Iron Curtain was an ideological border which divided Europe into two groups: Western countries that were influenced by the United States, and Eastern countries influenced by Soviet Union. International military and economic organizations were established on either side of the Iron Curtain. In the United States and the Soviet Union have built huge nuke arsenals including a number of missiles directed at targets across Europe.

The Iron Curtain took on the physical form of wall-like border protections, walls and restricted diplomacy. The country of Germany was divided into two parts. The most well-known symbol of the Iron Curtain was the Berlin Wall, which divided the East German city of Berlin into two parts, eastern and western controlled.

The demise of the political and economic system of the Soviet Union led to the closing of the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s. At the time several communist-free revolutions were sweeping across the eastern and central regions of Europe. These revolutions ultimately led to the end of Cold War, symbolized by the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Modern Issues Europe is currently defined within the context of the European Union (EU), an organisation that is both political and economic that was officially established through the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. The EU strives to establish an unifying structure to govern environmental, social and military policies of its members.

The European Union is composed of 27 members, with new members mostly coming from eastern and central Europe. The diplomatic and financial success in the EU has contributed to its rapid expansion all over the globe.

The euro is among the strongest currencies around the world. It is the second-most well-known money (behind that of the American dollar) and is used every day by over 3 million people. Countries that use the euro as their primary unit of currency are known as”eurozone “eurozone.”

The leadership of the EU is split between different structures and branches, has been a successful model for international cooperation. The EU has a limited number of candidates for the position as members must ensure the stability of a democratic and stable form that is governed by a free market economy, and a commitment for the supreme law.

The rapid expansion of European Union, however, has created a host of political and administrative tensions. Many critics feel that the process to gain EU acceptance is far too challenging for the countries that are developing in Europe. The strict EU rules create a cost on developing nations to compete with more advanced counterparts.

A global crises in the financial sector that began in 2008, has caused tensions to increase significantly. This financial crisis can be characterized by high levels of debt as well as excessive rate of unemployment. It was the European Union created a $957 billion “rescue package” to help the EU economy, specifically for countries with unsustainable debt levels. This included Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. The rescue package has led to tensions to escalate between efficient countries and the debt-ridden countries they’re helping in rescuing. Indebted countries now have to deal with tight budgets and declining incomes , while more financially stable nations are requiring tax payers to fund their financial aid.

The issue of immigration status is an area of contention and controversy in Europe. In the past, Europe has been a central point for immigration. In the past, the European Union has established the Schengen Area, a zone in which Europeans can travel from one country to country without needing to present their passports. The economic crisis, coupled with concerns over immigrants’ links to terror or religious extremism has led Europe to adopt more cautious approaches towards immigration. Some critics say these views are racist towards foreigners. “Xenophobia is a strong fear or aversion to people from different countries or different cultures.

Two instances illustrate this controversy. In 2005 in 2005, the Danish journal Jyllands-Posten issued 12 illustrations depicting Islamic subject matter. The cartoons aimed to participate in the debate concerning Muslim extremism. A lot of Muslim groups However, they saw these cartoons to be racist, bigoted as well as racist and infuriating. Protests erupted all over in the Muslim globe, while protesters burned down Danish consulates throughout Lebanon, Iran, and Syria. These incidents had a profound impact on the image of Denmark as an inclusive, open, progressive and welcoming nation. The debate over the cartoons also caused tensions in connections between Islamic world as well as the West.

In 2010 the French government sacked illegal immigrants’ camps across France. The camps were mainly home to Roma and were also referred to as Gypsies. Roma are a group of people with a culture that is native to eastern and central Europe. When faced with economic turmoil, EU citizens of poorer members, like those of Roma in Bulgaria and Romania frequently move into more advanced EU countries to find jobs. The developed countries face similar economic difficulties. They do not see the need to welcome illegal immigrants and view them as a threat as well as a burden.

People who are in favor of the crackdown would like the government to curb illegal immigrants. The opposition says the action was racially insensitive.

New Issues
One of the most important indicators of the European continent’s economic and political future is the efforts it makes to reduce the impact of climate change..

Europe is often regarded as a leader in the world of green technologies and laws. In 2009, the United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. In accordance with an international agreement that was signed at the conference the 27 members from the European Union agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent until 2025 (from the 1990 level).

The EU has also informed the UN of the UN of a “conditional offer to boost the reduction by 30 percent subject to the condition that other major emitters agree to contribute part in the global effort to reduce emissions.” The conditional offer shows the tension at the meeting between countries with carbon emissions that are high and developing nations’ lower or increasing carbon usage. Many countries in the developing world argued that the Copenhagen Accord was drafted by an elite group of powerful nations and unfairly penalizes less developed countries that are likely to be impacted by the most severe consequences of climate changes.

The aging of Europe’s population is expected to significantly influence the continent’s socio-economic and political future. The total number of people living in Europe is expected to decrease from 590 to 542 millions in 2050. The percentage of people who are over 65 will increase by 16 to 28. These changes are expected to bring about two significant impacts there will be a shrinking workforce that will create a thriving and prosperous economy. Also, both the public and government will have to provide care to more elderly individuals.

The changes will impact different areas and regions of Europe with different effects. A study conducted by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development discovered that Scandinavia and particularly the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and western Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, and France are the most likely to be being able to support healthy and economically prosperous societies. A large portion of the most economically and socially influential elements in these communities will be governed by immigrants.

Countries in the developing world, like those located in southern and eastern Europe will suffer the most from the decline in population. Some of the economies struggling and could be impacted by carbon emission limitations is Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova.

It is evident that the historical disparities in Europe between the north and south east and west will continue to grow in the coming years. Implementing regional social policies and economic laws, particularly through institutions such as that of the European Union, may help slow the trend.

SOURCE: nationalgeographic

SEO Journalist, covering live and breaking news in United Kingdom.She also reports on the latest political news, social issues, treanding lifestyle and sports.She is passionate about making sure the region's stories get the very best coverage.


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