Europe is a large continent (one of the seven in the world) which borders the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Asia among others and which contains countries such as France, Germany, England, Turkey, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and many others. It is also the second smallest continent in the world (roughly 10,180,000 square kilometres which makes up about 2% of the surface of the world). Despite it’s small size however, Europe has the third highest population of any continent with 11% of the world’s population behind Asia and Africa. The largest country in Europe is Russia, though this spans both Europe and Asia, while the Vatican City situated in Rome is its smallest.
Europe has had a tumultuous and highly interesting history. Ancient Greece can arguably be described as the birthplace of Western culture with many very important thinkers and artists at the time residing there. Ancient Rome also played an important part in Europe’s early development as the Roman empire introduced roads and sewers to much of Western Europe and beyond.
Europe would play a larger role in global affairs following the 16th Century during ‘colonialism’ when many European nations such as England, France and Spain would control much of the world including America, much of Africa, a large part of Asia and Oceania. Europe also played a very large role in both world wars; the first a result of Kaiser Wilhelm the Second and tensions with England, the second a result of Adolf Hitler’s trying to recapture much of the land they lost during the Treaty of Versailles (and more), with their invasion into Poland being the catalyst for war. Following this Europe would be divided into two parts by an ‘Iron Curtain’ during the cold war – NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East.
More recently European integration has resulted in much of Europe finding strength in numbers. The EU is a union of currently 27 states of Europe, committed to integration and providing a standardised system of laws aimed at creating a single market to encourage the flow of goods, people, services and capital. This has resulted in the abandonment of passport controls between the borders, as well as a common currency adopted by 16 of the 27 members called ‘The Euro’.
While this integration makes Europe a convenient place to visit – allowing easy transportation between countries etc, its colourful history means that it remains a highly diverse place to visit with many cultures, traditions and climates. Visiting the Czech Republic could not be more different from visiting Spain or Southern France, and visiting the cheque republic provides an entirely different experience to visiting Bulgaria or Switzerland. As such there is a lot of tourism in Europe, and it continues to play an important role on the world stage.
Posted under Europe
This post was written by admin on December 20, 2010