Regional Study 3
Western and Eastern Europe
A Continent in Transition
European Overview
 Covers over 3.8 million square miles
 Second smallest continent
 Separated from Asia by the Ural Mountains of
Russia and bounded by sea to the north, west,
and south
 Chain of mountains, the Pyrenees, Alps, and
Carpathians stretch across the continent west
to east
 Separates the rugged lands that fringe the
island filled Mediterranean Sea from the North
European Plain, a belt of flat land that extends
from the English Channel to the Urals
 Farther north lie the broad, glacier-carved
Scandinavian Peninsula and the large islands
of Great Britain, Ireland and Iceland
European Overview
Europe is located on the western
side of the Eurasian Plate and
beneath Mediterranean Sea, the
plate is colliding with the African
Plate and the smaller Anatolian
Plate
Southern Europe has quite a few
earthquakes because of this
movement
European Climate
 Polar winds bring cold weather to northern
Europe but a warm ocean current called the
Gulf Stream helps create more temperate
conditions in the west
 Eastern interior experiences more extreme
weather, very cold winters and hot summers
 Southern Europe is protected from the
northerly winds by the Alps, so it has warm, dry
summers and mild, wet winters
 Rainfall is uniformly distributed across Europe,
but by the time the currents reach Eastern
Europe, northeast of the Black sea, much of the
moisture is gone
Vegetation of Europe
 Most of western and central Europe were once
covered with broadleaf deciduous forests of oak,
ash, elm, beech, and birch
 Boreal forests of fir, spruce, and pine still cloak
extensive ares of Scandinavia and northwestern
Russia, giving way in the far north to tundra
 Steppe grasslands cover dry areas of the east
 In the far south, on the shore of the
Mediterranean Sea, the sparse woodlands and
scrub are common
 Emissions from the many cars, trucks, and
factories in Europe have led to problems with air
pollution and acid rain over a large part of the
continent
Pollution in Europe
 Land and water pollution from fertilizers,
pesticides, and industrial waste is also
widespread
 Since 1960s, the amount of forest area in
Western and Central Europe has
increased, but nearly 60% are damaged
due to acidification, pollution, drought,
or fires
 Overfishing, especially in the North Sea,
is a serious problem for marine
ecosystems
Pollution in Europe
 50 out of 69 rivers are in poor ecological quality
 85% of the coastline is threatened by
development
 1/3 of global greenhouse gas emissions,
especially in Eastern Europe
 Czech Republic has the continent’s highest
levels of industrial waste
 Moldovia has the highest levels of organic
water pollutants
 260 species are on the brink of extinction and
the populations of 1/3 of bird species are in
decline
Improvements in Recent Years
 Recent legislation has resulted in significant
progress in reducing pollution
 Greenhouse emissions have fallen 2% between
1990-1998
 Carbon dioxide emissions declined 8% in
Eastern Europe between 1990-2000
 Use of pesticides have declined in Eastern
Europe and phosphorous discharges have
dropped by 50 to 80% in western Europe in the
past 20 years
 Levels of heavy metals, including mercury in
seas fell by 80% in the 1990s.
 Protected areas grow each year and Western
Europe legislation has protected over 54 million
acres of farmland
People of Europe
 Europe has a population of about 720 million
and has been one of the most densely
populated areas in the world
 Thousands of years of migrations, invasions,
wars and changing alliances have made the
cities’ architecture, art, languages, cultures and
people diverse
 42 nations as well as the Eastern Thrace region
of Turkey and eastern part of Russian
Federation, often referred to as European
Turkey and European Russia
 Standards of living tend to be high, particularly
in the northwest
 Natural resources are high
Language Groups of Western
Europe
2 chief Indo-European language
groups: Romance and Germanic
French and Italian are Romance
languages along with Spanish,
Romanian and Portuguese
German, English are Germanic
Slavic Languages are separate
category
Western Europe
 Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany,
Sweden, Iceland, Belgium, Switzerland,
Finland, France, Netherlands, Italy,
Luxembourg, Spain Norway, Greece,
Portugal, Denmark, Austria
 3 sides by water: North by Arctic Ocean,
South by Mediterranean Sea and East by
Atlantic Ocean.
 North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Celtic Sea,
English Channel and Bay of Biscay flow
into one another off of the west coast of
Europe and the Baltic Sea separates
Germany from Sweden
Western Europe
 North European Plain Region (UK,
German, most of France, some of Spain,
part of Norway and all countries between
Germany and France) have a marine
west coast climate
 Temperatures fairly warm and rainfall
steady
 Mediterranean Climate (southern France,
southern Italy, southern Spain, Portugal
and Greece) hot, dry summers and mild,
moist winters
Religions of Europe
Primarily Catholic in Western
Europe: France, Spain, Italy,
Ireland, Poland
Protestant in most of Germany
(where Reformation began),
Scandinavia region, Great Britain
Orthodox in Russia, Greece
Sunni Islam: Turkey, Middle East
Human Impact on Europe
 Early population growth and subsistence
farming began around 4000 BC increased with
the iron plow and commercial farming in the
Middle Ages
 Grew with industry of 18th Century, known as
birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
 Humans have removed over half of the
continent’s original forest, along with large
areas of natural steppe grasslands
 Humans have modified about 65% of Europe’s
surface—double of any other continent
Abundant Resources
 Europe’s resources include fossil fuels, reliable
supplies of fresh water, and arable land
 Fertile in west, center and southeast produce
large amounts of cereals (20% of world’s
supply), root crops (including 2/3 of world’s
potatoes), fruit, and livestock products
 Dairy and beef cattle dominate in the north
 South has farms of olives, grapes, citrus fruits,
sheep and goats
 Half of the world’s steel, 1/3 of chemicals and
many consumer goods
 ½ of the world’s exports and imports
Western European Economies
Benefited from close proximity to
water
Shipping and trade significant
along with colonization
Unified by geography, cooperative
banking system, a shared
transportation system, no trade
barriers and under European Union
it is hoped to unify currency with
Euro Dollar
European Economies
Western Europe is a consolidation
of high tech, market-driven,
globally connected economies
Manufacturing and commercial
agriculture are dominant
Crucial to continental economic
integration is the European Union
of 25 member nations whose
combined economic power is in
line with US and Russia
British Isles
United Kingdom (UK) are the three
countries of England, Scotland and
Wales plus northern Ireland
Great Britain are England, Scotland
and Wales
England is the central power of UKmonarchy and parliament based
here (London)
England’s Climate
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Cool and moist
Sky often gray
Rains Regularly
3 areas: Highlands, hills that run along
England’s west coast, Midlands most densely
populated and a lot of coal, Lowlands southern
and eastern England fertile soil and home of
farms and cow pastures
 Center of Industry, London is a natural seaport
 River Thames that runs through London
polluted as a result
Scotland and Wales
 Honor Queen and send representatives
to Parliament
 Certain degrees of independence such
as language
 Scotland has own system of laws and
educational system
 Scotland has Highlands with moors
(plains) and bogs. Fishing and sheep
herding in this area. Central Lowlands
most populous
Wales and Northern Ireland
Has Highlands and Lowlands as
well, but more rain
Economy: Wales mining and
industry along with computers
Northern Ireland source of religious
conflict with Catholics and
Protestants leading to rise in
independence
Nordic Nations
 Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and
Denmark
 Called Scandinavia or Norden
 Mostly Lutheran
 Arctic conditions
 “Midnight Sun” summers last for 20
hours and short, winters are long and
dark
 Climate moderate west coast due to
warm currents of the North Atlantic
 Moderate temperature below Arctic
Circle
Nordic Nations
 Iceland “Land of Ice and Fire” very
volcanic and a lot of ice
 Use geothermal energy
 Standard of Living in these nations
highest in the world—all have mixed
economies, high taxes, but government
provides day care, health care and
college education
 Neutral nations in international disputes
 Fishing and agriculture very important,
particularly whale hunting in Norway
European Unity
 Economies of Europe are intertwined
 Railroads, highways and waterways run across
borders
 The Chunnel, 31 mile long tunnel that was dug
beneath the English Channel. People can travel
by high-speed train from England to France
 These things along with the European Union has
made Europe closer to one another
 Some are afraid of losing national identity and
inequalities of EU members
France
 France has mixed economy, name
comes from Franks, Germanic tribe
 Paris artistic, economic, and political
capital of France
 Diverse regions remain united by
language and culture
 Each region has its own specialty and
contributes to French economy
 Recently unemployment reached 14%
due to immigration of many North
Africans
France
Paris is not just the capital of
France, but a world capital for style
and fashion
1800s art style called
impressionism was born in Paris.
Monet, Renoir and Degas painted
natural everyday scenes and
worked outdoors. They tried to
catch first “impressions”
Germany
 After World War I economic decline and
racism led to rise of Hitler and Nazis
 After World War II, Germany divided by
Berlin Wall, part of “Iron Curtain” and
reunited in 1990
 Land rugged mountains in the south,
hills, low mountains and tall plateaus in
the center and flat plains in the north
 Central Ruhr Valley is base of Germany’s
industrial activity, manufactures steel,
iron, uses coal to power factories, which
causes pollution, particularly in the east.
Germany Economy
 One of first industrialized nations
 Center of culture, art, music, philosophy and
science
 Capitalism
 Western Germany used loans from U.S. to
rebuild quickly after World War II and produced
steel, automobiles, machinery, electronics and
chemicals
 Reunification: there was a fear that Germany
would build up its military
 Eastern German factories tend to be old and
many do not have jobs, economy as a whole
has weakened because the west has been
giving aid
BENELUX Countries
 Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg
(BE NE LUX)
 “Low countries”
 Belgium call selves “the Walloons”French speaking people that make up
30% of population
 Largest group in Belgium Flemish 55%
 Flemish and French official languages
 Government decentralized to regional
power
 BENELUX Economic Union is a trade
pact owned by Belgium, Netherlands and
Luxembourg
Netherlands
 Holland
 1/3 of country below sea level
sometimes called Dutch
 Elaborate system of canals that allow
them to drain water from the land, pump
it out to sea and then block its return
with huge dikes
 Reclaimed land is called polders
 Rotterdam and Amsterdam are port
cities on polders
 2 capitals in Amsterdam and the Hague
Luxembourg
Smallest country-smaller than
Rhode Island
2nd highest per capita GNP in the
world
Manufacturer of steel and
diversified economy in
manufacturing, computers and
services
Hydroelectric
Switzerland and Austria
 Both neutral and not part of NATO
 Both are in the Alps
 Switzerland very ethnically diverseConfederation of 26 cantons each have
particular religions, customs, economic
activities and languages
 Majority speak German, but many speak French
and Italian
 Hydroelectric
 Dairy farming important—chocolate and
watches
 Has more than 3,000 miles of railroad
 Austria high in iron ore, hydroelectric
Mediterranean Europe
 Spain and Portugal form Iberian Peninsula separated
from rest of Europe by Pyrenees Mts.
 Very close to Africa, 30 miles Strait of Gibraltar,
where ships go through to get to Mediterranean
 Spain and Portugal colonized extensively
 Spain territory varied: North coast rains after
Sirocco, hot wind that blows over SE Spain from N.
Africa makes region semi-arid
 Much of Spain has plateaus, many rivers, but only a
few are navigable or deep enough for ships
 Spain is 1 of 4 European countries with coastlines
on Mediterranean Sea along with France, Italy and
Greece
 Madrid is central hub, has one of largest ranching
and grazing areas in Europe
 Focus on industry
 NE region of Spain
 About 1 million
 Basque Language:
not related to any
other language in
Europe
 Many want
separation from
Spain
 Around Barcelona
are the Catalonians
who speak a mixture
of French and
Spanish
 Portugal, capital
Lisbon is in coastal
country, fairly damp,
fertile soil and has
also shifted to
industry
Basques and other
Ethnic Groups in
Spain
Italy
 Once center of Roman Empire
 After fall of Rome, many independent citystates until mid 1800s, united in 1861
 Northern Italy “European Italy”
 Alps, Venice and fertile agricultural center of
the Po Valley—10% of work force
 Central Italy is where Rome, Florence, Bologna
and Vatican City are located
 Vatican City separate country because it is the
center of the Roman Catholic Church and home
of the Pope
 Florence birthplace of the Renaissance
 Bologna is a food and agricultural center
Italy
Central and Southern Regions of
Italy volcanic, Alps block the cold
Southern Region “Mezzogiorno,”
largest city is Naples
Some of the worst unemployment
in Europe in Southern Italy
Greece
 Athens once home of Greek Civilization
 Middle Ages—Turkish Empire controlled it until 1830
when Greece became independent
 Many mountains and rocky soil
 Wheat and grains can grow on coastal plains
 Economy relies on sea, fishing, shipbuilding and trade
 One of world’s largest commercial fishing fleets and
ailing important transportation—Greece has many tiny
islands
 Largest island is Crete where Minos civilization was
 Island result of tectonic activity
 Susceptible to volcanic activity and earthquakes
 Solar energy used extensively
 1/3 of population lives in and around Athens
Eastern Europe
 Area of ethnic fighting
 Centrally located
 After World War II, location of Eastern
Europe between Soviet Union and
Western Europe forced nations of region
to act as a buffer
 2/3 are descended from Slavs who
settles around Carpathian Mts. 2,000
years ago
 Magyars arrived in Hungarian Basin from
Asia
 “Breadbasket of Europe” is eastern
Hungary
Eastern Europe
 Variety of religions: Muslim, Orthodox
Christian, and Roman Catholic
 Languages are Slavic
 1989: Reunification of Germany and the
breaking up of Yugoslavia and
Czechoslovakia
 Czech Republic and Slovakia,
Yugoslavia, Serbia, Macedonia, BosniaHerzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia
 Communist governments oppressive,
restrictive and closed borders
Danube River
 4 capital cities of Eastern Europe formed
along Danube River: Vienna, Austria,
Bratislava, Slovakia, Budapest, Hungary,
Belgrade, Yugoslavia
 Important to Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Hungary and Macedonia because they are
landlocked
Russia and the New Republics
 Before 1917, agricultural
 Expansive grassland, known as steppes,
farming
 Russia biggest country in the world
 Entire United States could fit into Russia with
room left over for Western Europe
 North to South covers 2,800 miles
 East to West covers 5,600 miles
 Stretches 11 time zones
 People in west are waking up when the eastern
edge is having dinner
 Huge, low plains divided by Ural Mts.
 Russia has polar climate in far north and full of
ice most of the time
 Permafrost, land never melts
Russia
 Most of Russia has a continental climate that is
the seasons are sharply different
 Simmers are warm but short
 Winters are long and very cold
 Just enough rain for forests
 In north most trees are evergreens, south are
elms and maples
 Ports of Russia freeze in winter and this has
limited Russia’s contacts with the world and
restricted trade and economic growth
 Land expansion goal was to get control of
warm-water ports
 Twice the size of
European Russia
 Cold winters and
short summers
 Forests
 Siberia used as a
prison
 Many resources:
coal, tin, oil, iron,
diamonds
 Steel mills,
chemical factories
and science centers
Siberia
Russia
 Russians are Slavic and Vikings settled
there too and adopted Slavic customs
 Rurik, Viking prince source of Russian
name by many, others say a Slavic
group Rukhs-as
 First kingdom in late 800s in Kiev on
Dneiper River
 Mongols invaded in A.D.1238 and ruled
for 250 years
 Muscovy or Moscow grew as Mongols
weakened in 1480
U.S.S.R.
 Ivan the Third called himself Czar or emperor
 By 1800s, Czar ruled empire from Arctic Ocean
to the Black Sea
 1917 Communist Revolution and government
controlled life—collective farms
 Revolution came about because of the
oppressive rule of the czars
 Communist changed the name of Russia to the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or U.S.S.R
 Soviets feared outside forces so concentrated
on army and to ensure no enemies from within
organized the secret police, Committee of State
Security, KGB
New Revolution
 1980s economy was failing in U.S.S.R
 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev came to power and
tried to change the Soviet system
 Glasnost “openness” for people to say what
they thought without fear
 Perestroika “restructuring” people could start
private business
 Ethnic groups grew restless
 1992 elections held and Communists lost power
 Republics began declaring independence
 New Commonwealth of Independent States
 Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia did not join
St. Petersburg
 Considered crown jewel of Russia and is
a cultural center
 Home of Russia’s ballet dancers and
writers
 Czar Peter the Great ordered its
construction in 1703 and became capital
in 1712 for 200 years
 Peter the Great named it for the patron
saint
 During WWI, the name changed to
Petrograd and Soviets named it
Leningrad
 1991 changed back to St. Petersburg
Former soviet States
 Soviet Union was made up of 15
separate republics or states
 12 of these formed the Commonwealth
of Independent States
 To establish common rules for all states
in areas of economics, foreign relations
and military
 There is a current push for privatization
of farms, factories and businesses
Baltic States
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on
edge of Baltic Sea
Milder climate than Russia and
ports do not freeze and are open for
trade all year
Most developed areas of Soviet
Union
All 3 have well educated work force
and ½ of people live in cities
Baltic States
 Latvia Russians and Belarussians make up
about 39% of population
 Estonia Russians are a large minority
 Russian is widely spoken
 Latvia has no natural resources, so it imports
raw materials
 Latvia produces steel, ships, cement, fertilizer,
and textiles
 Estonia is near Finland and most of the people
are Finns
 Estonia has high standard of living and strong
agriculture
 Lithuania was part of Poland once and about 7%
are Polish, most are Roman Catholic
 Lithuania has shipbuilding and manufacturing
Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova
 Ukraine “Little Russia” Belarussians
related to Russians
 “Belo” in Russian is white
 Belarus and Ukraine are agricultural:
Potatoes, beets and other roots grow in
Belarus, sometimes called the “land of
potatoes”
 Minsk is important in production of
machines, tools and goods
Ukraine
 3rd largest republic
 2nd highest population
 Wheat and grains known as
“breadbasket” of the Soviet Union due
to rich dark soil called chernozem
 25% of Soviet Union’s industrial goods
produced in Ukraine
 Rich resources: oil, natural gas and iron
 Hydroelectric power
Ukrain
12.3 million acres of land affected
by radiation that leaked into the air
and land at Chernobyl
Vegetation and people as far as
Germany affected including genetic
mutations, birth defects and cancer
Moldova
Ruled by Turks and then Russians
Joined Romania briefly after World
War I
Most Moldovians call themselves
Romanian
Language is Romanian
Large population of Ukrainians and
Russians
Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
Rural villagers in the Caucasus Mts.
Tend to live long lives, many live to
be more than 100 years old
Historically these republics have
been more influenced by Turkey
and Iran than Russia
Most are not Slavic
Georgia
Georgians have been warriors and
hunters, most Kartvelians with
some turke, Greeks, Armenians,
Ossets and Kurds
Most are Georgian Orthodox
Farmers with orchards of cherries,
apricots, grapes and other fruit
Grain and dairy as well
Armenia
 First kingdom to make Christianity its
official religion in A.D.314
 Education important
 Large pool of trained, educated workers
 Physics Institute and other science
centers
 Soviet doctors, engineers and
astronomers trained here
 Long conflict with Azerbaijan over
religion because Azerbaijan is Muslim
 1988 Armenia had a devastating
earthquake
Azerbaijan
Between Armenia and Caspian Sea
Mostly Azeris, Turkish people with
strong ties to Persia (Iran)
Crafts such as carpet weaving,
metalworking, wood carving and
jewelry making
Central Asian Nations of Former
U.S.S.R.
 Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,
Kyrgyzsten and Tajikistan
 Mostly Turkish—Azeir, Kazakh, Kyrgyz,
Turkish, Uzbek, Yakut
 Russians a minority in all
 Low-lying grassland and desert
 Nomadic herding tradition and living in
huge, round tents called yiuts
 Forced to live in villages under Soviets
and work in industries
Poland
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Nationalism high
Homogenous
Polish and Roman Catholic
Many Jews in Poland before WWII
“Ghetto” minority group forced to live in confined area
1980 Solidarity Labor Union pushed for reforms
1989 Communism fell and new President elected in
1990
High unemployment and inflation
Resources: Coal and sulfur
75% of work in factories
Countryside fertile soil
Balkan Peninsula
 4 Climate Regions: Mediterranean along
water, Humid Subtropical north, Marine
West Coast, Humid Continental in east
 Thick forests
 High acid rain in north due to industry
 Alps along Adriatic Sea and Hungarian
Basin
 Temperate grasslands in west
 Includes countries of Croatia, Albania,
Bulgaria, Montenegro, F.Y.R.O.
Macedonia, Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Serbia
Balkan Peninsula
 Balkanize: to break up into small, mutually
hostile political units
 Serious ethnic conflict
 Yugoslavia mad up of hostile ethnic groups
after World War I
 Soon after Yugoslavia turned from Communism
in 1990, violence erupted
 Nations of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia,
Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro
formed
 Serbia and Montenegro remained together and
referred to selves as Yugoslavia
 Slovenia wealthiest of republics and first to
secede from Yugoslavia
Balkan Peninsula
 1992 brutal ethnic clash with Serbians,
Croats and Bosnians in BosniaHerzegovina
 “Ethnic Cleansing” of Bosnians lasted
until 1996 by Serbian leader Slobodan
Milosevic because he did not want
Bosnian region to secede from
Yugoslavia
 Kosovo in Serbian followed and
Milosevic attacked Albanians in Kosovo
Albania
 “Europe’s Hermit”
 Self-imposed isolation from rest of the
world
 Transition from Communism very
difficult and people extremely poor
 1990s food scarcity caused bread riots
Czech and Slovak Republics
 Communist Czechoslovakia after World
War II
 “Velvet Revolution” election of
democratic parliament to replace
Communist rule without a struggle in
1993
 First Prime Minister of Czech Republic
philosopher and playwright, Vaclav
Haval
 Free Market System
 Economy based on industry which
causes pollution
Slovakia
 Manufacturing and agriculture
 Redistributing land to people biggest
challenge
 Both areas fairly mountainous
 Eastern region of Czech republic known
as Bohemia
 Western half of Czech Republic is
Moravia
 Divided in half by mountains
 Rest of land plateaus
 Carpathian Mts. Define Czech Republic’s
northern border
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Regional Study 2 Latin America