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How Did Eastern Europe’s Geography Affect Its Development

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Cooperation And Control In Europe

Geography of Europe

Europes physical landforms, climate, and underlying resources have shaped the distribution of people across the region.When early humans began settling this region, they likely migrated through the Caucasus Mountains of Southwest Asia and across the Bosporus Strait from what is now Turkey into Greece. The Greeks provided much of the cultural and political foundations for modern European society. Greek ideals of democracy, humanism, and rationalism reemerged in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment. The Roman Empire followed the Greek Empire, pushing further into Europe and leaving its own marks on European society . Modern European architecture, governance, and even language can be traced back to the Roman Empires influence.

The Romans vast European and Southwest Asian empire united the region under Christianity and created new networks of roads and trading ports. With the fall of the Roman Empire, however, tribal and ethnic allegiances reemerged and a number of invasions and migrations occurred. England, for example, was settled by the Germanic Anglo-Saxons, from which the name England or Angeln is derived, then by the Normans from present-day France.

The map of Europe continues to evolve. In February 2019, for instance, the country formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, or just North Macedonia, resolving a long dispute with Greece.

A Valuable Lesson In Political And Cultural Geography

The name Yugoslavia, applied to the region along the Adriatic in 1929, means Land of the South Slavs. From 1918 to 1929, the region had been called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Non-Slavic populations surround Yugoslavia. The regions core is mountainous. The Dinaric Alps, with the highest peak at just below nine thousand feet in elevation, run through the center of the Balkan Peninsula. The rugged mountains separate and isolate groups of Slavic people who, over time, have formed separate identities and consider themselves different from those on the other sides of the mountain ridges. Distinct subethnic divisions developed into the Slovenes, Macedonians, Bosnians, Montenegrins, Croats, and Serbs, with various additional groups. These differences led to conflict, division, and war when the breakup of former Yugoslavia began.

Figure 2.34 The Balkan Peninsula and Former Yugoslavia Macedonia is officially called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia because of a name conflict with Greece. Albania is an independent country and was never a part of Yugoslavia.

Table 2.3 Status of States in Former Yugoslavia


Europe: Climate And Vegetation

A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE Because of Greece’s mild climate, the ancient Greeks spent much time outdoors. Greek men liked to talk with their friends in the marketplace. They also enjoyed sports. Large crowds gathered for athletic contests that were held during religious festivals. The most important of these was a footrace held every four years in the town of Olympia, a contest called the Olympic Games. In time, these games came to include other sports such as wrestling. In this form, they were the model for our modern Olympics. If ancient Greece had had a cold climate, we might not have Olympic Games today.

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Orthodoxy Catholicism And Protestantism Are Each Prominent In Different Parts Of Europe

Christianity has long been the prevailing religion in Europe, and it remains the majority religious affiliation in 27 of the 34 countries surveyed. But historical schisms underlie this common religious identity: Each of the three major Christian traditions Catholicism, Protestantism and Orthodoxy predominates in a certain part of the continent.

Orthodoxy is the dominant faith in the East, including in Greece, Russia, the former Soviet republics of Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus, and other former Eastern bloc countries such as Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Catholic-majority countries are prevalent in the central and southwestern parts of Europe, cutting a swath from Lithuania through Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, and then extending westward across Croatia, Austria, Italy and France to the Iberian Peninsula. And Protestantism is the dominant Christian tradition in much of Northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia.

There are substantial populations belonging to non-Christian religions particularly Islam in many European countries. In Bosnia, roughly half of the population is Muslim, while Russia and Bulgaria have sizable Muslim minority populations. But in most other countries surveyed, Muslims and Jews make up relatively small shares of the population, and surveys often are not able to reliably measure their precise size.

High And Late Middle Ages


The period between the year 1000 and 1250 is known as the High Middle Ages, followed by the Late Middle Ages until c. 1500.

During the High Middle Ages the population of Europe experienced significant growth, culminating in the Renaissance of the 12th century. Economic growth, 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 and Baltic Seas. The growing wealth and independence acquired by some coastal cities gave the a leading role in the European scene.

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.

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All Roads Lead To Rome

Rome’s geography forced the Romans to rely on overland transportation much more than other empires. The absence of ports and small number of major rivers lead the Romans to build a massive network of roads. At the height of the empire, the network included more than 80,000 kilometers of roadways, according to Hofstra University. The transportation system made the city of Rome the critical trade hub for the entire Mediterranean for centuries. Roman roads were of such high quality that many still exist today.


Majorities In Most Central And Eastern European Countries Believe In Fate

In addition to belief in God, Central and Eastern Europeans are more likely than Western Europeans to express belief in fate , as well as in some phenomena not typically linked with Christianity, including the evil eye .

Majorities in most Central and Eastern European countries surveyed say they believe in fate, including about eight-in-ten in Armenia and Bosnia . In Western Europe, far fewer people believe their lives are preordained roughly four-in-ten or fewer in most of the countries surveyed.

Belief in the evil eye is also common in Central and Eastern Europe. This belief is most widespread in Greece , Latvia , Ukraine , Armenia , Moldova , Russia and Bulgaria .

In fact, the levels of belief in the evil eye across Central and Eastern Europe are comparable to those found in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, where indigenous religions have had a broad impact on the respective cultures. In Western Europe, on the other hand, in no country does a majority express belief in the evil eye.

Levels of belief in reincarnation are more comparable across the region. In most Central and Eastern European countries surveyed, a quarter or more say they believe in reincarnation that is, that people will be reborn in this world again and again. In many Western European countries surveyed, roughly one-fifth of the population expresses belief in reincarnation, a concept more closely associated with Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism than with Christianity.

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The Byzantine Empire, which lasted from the fall of Rome to 1453, benefitted from a key geographic location that allowed it to dominate both the Mediterranean and Black Seas through most of its history. It was the major geographic gateway between western Europe and Asia, and it acted as a porous cultural boundary between both areas.

Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, had one of the most enviable geographic locations in the world: it was on the Bosporus, a narrow strait of water sitting on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, a major waterway ships traveling from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea had to pass through. For centuries, this geographic advantage made it a wealthy and powerful commercial center that rivaled Venice.

Western Europe, by the high Middle Ages, had worked out lucrative deals with the Byzantine Empire, paying reasonable tariffs and tolls to cross through Byzantine territories and having reasonable security in return that the empire would keep the seas safe from pirates. The huge trade flowing through this gateway kept money pouring into Byzantine cofferstruly a fortunate benefit of geographyand also one that allowed European merchants to grow rich on trade with India and China.

Similarities And Differences Between Ancient Egypt And Mesopotamia

Geography and Economic Growth

It’s been nearly 5000 years since Egyptians and the first urban civilizations of Mesopotamia were around. However, these ideas and developments they created have lasted more than a life time. These ancient civilizations started early forms of governments, administrations, social structures, and even laws. The similarities and differences of these societies and the influences of geography impact will show how they lived. Throughout ancient history a lot of what developed back then was imperative

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How Did The Geography Of Western Civilizations Affect Their Development

How did the geography of western civilizations affect their development economically, politically, and socially?The geography of early Western civilizations greatly affected their development economically, politically, and socially. There are a Number of different first wave and second wave civilizations. The ones that I will be discussing include Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks. Each of these civilizations proved a number of different ways that their geography affected their development.

Demographic And Agricultural Growth

It has been estimated that between 1000 and 1340 the population of Europe increased from about 38.5 million people to about 73.5 million, with the greatest proportional increase occurring in northern Europe, which trebled its population. The rate of growth was not so rapid as to create a crisis of overpopulation it was linked to increased agricultural production, which yielded a sufficient amount of food per capita, permitted the expansion of cultivated land, and enabled some of the population to become nonagricultural workers, thereby creating a new division of labour and greater economic and cultural diversity.

The late Roman countryside and its patterns of lifea social pattern of landlords, free peasants, half-free workers, and slaves and an economic pattern of cultivated fields and orchards and the use of thick forests and their productssurvived well into the Carolingian period. In the late 9th century, however, political circumstances led landholders to intensify the cultivation of their lands. They did this by reducing the status of formerly free peasants to dependent servitude and by slowly elevating the status of slaves to the same dependency, creating a rural society of serfs. The old Latin word for slave, servus, now came to designate a category of rural workers who were not chattel property but who were firmly bound to their lords land. The new word for slave, sclavus, was derived from the source of many slaves, the Slavic lands of the east.

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First Farmers: The Spread Of Agriculture From Its Oldest Heartlands In Southwest Asia And East Asia

Farming did not, however, advance equally quickly in every direction. It took just as longmore than four thousand yearsfor agriculture to spread the few kilometres from the hilly flanks down into the plains of what is now Iraq as it took it to spread all the way to the shores of the Atlantic. This was because the long trip from the headwaters of the Euphrates and Tigris to the Seine basin all took place within what geographers call a single biome , while the short trip down to the floodplains of the Euphrates and Tigris involved crossing into a very different biome.

In Europe and the hilly flanks, there is usually enough rain to support barley, wheat, sheep, goats, and cattle, but in Iraq, that is rarely the case. To succeed in Iraq, farmers need to be able to organize fairly sophisticated irrigation systems, and for several thousand years after farming began, almost no one could manage this. Not until around 5000BC did social development reach the point that villagers could build and maintain permanent irrigation systems, but when development did reach this level, it changed the meaning of geography. Before 5000BC, the parched plains of Iraq had been almost uninhabitable after 5000BC, irrigation made them into more productive places than farmings original heartland in the hilly flanks.

Controlling The High Ground

How did the geography of India affect its development?

Its first settlers built the city of Rome atop seven different hills, according to Eduplace, a resource for history teachers. Building the city on high ground forced any attacking army to fight its way uphill, giving the defending forces a major advantage. The Romans understood this advantage and built fortresses on top of several of the hills. For example, Muses’ Realm reports that Capitoline Hill was the seat of Rome’s government and its largest fortress. Rome’s naturally defenses made the city almost immune to attack, a feature that allowed the city to grow and ultimately dominate its neighbors.

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The Climate Attracts Tourists

The Mediterranean region has primarily evergreen shrubs and short trees that grow in climates with hot, dry summers. The region’s major crops are citrus fruits, olives, grapes, and wheat. The sunny Mediterranean beaches also attract thousands of people, making tourism a major industry in the region.

A Geopolitical Overview Of Europe

East Central Europethe Balkans

Compounding the confusion, many people of European ethnic heritage who speak European languages live off the continent, including about two hundred million U.S. citizens, although many people with non-European ethnic and linguistic characteristics are readily identified and accepted as European. The latter peoples include the distantly related Hungarians, Estonians, and Finns, whose ancestors migrated to Europe from Asia more than one thousand years ago, and many lesser-known Asiatic peoples in northwestern Russia and in the region near the Volga Bend . Less accepted as Europeans are, for example, Jews, Roma, and Sinti , and millions of resident guest workers from Asia and Africa. With notable exceptions , most of the languages of the peoples of the Caucasus Mountains are not Indo-European, though some of these peoples are often recognized as European . Turkey crowns the disorder. Here is a country with territory in southeastern Europe, whose government belongs to NATO and seeks to join the European Community, but whose citizens speak an Asian language, follow a Muslim religion, and are not generally considered European.

Central Europe has no precise definition, and usage reflects and reconfirms that fact. A reasonably fair, working definition might be to think of the region as present-day Germany, Poland, and the historic lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Not everyone, of course, will agree with this definition.

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The Lucky Latitudes: Geography Begins Driving Social Development Down Different Paths 9000

Geography explains why farming began in these latitudes rather than in Siberia, central Africa, or anywhere else on earth, as the biologist Jared Diamond explains in his classic study Guns, Germs, and Steel. The world, Diamond observes, has roughly 200,000 species of plants, but humans can only eat about 2,000 of these, and only about 200 have much genetic potential for domestication. Not many of these have seeds big enough to be worth the effort of harvesting, preparing, and eating them and of the 56 plants with edible seeds weighing at least 10 milligrams, 50 originally grew wild in the lucky latitudes, and just 6 in the whole of the rest of the planet. Before twentieth-century science came along to speed up the process of genetic modification, humans had only managed to domesticate fourteen species of mammals weighing over a hundred pounds nine of these were natives of the lucky latitudes.

The first signs of domesticationunnaturally large seeds on plants and unnaturally small bodies on animalsappeared in Southwest Asia around 9500BC, just a few generations after the end of the Ice Age. By 7500BC, the region archaeologists call the hilly flanksroughly the borderlands of modern Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iranwas filling up with farming villages.

Coastal Zone Threatsand Management

Geography’s Influence on World History, Society and Human Development

Highlights the importance of coastal zones as a buffer between theland and the sea, and examines how human activities creating physicalmodifications of the coastline and emissions of contaminants have ledto the deterioration of habitats and water quality. In order toalleviate the serious environmental problems found in many coastalareas, a strategy for integrated coastal zone management has beenproposed. This strategy takes into account the importance of coasts forhuman well-being and, at the same time, provides the habitats thatplants and animals require.

  • the European coastline, which is at least 148000 km long, has an estimated 200 million people living within so km ofit
  • no comprehensive coastal zone managementscheme yet exists for Europe

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The Influence Of Geography And The Environment On The Development Of Early Civilization

Geography and the environment play a monumental role in the establishment and success of a nearly every civilization. For example, rivers bring water and allow for agricultural development, while mountains or deserts provide for protection and create a barrier. Many things, such as the aforementioned deserts and mountains, can offer both positive and negative influences on the society in question. The climate and amount of rainfall is directly related to the success or failure of crop growing, and

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