Saturday, July 15, 2006

1303 Chapter 1 - Europe

Europe – Geographic Features
  • Boundaries: Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Ural Mountains/Russian Border.
Geographic Qualities
  • Western extremity of Eurasia
  • Lingering world influence
  • High degrees of specialization
  • Manufacturing dominance
  • Numerous nation-states
  • Urbanized population
  • High standards of living
Cultural and Political Divisions:
  • Western Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • British Isles
  • Northern Europe
  • Mediterranean Europe
Further divisions from an archeological perspective:
  • Atlantic Europe
  • Central Europe
  • Eastern Europe/The Balkans
  • Mediterranean Europe
  • Europe tends to be temperate but climate ranges from the semi-tropical Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle. Mostly a maritime climate but becoming more continental as one moves east.


  • The physical landscape consists of everything from rolling farmland to mountains.
  • Central Uplands
  • Alpine Mountains
  • Western Uplands – Scandinavia, Britain, Spain
  • North European Lowlands
Relative Location
  • All parts of Europe are located close to the sea and with ready access to navigable water (rivers and lakes).
  • Moderate distances between European nations and regions
  • Located with easy access to the rest of the World – both land and sea routes

Colonization of Europe
  • Began approximately 40 – 50 Thousand Years ago and was completed by around 30,000 years ago.
  • Agriculture enters Eastern Europe/The Balkans and Mediterranean Europe beginning around 8,000 years ago. Follow the Danube North through the Iron Gates.
  • Agriculture Enters Central Europe around 6,000 years ago with the Linearbandkeramik Peoples. Stops just short of the North Sea and Baltic until around 4,500 years ago. (violence, alcohol…)
  • Greeks and Romans (from Britain to the Danube in Northern Europe)
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Lots of history…

1750’s – The Agrarian Revolution
  • Based on new agricultural methods and changes in land ownership (more private). Included improved farming practices, better equipment, superior storage facilities, and more efficient transport.
  • Set the stage for the Industrial Revolution
  • Urbanization

Von Thünen Rings – Isolated State Model (Location Theory)
  • Classic Geographic Model
  • Postulated a central market center surrounded by concentric zones of land use.
  • Land use was determined by transportation costs.
  • Very basic model with many oversimplifications.
  • Became the foundation for modern Location Theory

Industrial Revolution
  • Began in Great Britain – 1750-1850
  • Changed population patterns throughout Europe
    • increased urbanization
    • increased mechanization and resource exploitation.
  • Produced distinct spatial patterning in Europe
Industrial Location Theory
  • Alfred Weber – 1909
  • Examined the factors which influence industrial location
  • Focused on activities which occur at specific points
  • Identified concentrating (agglomerative) and dispersive (deglomerative) forces set into motion by industrialization.

Political Revolutions
  • Began well before the Agrarian Revolution
  • A general trend toward parliamentary representation and democracy
    • Began with the Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
    • The French Revolution in (1789 – 1795)
    • Napoleonic Wars
  • Settled the boundaries of European Kingdoms and gave rise to Nationalism
  • The development of the Nation-State as embodied by a culturally distinctive population
  • The Fragmentation of Europe can be seen in its diversity of languages.

The coming together of Modern Europe

Spatial Interaction

  • Focused around the exchange of goods and movement across space
  • Based on Three Principles: (Edward Ullman)
    • Complementarity – the exchange of needed goods between regions
    • Transferability – ease of moving goods from producer to consumer
    • Intervening Opportunity – there are not closer resources available
  • Two places, through an exchange of goods, can specifically satisfy each other’s demands.
  • One area has a surplus of an item demanded by a second area.
  • The ease with which a commodity may be transported or the capacity to move a good at a bearable cost
  • Rivers, Mountain Passes, Road networks
  • Advances in transportation technology
Intervening Opportunity
  • The presence of a nearer source of supply or opportunity that acts to diminish the attractiveness of more distant sources and sites

  • European countries, especially in the West, are focused around large metropolitan centers – called primate cities.
  • 75% of the European population is urbanized
  • Very High Urban Population Density (Apartments)
  • Central Core (Business District), Suburban Ring

The City
  • The term is a political designation.
  • Refers to a municipal entity that is governed by some kind of administrative organization
  • The largest cities (especially capitals) are:
    • the foci of the state
    • complete microcosms of their national cultures
Primate Cities
  • A country’s largest city
  • Jefferson’s criteria:
    • Always disproportionately larger than the second largest urban center -- more than twice the size
    • Expressive of the national culture
    • Usually (but not always) the capital
    • Examples: Paris, London, Athens
European Cities
  • Central Business District (CBD)
  • Suburban Ring
  • High suburban density
    • Apartments
  • Reliance on public transportation
  • Land scarcity
  • Recreational spaces (greenbelts)

Changing Face of Europe
  • Decreasing percentage of the World’s population
  • Declining fertility rates and fewer young people
  • Reduced working age population
  • Increasing immigration (mainly from Muslim nations)

Europe is facing a population implosion due to negative population growth

Challenge of Islamic immigration to Europe

· Intensely devout

· Politically aware

· Culturally insular

· Lacking necessary job skills

· Increasingly unemployed

’s Modern Transformation
  • Europe is faced with two paths for the future Unification and/or Instability/Regionalism
  • concentrating (agglomerative) and dispersive (deglomerative/devolutionary) forces

European Unification
  • Supranationalism
    • the voluntary association in economic, political, or cultural spheres of three or more independent states willing to yield some measure of sovereignty for their mutual benefit.
  • 1947 – MARSHALL PLAN
  • 1948 - Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC)
    • Primary function of the OEEC - To accept and distribute funds allocated under the Marshall Plan
  • 1944 Benelux Agreement (along with Marshal Plan sets stage for increasing European unity)
  • 1957 Treaty of Rome – EEC
  • 1967 European Community (EC)
  • 1991 Maastricht Meeting (plans for the future of the EU)
  • 1992 European Union
  • 1999 European Monetary Union (the Euro)
  • 2004 Expansion of EU to 25 Members
    • The European Union (EU) was formed to coordinate policy in Economics, Defence, and Home Affairs.

Centrifugal Forces and Devolution
  • Resistance to loss of national and local autonomy
  • Disparity in levels of Economic Development and Wealth
  • Technological disparity (West – East divide)
  • Cultural disparity
  • The process whereby regions and peoples within a state demand and gain political strength and autonomy at the expense of the central government.

2000’s – Rejection of European Constitution by several member nations

British Example

· Conquest of Britain and Ireland by the English by the 1600’s

· Civil War in Northern Ireland and nationalism in Scotland and Wales

· 1997 – Home Rule for Scotland and Wales

· Ongoing – Home Rule for Northern Ireland

· Done mostly peacefully, even in NI, through the voting booth

Yugoslav Example

· 1980 – Death of General Tito

· 1991 – Slovenia and Croatia decide to secede

· Serbian Nationalism - Slobodan Miloshevic

· 1992 – Bosnia Herzegovina secedes

· Civil War and Ethnic Cleansing

· Intervention by NATO forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo

Cross Border growth engines… Europe, in addition to the EU, has several very interconnected regions which affect trade and cultural understanding.

Western Europe

· Germany, France, the Benelux Countries, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland(?)

· The central countries in Europe. Some of the strongest economic and industrial powers. Center of European Unification

British Isles

· Great Britain and Ireland

· A discrete cultural entity within Europe. The center of Industrialized, Modern Europe. Britain as a former World Power.

Northern Europe (Nordic)

· Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Iceland

· Isolated in modern times by size and climate. On the periphery of Europe but with early democratic and integrated societies.

Mediterranean Europe

· Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta

South of the Central Core, the old empires of Europe. Fewer natural resources but with much greater population and less industrialization.

Eastern Europe

· Is everyone else…

· The largest region within Europe. A shatter belt composed of states caught between major powers: the Turks and Christians, Germany, Russia, NATO and the Warsaw Pacts. Defined by their occupation by the Soviets and the Turks.

Mediterranean Europe
  • Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cypress, and Malta
  • A discontinuous region on the periphery of Europe
    • Internal Core-Periphery relations can be very marked
    • Limited amounts of important raw materials
    • Deforested and with only seasonal water access
    • Large population – agricultural base
    • Main entrance for non-European migrants
  • Cultural Continuity back to the Greco-Roman Empires
    • Languages
    • Religion
    • Culture
    • Cultural Landscape
  • Mediterranean Climate
    • Hot, Dry Summers
    • Warm/Cool, Moist Winters
  • Most populous of the Mediterranean Nations (57.8 million)
  • Best Connected to the European Core and economically advanced
  • Displays a very sharp North-South Divide
    • Ancona Line – runs across Italy at about Rome

· The northern provinces (Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagana, Tuscany, and parts of Lazio) are urbanized and industrialized and can be considered a part of the European Core.

o These provinces are centered around large urban areas (Turin, Milan, Verona, Bologna, Florence, Umbria, and Rome)

o The Milan-Turin-Genoa triangle is the industrialized and economic core of Italy. This area accounts for more than 1/3rd of Italy’s national income.

· South of the line is Mezzogiorno – the stagnant, rural south

o Much more poor than the north

o Receives the bulk of illegal immigrants

o Less mobile native population

The Iberian Peninsula

· At the south-western end of Europe. Long legacy of conquest and totalitarian domination; Imperial Rome, Muslim Moors, Catholic Kings, and until recently (1975) the dictatorship of the Fascist Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

· Increasingly strong and vibrant democratic tradition.

  • Population of 42.6 million centered on the primate city of Madrid and the region of Catalonia (6.5 million).
  • Catalonia is the leading industrial area and with a strong regional nationalism that creates devolution/separatist tensions. It is within the central European industrial – high-tech core.
  • Devolution pressure is strong within the Basque region of northern Spain.
  • Southern Spain faces drought, inadequate land reform, scarce resources, and remoteness from the developing north.
  • Population of 10.5 million focused on coastal regions and on the primate city of Lisbon.
  • While it remains generally rural it still must import much of its food and industrial goods.
  • Benefiting from EU reconstruction grants for improved transportation and urbanization.
  • A cradle of Western Civilization with a population of 11 million focused on the primate city of Athens.
  • Under the rule of the Ottoman Turks for around 350 years, until independence in 1827.
  • It is a geographically fragmented nation and is a fragile democracy.
  • While the economy is booming it will loose much of its EU aid to newer Eastern European countries. It will be a challenge to continue the industrial and economic growth following EU expansion.
  • Split into Greek-Cypriot and Turkish sides following a war in 1974 the western side of the island is part of the EU and is recognized as an independent state.
  • The boundary between Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot is a cultural and geographic boundary.
  • Archipelago with approximately 400,000 inhabitants this micro-state survives mostly on tourism. It also has a fairly high standard of living.
  • It is the ancient cross-roads of the Mediterranean.

Eastern Europe
  • The largest area of Europe, containing the most countries (18).
  • It is almost entirely on the periphery of Europe and is a region of physiographic, cultural, and political fragmentation.
  • The region is the crossroads between Asia and Europe and the roadway for migrations and armies.
  • Heavily influenced and shaped by the Soviet occupation following World War II and the earlier Turkish occupation/yoke of the southern regions until the First World War.
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union expanded this region to include several former Soviet States.
Underlying Forces
  • Centrifugal Forces
    • Forces that tend to divide a country.
    • religious, ethnic, linguistic, or ideological differences
  • Centripetal Forces
    • forces that unite and bind a country together
    • national culture, shared ideological objectives, shared faith, shared ethnicity
Underlying Themes
  • Balkanization
    • The recurrent division and fragmentation of a region, usually involving violence. Name comes from the Balkans – the southern part of Eastern Europe.
  • Ethnic Cleansing
    • The forcible ouster of entire ethnic populations from their homelands.
  • Irredentism
    • A policy of cultural extension and political expansion aimed at a national ethnic group living in a different country.
  • Shatter Belt
    • A zone of chronic political splintering and fracturing.

Eastern Europe Continued
  • When the Soviet Empire collapsed in 1990 none of the Eastern European nations were able to meet the criteria for acceptance into the EU.
  • The region includes both the largest (Ukraine) and poorest European states.
  • It can be divided into four general regions.
Baltic Facing Nations
  • Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus(?)
  • Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia all have generally westernized populations – Poland (Germanic) and Baltic States Scandinavian. All have developed and modernizing industries and well educated populations.

The Landlocked Center
  • Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
  • Generally the most westernized nations of the region.
  • Czechoslovakia devolved into the industrial Czech Republic and the more rural and agrarian Slovakia.
  • Hungary was the center of the Magyar Empire and speaks a non-Indo-European language.
  • Prague and Budapest are classic primate cities.
Black Sea Facing Nations
  • Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova
  • All have an inward/westward focus with their primate cities inland and transportation networks focused north and west.
  • Bulgaria and Romania have been admitted into the EU but will not achieve full membership for several years.
  • Ukraine is the largest and most powerful of the former Soviet states remains heavily rural with antiquated industrial capacity.
  • Belarus and Moldova are impoverished Third World Nations and may not survive as independent nations. Belarus already has made overtures to Russia for a closer relationship.
Adriatic Facing – Former Yugoslavia
  • Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania
  • The foundation of the terms Balkanization and Shatter Belt.
  • Held together by the Communist Generalissimo Marshal Tito it fell apart after his death.
  • Returned the specter of Ethnic Cleansing to Europe and the Western World.
  • Generally rural with only small urban centers the northern states (Slovenia and Croatia, along with Serbia) are the most prosperous and industrialized.
  • Only predominately Muslim nation in Europe and with the fastest rate of population growth on the continent.
  • Poorest except for Moldova is almost entirely rural except for the capital of Tirana.
  • Split between two ethnic groups but maintains national unity.

Europe – final wrap-up and important terms
  • Site
    • the physical attributes of the place it occupies
  • Situation
    • its location relative to the surrounding areas
      • includes areas of productive capacity
      • other cities and towns
      • barriers to access and movement
Ministates and Microstates
  • An independent country that is very small in area and population
Break-of-Bulk Point
  • A location along a transport route where goods must be transferred from one carrier to another.
  • A place, usually a pot city, where goods are imported, stored, and transshipped. (a break-of-bulk point)

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