Geography 180 Europe Lecture Notes 7 EUROPE'S REGIONS WESTERN EUROPE: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands FRANCE (and Germany) France has more coastline, but fewer good ports, more rivers, but fewer that are navigable, than Germany France is more agricultural, Germany is more industrial; there are many canals in both, but more in Germany Except for Paris, Germany is more urbanized than France Paris is a classic PRIMATE CITY, having the site and situation on the Seine River, at the confluence of other navigable rivers (Marne) Site: actual physical attributes, islands in the Seine, flatness of the Paris basin, well- watered and temperate climate, fertile soils Situation: its relationship to other places, hinterland (room to expand and resource base), and regional framework of competing towns situated in a low well-watered basin, near the coast on a navigable river (for small ships), and a dense road and rail transportation network: All roads lead to Paris! Paris's center and hearth is the Isle de la Cité, a defensible Roman outpost 2,000 years ago. Now the center of a large agricultural area, market and a hinterland and, of course, one of the world’s greatest cities. The islands of Paris in the River Seine. The large island to the west is Isle de la Citie. Notre Dame Cathedral is located on its eastern end. The small island is Isle de St. Louis. 2 France 3 The French also had a global empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Until 1803, when the young United States bought it from Napoleon, it included one third of North America, the Louisiana Purchase. The French Empire 4 The Louisiana Purchase territory is shown in green. 5 GERMANY The country was divided into East and West Germany after WWII. German Reunification was achieved at the end of the Cold War in 1989. The border between the two was called the Iron Curtain by Winston Churchill. The Iron Curtain also separated the rest of eastern Europe, the Eastern Block, from western Europe. Germany Kostbade and Wheeler, 1993 6 West and East Berlin were also partitioned after WWII into Russian, English, American and French quarters. The divided city lay inside East Germany and East Berlin (Russian quarter) was East Germany's capital. After the erection of the Berlin Wall by the Soviet-dominated East Germans in 1961, movement to and from West Berlin was only possible with the permission of the Soviets and the East German government. About 1 million people lived in East Berlin and 2 million in West Berlin, separated by the heavily guarded wall, which was finally opened in 1989. Most of it was torn down in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 192 people died and several hundred more were shot or otherwise injured trying to escape East Berlin over the life of the wall. West and East Berlin Goodes World Atlas, 1978. 7 Dr. Patricia Kelley at the Wall in 2002 Thor Hansen, 2002 Germany’s past has been dominated by much warfare and fragmentation, conquest and their naked military aggression in two world wars in the 20th century, the second of which was accompanied by the hideous holocaust of European Jews and other “enemies” of Hitler’s racial purity mania. http://www.holocaust-history.org/ http://www.holocaustcenter.org/ In the second half of the 20th and into the 21st centuries, Germany has emerged as an economic and political world leader. Standards of living are among the highest in the world and Germany enjoys friendly relations with many countries, including some that were invaded generations ago. The German Ruhr Valley, a small tributary of the Rhine (Rein) River, is one of the most important manufacturing regions in Europe and the world, was devastated in two world wars and rebuilt after WWII under the US Marshall Plan http://www.marshallfoundation.org/about_gcm/marshall_plan.htm BENELUX: Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg The “Low Countries” on the western North European Plain These countries are well-developed and have been the location of significant population centers with significant agricultural and industrial activity for centuries. Their climate is moderated by the North Atlantic Drift of the Gulf Stream and there are many important navigable rivers and canals in each of them. Luxembourg is land-locked. The Netherlands is the largest of the three in terms of land area and population All three are intensively cultivated and densely populated. 8 The Polders of the Netherlands are land reclaimed from the sea. The work began in the 1200s and continues into the 21st century. All of the polder lands are below sea level and intensively settled and farmed. 9 The Polders from about 1200 AD to the late 1980s Left: Polders in the 1970s from space False Color Infrared image on which vegetation appears pink and bare land and urban areas are light blue. Right: Polders in 2007 Google Earth. 10 Noordoostpolder 2005 Rotterdam (Netherlands) is the world's largest port in terms of tonnage handled is the terminus for goods from the Ruhr and the Rhine, a break in bulk point for ocean going vessel and river barges. Ranstaad is a conurbation (cities that coalesce) of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and The Hague. It is in a prime location for world trade, via English Channel and Atlantic Ocean and its situation near Europe’s 3 most productive countries, England, France, and Germany. Not only do French agricultural products move through Rotterdam, the metal and high tech German productivity to and from the Ruhr is processed through the port. Holland is the name of 2 of 11 provinces of the Netherlands--North and South Holland on the North Sea, where the Ranstaad conurbation is located. It is the historic heartland of the Netherlands, the location of most of the population, most of the industry, and most of the agriculture. Once a power to be reckoned with in colonial times, those enterprises were based in Amsterdam and Antwerp. Today Rotterdam handles most of the German and other international trade, Antwerp handles Netherlands’s trade, and Amsterdam is in decline as a port, but booming with tourism. Belgium's capital, Brussels, has become an international administrative center for hundreds of international corporations, a financial center, and also the home of the European Common Market (EEC) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and one of the homes of the new European Union, the other is Strasbourg, France. http://userpage.chemie.fu-berlin.de/adressen/eu.html Flemish, a Germanic language similar to Dutch, is spoken in northern Belgium and Walloon, a French variation, in the South. People in Luxembourg speak Luxembourgian, French, German and English. 11 SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA Kostbade and Wheeler, 1993 Both countries are landlocked in the mountainous Alps Austria has more cultivable land (upper Danube valley), more lumber, more mineral resources (iron, bauxite, coal, oil) Austrians are German-speaking and many are Roman Catholics; The Swiss speak German, French, Italian, Romansch, and are about 40% Protestant and 46% Catholic. The Swiss have a superior standard of living to most Austrians and have overcome their restrictive land-locked mountain environment. Prosperity and long-lived political and military neutrality (the Swiss “Army” patrols on bicycles!) have meant that the various linguistic and religious groups have coexisted peacefully with the country and with the rest of Europe, even the Nazis, for centuries Swiss are more industrialized, employing tremendous hydroelectric power and have a highly skilled labor force. They are the long-lived middlemen in interregional trade, guarding the mountain passes between northwestern Europe and the Mediterranean region, since the Roman period. Now they are also professional tourist pleasers. The Swiss population is clustered on a central plateau with Bern (capital), Zurich (largest), Geneva (international financial headquarters, banking and insurance Swiss Banks) found on the plateau or its periphery. They have had centuries of stability, sovereignty, NEUTRALITY, and peaceful Alpine isolation. 12 Most agriculture is dairying (high prices), practicing TRANSHUMANCE, the seasonal movement of herds, usually with their owners or keepers, in this case, up the mountain in the summer, down in the winter. They export high quality manufactured goods, although they have to import almost all the raw materials needed. Austria is younger, has been less stable than Switzerland, and was a casualty of WWI, as a remnant of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was occupied by the Nazis, and incorporated into Nazi Germany in 1938. It has really only been independent since 1955. For much of the last century, Austria looked eastward to the USSR, with Danube Valley (its most important region) and Vienna (a world class city) both on its eastern end. NORDIC EUROPE: Norden Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, and Iceland 13 General Characteristics of the Region A region of peninsulas (Scandinavia and Jutland) and many islands 14 All except Denmark’s border with Germany is separated by water from the European Core. All are located to the north, isolated and out of the European and global mainstreams. Their natural resources are limited. All have D and E climates, poor soils (except Denmark, which is part of the North European Plain and is Cfb (Marine West Coast). Norway and Sweden have steep slopes and few minerals. Finland is flat and heavily eroded by glaciation and has little good agricultural land. Estonia is more fortunate, but still located at a high latitude. Timber and fish have long been the most important resources. Until recently the most important energy sources have been wood and water power; but recently NORTH SEA OIL AND GAS (especially for Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and also the UK), have improved their economic situation, if not their environment. The all have comparatively small populations, about 25 million in all 6 countries (less than in Benelux), most live on the coastal periphery and clustered in cities. Copenhagen and Stockholm are the largest cities of the region. They are the northernmost group of nation states, each with a democratic representative government. Their languages (except for Finnish and Estonian) are mutually intelligible and a subset of the Germanic group. Most people are at least nominally Lutheran. It was all heavily glaciated during the Pleistocene Epoch, with many fjords carved by glaciers in the mountainous backbone of Norway and Sweden. Fjords make excellent ports and waterways, hence Nordic people have always been strongly oriented to the sea: The so-called Vikings, Jutes, and others launched many raids on the British Isles and other parts of Europe from such fjords. There is a Viking village, L’Anse aux Meadows, in Newfoundland that dates to the 11th century AD. http://www.thesalmons.org/lynn/wh-lanse.html Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland COLD Df climate supports Boreal forests throughout much of the region, therefore although there’s a short growing season, there’s plenty of timber 15 The mountainous, central backbone of the Scandinavian Peninsula in Norway and Sweden (known as Scandina or the Kjølen Range), receives much of the acid rain originating in the European Industrial Core Sweden has better agriculture, grains grow (rain shadow of Kjølen Range) and southern Sweden is geomorpholocially part of the North European Plain, as are Denmark and Estonia. NORWAY Fishing, timber, hydro-electric power, North Sea Oil Heavy orographic precipitation on west coastline, which is heavily fjorded Boreal Forests and tundra Cfb, Df, Et climates from south to north Small population, with most located in Oslo and the southwest coastal area SWEDEN Economic activities similar to Norway's, but more developed with more heavy and high- tech industry. Manufacturing is scattered in many southwestern cities and around the lake plateau on the Baltic. Raw materials are more plentiful, they produce lumber, furniture, stainless steel, cars (Volvos and Saabs), ships, electronics, textiles It’s in the Rain Shadow, so has less moisture than Norway, but enjoys a lot of cheap hydro-electric power from snow melt in Kjølens (now more commonly known as Scandina) It has a long Baltic coast line, but is isolated from the Atlantic mainstream, as shipping must pass through the Baltic and two choke points, the Skagerrak and Kattegat north and east of Denmark respectively. It has long history of international neutrality FINLAND Finland is too wet for much agriculture, but excels in fishing and merchant marines. Df and Et climates with Boreal forests to the south and tundra vegetation then ice in the north. Forest products, some agriculture for domestic use, few minerals Like Sweden, Finland’s location on the Baltic has been isolating Also its (former) Soviet neighbor (and occupier) hindered its modern development. Its language belongs to a family known as Finno-Ugrian, which is a non Indo- European language that is (distantly) related to the Magyar language of Hungary and Romania and more closely related to Estonian. Finnish topography is rather flat and rocky at the surface as a result of glacial erosion, rather than flat and fertile like the North European coastal plain deposits, therefore agriculture is not only limited by climate, but also by soil type. Finland has experienced a recent boom in high tech industry, especially communications (Nokia cell phones) 16 ICELAND An island micro-state with a population of under 300,000, most of whom live in Reykjavik Three quarters of the island is barren and treeless It was settled by Norwegians in the 9th century AD and was dominated by Norway until 1918, then Denmark until 1944, when it became independent. The heavily glaciated island is geologically active, as it sits astride the spreading Atlantic Ridge. Earth quakes, volcanoes, and thermal energy are quite common. Most of the nation’s energy comes from naturally occurring steam or hydro-electric power. 85% of all exports are fish Very isolated with very cold winters and short summers Cfc, Df, and E climates DENMARK Smallest land area in Nordic Europe, but second largest population (about 5 million) after Sweden Composed of the Jutland Peninsula and many islands, the largest of which is Zealand, where Copenhagen is located. Mild, moist climate Cf (50-57 degrees N) and low relief with intensive agriculture and dairying, most of which is exported to the UK and Germany Copenhagen is its primate city, a good port, known as a “break in bulk” point for ocean going ships and smaller Baltic ships ESTONIA Estonia was colonized by the Danes, the Germans, the Swedes, the Poles and the Russians It was fully independent in 1920 but the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939 returned Estonia to the Soviets. It regained independence in 1990. Although the US never recognized this annexation, Estonia was known as one of the Baltic SSRs during the second half of the 20th century. It shares many physical and cultural similarities with Finland Nordic Europe and Mediterranean Europe have some interesting similarities: Peripheral location, many peninsulas and islands, climatic homogeneity, high degrees of cultural homogeneity. Obviously, they occupy northerly and southerly latitudes and the Mediterranean has a huge population and a longer human occupation. 17 18 MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal (although not technically on the Mediterranean), plus southern France and the coastal Adriatic countries, which share the climate and topography 3 peninsulas, Iberian, Italian, Balkan Many large and small islands, all volcanic Alpine topography throughout the region, but less so in Spain because of the Spanish Meseta or central plateau. The Mediterranean climate (Csa) influences them all (36-46 degrees N). It is warm to hot and droughty in the summer when the Saharan STH moves over the region and cool and moist in the short winter season. The Mediterranean region is separated from the European Core area by mountains: Greece by the Balkans; Iberia by the Pyrenees; Italy by the Alps. While this makes overland travel difficult, it has not been as isolating as it might seem. The Greeks and 19 Romans sailed through the Mediterranean Sea and into the coastal waters of the Atlantic through Gibraltar, where they both reached the British Isles. And of course, Hannibal crossed the Alps to sack Rome—with elephants! http://www.barca.fsnet.co.uk/ Greek and Roman cultural heritage still evident All languages, except Greek, are based in Latin (see Europe Lecture 4) The classical Mediterranean-type agriculture still in evidence. It involves three basic strategies, sometimes referred to as a 3-legged stool: 1. Winter cropping of grains such as wheat and barley. When there is enough moisture, no irrigation needed. The harvest festivals are in the spring rather than the fall as in the mid-latitude agricultural systems. 2. Summer culture of drought resistant vine and tree crops, most notably grapes (wine, raisins, and table), and olives (butter was and is seldom used because the environment is generally poor for cattle (except in Spain). Olive oil is preferred for cooking and other uses. Roman writers were disgusted by Germanic peoples’ habit of eating of butter. 3. Herding of small animals, goats, sheep, and pigs, which are more agile on the rocky slopes. Pigs ate the mast (acorns) from the oaks that are abundant there. Animals were rarely eaten for meat (especially among the lower classes) but the milk from goats and sheep was (and more rarely is) used to make cheese. Transhumance was and is practiced as people moved their animals upslope to better grass in the summer. Some areas of Mediterranean Europe able to afford some summer irrigation now. Many similarities with Nordic Europe Peninsularity Mountainous Poor soils, homogenous climate (similar throughout both regions, although they’re two different climate types) Separated from the European Core Religious homogeneities, Mediterranean Catholicism (except for Greek Orthodoxy) and Nordic Lutheranism Language similarities: All the Romance languages are closely related (Greek excepted) as are four of the six Germanic Nordic languages Both have limited mineral wealth, although Spain has some Fe and coal, but most exported Both have a potential natural vegetation regime that is a forest type. There’s still a lot of (Boreal) type forest in Nordic Europe. The Mediterranean region has been largely denuded of its chaparral-type vegetation, known as maquis. 20 ITALY North Lombardy, Po Valley (more northern, not really a Mediterranean-type climate, because it’s moister) Better agriculture in the north, which is closer to the trans-Alpine routes to core area Hydroelectric power in northern Italy, which also has a skilled and cosmopolitan labor force. They make precision instruments, high quality cars, and ships in such cities as Milan, Turin, Genoa: Italy's industrial core The North, or Padania, is considered part of the developed, industrial European core area. The South, or Mezzorgiorno, is economically stagnant and poorer even though Rome is there SPAIN AND PORTUGAL: The Iberian Peninsula The population are concentrated in the coastal lowlands, and the Meseta Central of Spain, where Madrid was established 1561, other cities are much older Latifundia, a land tenure system where a few favored elites own most of the good land, is still widespread Spain. This system was exported to the New World, where it has been fomenting social unrest ever since. Spain’s major industrial center is in Catalonia, in the Ebro River Valley around Barcelona Rice was brought to Spain and Portugal and Italy by explorers and is now an important crop there, as are tomatoes, peppers Spain had a huge and lasting colonial influence in the New World from the American Southwest to the tip of South America (Tierra del Fuego). The Portuguese colonized Brazil in the New World and Mozambique and Angola in Africa. They both had limited colonial activity in Asia and Africa. Spanish and Portuguese are Romance languages Spain was a monarchy from 1572, it was declared a republic in 1931 Portugal has been a separate monarchy since 1143 AD GREECE The birthplace of western civilization Densely settled coastal lowlands, especially around Athens Very poor, heavily deforested from centuries of occupation and poor agricultural practices Greece is hot in the summer and very mountainous. Much of it is very beautiful, especially in the Aegean, which is heavily visited by tourists, although the same is true of the ancient sites on the mainland. Athens is one of the most traffic-clogged cities in the world. Although the Parthenon (one of the world’s most important ancient monuments) is there, most of the city away from the old Turkish Quarter at the monument’s base (the Plaka, a tourist trap) was built in the mid-twentieth century. The Greeks have a long standing antipathy with the Turks as a result a holy war between Greek Orthodox Christians and Muslims. The Turks held all Greek lands by the 1500s, and the Greeks finally only gained a fitful independence in 1918. After 21 WWI, the Greeks attempted to annex a part of Turkey that had had Greek speakers living there before the poet Homer (700BC). They failed and all the Greeks living on Turkish soil (over a million) were driven to Greece. This created terrible economic and social problems in an already poor country. The two nations have also been fighting over the island of Cyprus for decades. Halting steps toward peace have been made lately as a result of the two nations helping each other’s people after terrible earthquakes in each country in the 1990s. The religion has ties to the Bishopric of Constantinople (formerly the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire), paralleling the Catholic relationship to Rome.
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