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The continent of Europe is bordered in the north by the Arctic Ocean, in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea. Sharing a continental mass with Asia, Europe is the westernmost portion of Eurasia, as there is no clearly defined geographical feature dividing Europe from Asia. Rather, it is arbitrarily separated from Asia by the Ural and the Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, and the Turkish Straits.

Politically, Europe consists of about fifty sovereign states, the largest of which is the Russian Federation. The birthplace of Western civilization, the European civilization is the first to have imposed itself upon the rest of the world, largely by conquest, settlement, economic power, and invention. Even today, every country on earth benefits from science and technology developed in Europe or by Europeans.

Initially, European civilization was made up of the cultures of Greece and Rome, Christianity, and the culture of the German warriors who invaded the Roman Empire. Few will argue that the origins of Western philosophy, art, literature, math, science, medicine, and political thought were in ancient Greece. The first democracies originated in the city-states of ancient Greece. As these democracies grew, they established colonies throughout the Mediterranean region, including Italy, which is where the Romans met the Greeks and incorporated Greek thought into their own political structure. The Romans were better engineers than the Greeks. They were also better at fighting. In time, Rome built a huge empire that encompassed all of Greece and its colonies. England was once part of the Roman Empire, but not Scotland or Ireland.

Another element in the development of Western civilization is religion. The Jews had come to believe that there was only one God. While this may be commonplace today, it was unusual at the time. The Greeks and Romans believed in several gods. The Jews also believed that their God cared for them, while many of the gods of the Greeks and Romans were self-absorbed, and often plotted against one another. To the Jews, and to the Christians, religion and morality were inseparable. When Christianity became strong in Europe, it added a dimension of stability, and many of the principles of Judaism and Christianity were incorporated into law.

Another variable was provided by the Germans, who lived on the northern borders of Europe. A warrior people, the Germans invaded the Roman Empire in the 400s, and by 476 they had destroyed the empire in France, Spain, and Italy. It was here that the mixture of European civilization came into being.

The Greeks believed that the world was logical and mathematical. Christians believed that the world was evil and that salvation was through Christ alone. The Germans enjoyed war and lived for conquest. This mixture of Greek, Christian, and German is what European civilization is made up of. It all came together when the Roman Empire became Christian.

When the Roman Empire collapsed, the Church retained the learning of Greece and Rome. The Germans had come to plunder, not to destroy the Roman Empire, so they were eventually incorporated into Western civilization. Although the political geography of Europe has changed over the centuries, it has retained the culture that was developed more than a thousand years ago.

Today, the countries of Europe include Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City. Independent European states with limited or no international recognition are Abkhazia, Kosovo, Artsakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. Several dependencies with various degrees of autonomy are also part of Europe. These include the sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Ă…land, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, the Isle of Man, and Svalbard. Great Britain and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom, and Great Britain refers to the region that includes England, Scotland, and Wales.

Although Greenland, the earth's largest island, is geographically a part of North America, it is a constituent country of Denmark and has long been associated with Europe so, for the purposes of categorization, we will include it in Europe rather than North America.

Categories

Albania

Andorra

Austria

Belarus

Belgium

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Channel Islands

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

@England

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Gibraltar

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Malta

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

@Northern Ireland

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Romania

@Russia

San Marino

@Scotland

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Vatican City

@Wales

 

 

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