europe's history & geography

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PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHYEurope is a peninsula of peninsulas:Scandinanivan PeninsulaIberian PeninsulaBalkan PeninsulaItalian Peninsula (the boot)It also contains many important islands:Great BritainIrelandGreenland (technically North America, but it belongs to Denmark)SicilyCorsica

Europes ClimatesMost of Europe lies within the humid temperate climate regionThe North Atlantic Drift, a warm ocean current, keeps temperatures mildA Mediterranean climate brings mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summer to land around the Mediterranean SeaEastern Europe has a humid continental climate with long cold winters (like Nebraska!)Iceland, Greenland, and northern Scandinavia have a polar climate

A LONG COASTLINEEurope has more than 24,000 miles of coastline! (25 miles/day = 4 years!)Easy water access makes trade easier and has led to industries such as fishing being importantTowns grew up around bays where ships regularly docked to tradeBays: Water surrounded on three sides by land In Norway, the deep and narrow bays called fjords were harder to settle, and so attracted future people

Scandinavias Fjords

A LONG COASTLINEIn the Netherlands, people developed a way to push back the sea by building giant walls called dikes to create polders, or low-lying farmsThe Netherlands has more than 3,000 miles of rivers and canals


MOUNTAINS, RIVERS & PLAINSMountain chains of Europe:AlpsPyreneesApenninesCarpathiansImportant rivers:Danube River passes through 10 countriesRhine River passes through Switzerland and into GermanyMany of these rivers cross the Northern European PlainStretches across France, Belgium, Germany, and PolandAn area especially good for farmingContains many of the largest cities, such as Paris

Danube River

ROOTS OF DEMOCRACYDemocracy was born in Athens, GreeceOver the years, Greek culture was spread by various rulers, especially Alexander the GreatGreek archeology and philosophy impacted other civilizations, like Rome

ROME: REPUBLIC & EMPIREIn Rome, a republic formed, which is a type of government in which the people elect officials who govern according to the lawEventually Rome became an empire that spread from Northern Africa all the way north to Spain and Great BritainIt was the most powerful empire on earth for about 500 years, until German barbarians began attacking in A.D. 235Around 330, Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion of RomeIn 395, the Empire was divided into East and West, and the Western Empire was overthrown in 476 A.D.

THE MIDDLE AGESIn the Middle Ages, from 500 to 1500, Europe consisted mostly of numerous kingdomsIn 1054, Christianity split into two: Roman Catholic Church in Western EuropeEastern Orthodox Church in Eastern EuropeThe church was at the center of life in the Middle Ages collecting taxes, making laws, and waging war, including the CrusadesCrusades: Holy wars to take back the Holy Land of Palestine (todays Israel) from Muslim control

THE MIDDLE AGESDuring the Middle Ages, the kingdoms of Europe lived according to feudal system, with serfs or peasants at the bottomIn time, the growth of towns helped end the feudal systemIn 1347, the onset of the Black Plague killed millions and also upset the feudal system Farmers left the country to seek higher-paying jobs in town

RENAISSANCE & REFORMATIONThe Renaissance was rebirth of art and learning that began in the 1300sIt was helped by the work of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and RaphaelJohannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, which helped the spread of books and ideas, as well as the Reformation

RENAISSANCE & REFORMATIONLed by Martin Luther, the Reformation was a break in the Roman Catholic Church that led some to try to reform the churchEventually, many left to become Protestants, and protest things they did not like in the church

In 1415, Portugal began sending out sailors around Africa, seeking new trade routesThis began the Age of ExplorationVasco da Gama sailed around Africa to AsiaChristopher Columbus said to the Americas (he was looking for Asia too!)Jacques Cartier sailed to CanadaSir Francis Drake sailed around the world in 1577EXPLORATION & COLONIZATION

EXPLORATION & COLONIZATIONExploration led to the establishment of colonies, or areas controlled by a distant countryMost countries began colonizing in the Americas, but soon moved on to Asia and AfricaColonization brought a new sharing of goods and ideas known as the Columbian ExchangeIt also killed millions of natives in the colonies through the European introduction of diseases like smallpox

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONIn the 1700s, industry began to change with the invention of the steam engineThis made factories possible, as well as railwaysCities began to grow rapidly and standards of living rose for manyHowever, workers faced tough conditions and child labor was common

THE FRENCH REVOLUTIONIn 1789, inspired by the American revolution, the French rebelled against their kingTheir attempt to form a democracy was short-lived, and radicals took over, killing an estimated 40,000 people by guillotineAfter five years of violence, a young general named Napoleon Bonaparte saw his chance and overthrew the French governmentHis attempt to create an empire was not stopped until 1815.

NATIONALISM & WORLD WAR IEventually, nationalism, or a strong sense of loyalty to ones country, led people to begin unifying their small kingdoms into nationsIn 1870, Italy unified, and in 1871, Germany followed suit. Countries competed for natural resources and colonies, and formed alliances, or agreements to work towards common goalsTriple Entente Britain, France, and RussiaCentral Powers German and Austro-Hungarian Empires

NATIONALISM & WORLD WAR IIn 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Serbia.Within weeks, much of Europe was at war.The war lasted from 1914 to 191832 nations total were involvedGermany was emerging as a world power

WORLD WAR I:MAJOR COUNTRIES INVOLVEDAllies:Great BritainFranceSoviet Union (Russia)ItalyU.S.

Central Powers:GermanyAustria-HungaryTurkeyBulgaria


WWI: TECHNOLOGYBoth sides used deadly new technology, including Machine gunsTanksAirplanesPoison gasU-boats, or submarines



WORLD WAR I: TRENCH WARFAREBoth sides fought from trenches, or long ditches that protected soldiers from enemy fireApproximately 200,000 men died in the trenches




WORLD WAR I: WAR TO END ALL WARS?In 1917, two key things happened: Russia fell to the Communists, made peace with Germany, and dropped out of the warThe United States entered the war on the side of France and BritainIn 1918, Germany surrendered to France, Britain and the U.S.The Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, angering and humiliating GermanyNew countries were also formed: Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Turkey



Today we will:Vote!Look at presentation requirements!Discuss WWII and the Cold War!


WORLD WAR IIAfter WWI, Germany was forced to pay reparations, or money to cover victors lossesThe economic depression caused led to Adolf Hitler rising to power in GermanyHitler promised to make Germany great againGermany allied with Italy and also JapanIn 1939, Germany invaded PolandFrance & Great Britain, who were allies of Poland, declared warGermany quickly conquered most of Europe, including France

WWII: COUNTRIES INVOLVEDAlliesGreat BritainFranceU.S.Soviet Union (Russia)



Nazi Germany under Hitler



WORLD WAR II: PEARL HARBORIn 1941, Japan attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor in HawaiiThe U.S. declared war on Japan, and then on its allies Italy and Germany, and entered the war in 1941

353 Japanese Planes

Pearl Harbor, HawaiiDecember 7th, 1941


U.S.S. Arizona

WORLD WAR II: THE HOLOCAUSTOn May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered and Adolf Hitler committed suicideThe Allies were stunned to find concentration camps where 6 million Jews and others were murdered, victims of genocide, or the deliberate killing of a large group of peopleThis mass slaughter was called the Holocaust, or the systematic mass murder of a large group of people.

Jewish Ghettos




WORLD WAR II: ATOMIC BOMBSJapan fought on until United States dropped atomic bombs on the JapanPresident Harry S. Truman authorized the actionLittle Boy on Hiroshima on August 6th 1945Fat Man on Nagasaki on August 9th 1945 Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945






THE COLD WARAfter WWII, the Soviet Union established communist governments in eastern EuropeGermany was divided into two halves:East Germany = communistWest Germany = democraticAn imaginary boundary between the democratic western countries and the communist eastern countries was called the Iron CurtainThis was the beginning of the Cold War, a period of high tension between the U.S. and Soviet Union

To defend against possible attack, the U.S. and its allies formed NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (green).

The Soviet Union and its allies formed the Warsaw Pact (red).

Some nations, like Switzerland, chose to remain neutral during the Cold War.

THE FALL OF COMMUNISMIn the 1980s, many eastern European countries overthrew their communist governmentsIn 1991, the Soviet Union broke up, freeing many more countries it had taken overThe Cold War end