Europe Ancient History
The oldest traces of modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, in Europe are from about 43,000-40,000 BCE. Younger Stone Age grew in Southeastern Europe around 7000 BCE. and in Northern Europe around 3000 BCE. This age was characterized by agriculture and animal husbandry as well as large stone settlements (the megalithic culture) along the coasts of Western Europe.
The Bronze Age of Europe began around 3200 BCE. in Greece and the earliest Iron Age around 1200 BCE, and led to the emergence of small towns in Greek and Phoenician areas on the Mediterranean. Dorers immigrated around 1100 BCE. from northern Greece to Peloponnese and the southeastern Aegean region while Etruscans immigrated from western Asia Minor to Italy.
Traders like the Phoenicians of the Inner Mediterranean founded colonies around 1000 BCE. In the centuries that followed, a number of city states emerged in Greece, including Athens and Sparta, and in Italy (Etruscan cities, Rome).
From the 7th century BCE. overcrowding in Greece led to widespread Greek colonization, especially along the northern Mediterranean coast, in Asia Minor and in the Black Sea. In the latter area, they got in touch with the shooters, a Central Asian people who had immigrated to much of central Russia.
In the 600–400 BCE. dominated cellars in Central Europe. In the same period, Persian conquest attempts to the west were backed by alliances between Greek city-states, and Athenian democracy grew.
The rivalry between Athens and Sparta that triggered the Peloponnesian war led to Macedonia gradually exerting greater influence on Greek soil. It reached the pinnacle of Alexander the Great’s kingdom from the Adriatic to Egypt and Indus. After his death in 323 BCE. the kingdom was divided, but Greek culture (Hellenism) in the areas lasted for hundreds of years.
From about 500 BCE. Rome undermined the Etruscan city states and gradually emerged as the greatest power factor in the central and western Mediterranean. The Romans subjugated Spain, Carthage and the Peloponnese, and later Gallic peoples in the north, in present Switzerland, Austria, France and Belgium. The expansion to the north stopped in later Germany with the battle against the Germans in the Teutoburg Forest in year 14, but the Romans humbled themselves and occupied England for about 400 years.
|Country||Percentage of the population with access to toilets (per cent)||Proportion of the population who have access to clean water (percent)|
|Albania||97.7 (2017)||91.4 (2015)|
|Andorra||100.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Armenia||93.6 (2017)||98.9 (2015)|
|Azerbaijan||92.5 (2017)||84.4 (2015)|
|Belgium||99.5 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||95.4 (2017)||97.7 (2015)|
|Bulgaria||86.0 (2017)||99.3 (2015)|
|Cyprus||99.2 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Denmark||99.6 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Estonia||99.1 (2017)||99.6 (2015)|
|Finland||99.4 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|France||98.7 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Georgia||90.0 (2017)||93.3 (2015)|
|Greece||99.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Ireland||91.2 (2017)||98.9 (2015)|
|Iceland||98.8 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Italy||98.8 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Croatia||96.5 (2017)||99.6 (2015)|
|Latvia||92.1 (2017)||98.6 (2015)|
|Liechtenstein||100.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Lithuania||93.4 (2017)||97.4 (2015)|
|Luxembourg||97.6 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Northern Macedonia||–||96.8 (2015)|
|Malta||100.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Moldova||76.3 (2017)||86.7 (2015)|
|Monaco||100.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Montenegro||97.8 (2017)||97.6 (2015)|
|Netherlands||97.7 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Norway||98.1 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Poland||98.8 (2017)||97.9 (2015)|
|Portugal||99.6 (2017)||99.9 (2015)|
|Romania||84.3 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Russia||90.5 (2017)||96.4 (2015)|
|San Marino||100.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Switzerland||99.9 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Serbia||97.6 (2017)||91.2 (2015)|
|Slovakia||97.9 (2017)||97.9 (2015)|
|Slovenia||99.1 (2017)||99.5 (2015)|
|Spain||99.9 (2017)||99.9 (2015)|
|UK||99.1 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Sweden||99.3 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Czech Republic||99.1 (2017)||99.9 (2015)|
|Turkey||97.3 (2017)||98.9 (2015)|
|Germany||99.2 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Ukraine||96.2 (2017)||97.7 (2015)|
|Hungary||98.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
|Vatican City State||–||–|
|Belarus||97.8 (2017)||98.0 (2015)|
|Austria||100.0 (2017)||100.0 (2015)|
In 380, Christianity became a state religion in the Roman Empire, and the bishop of Rome emerged as the apostle Peter’s successor and church leader (pope).
After the peoples’ groups of Goths, Huns and Vandals invaded a weakened Roman empire to an increasing degree of dissolution, the Roman Empire was divided into an eastern and a western part in 395. The last West Roman emperor was deposed in 476, but the East Roman Empire centered in Byzantine (Istanbul) resisted Arab and Turkish attacks until Byzant’s fall for Turkish attack in 1453.
In the period 700–800, the Arabs conquered the Iberian Peninsula and threatened France. The Arab expansion was halted in the Battle of Poitiers in 732. Under Charlemagne, France became a great power, and in 800 Karl was crowned Roman emperor. In 843, Karl the Great’s kingdom was divided, and the eastern part became the origin of the German Empire. In 962 the German-Roman Empire was established.
In much of northern Europe, the period was approximately 800–1050 characterized by Viking kingdoms and Viking trains. Hungary and Poland were founded further south. And the Kiev kingdom covered much of Russia west of the Ural Mountains.
The Normans conquered Anglo-Saxon England in 1066, and in the High Middle Ages (c. 1050 – 1350) the political conditions in Europe stabilized. The new state formation was built on a hierarchical social organization, feudalism, which laid the foundation for a strong royal power and the emergence of nation states. Another important feature was an ever-increasing number of cities and trade between them, and a gradual transition to monetary economics.
The power of the Church at this time and demands for independence from worldly rulers in France and Germany led to the struggle between the princes and the pope (the investiture struggle). The church acted as a cultural spreader (monasteries and universities) and supported the Crusades, which were a territorial expansion into areas of the eastern Mediterranean about 1100–1300. The Crusades initiated the establishment of several knighthoods and an increase in trade between Europe and Asia.
The geographical discoveries of the late 1400s opened new trade routes to Asia, Africa and America, laying the foundations for the creation of Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South and Central America. From the mid-17th century England, the Netherlands and France also became colonial powers.
Not all countries in Europe are part of the largest economic bloc in the world, the European Union. The economic and political bloc is responsible for the largest export of services, goods and products, representing the free movement of goods, individuals and goods among its members. According to Abbreviationfinder, the EU consists of 28 countries.
The European Union aims to promote peace, values and the well-being of its citizens; guarantee freedom, security and justice; promote sustainable development aiming at balanced economic growth; fight against social exclusion and discrimination; respect cultural and linguistic diversity among its members.
- United Kingdom
Note: According to Countryaah.com, the Russian Federation is the largest country in Europe with 17,075,400 km2 , and the most populous nation with 143.5 million residents.