Europe covers about 10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth’s surface (6.8% of land area), making it the second smallest continent. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states, of which Russia is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million (about 11% of the world population) as of 2018. The European climate is largely affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent, even at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast.
European culture is the root of Western civilization, which traces its lineage back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of Europe’s ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration, art and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery, started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers colonized at various times the Americas, almost all of Africa and Oceania, and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally, politically and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic, cultural and social change in Western Europe and eventually the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence.During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 1949, the Council of Europe was founded with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals and prevent future wars. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union (EU), a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most commonly used among Europeans; and the EU’s Schengen Area abolishes border and immigration controls between most of its member states and some non-members states. There exists a political movement favoring the evolution of the European Union into a single federation encompassing much of the continent.
The culture of Europe is rooted in the art, architecture, film, different types of music, economic, literature, and philosophy that originated from the continent of Europe. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its “common cultural heritage”. Paintings:
In remembering the appalling suffering of war on both sides, we recognise how precious is the peace we have built in Europe since 1945.Queen Elizabeth II
The construction of Europe is an art. It is the art of the possible.Jacques Chirac
Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.Margaret Thatcher
Yes, it is Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, it is Europe, it is the whole of Europe, that will decide the fate of the world.Charles de Gaulle
I’m not prepared to have someone tell me there is only one view of what Europe is. Europe isn’t owned by any of them, Europe is owned by all of us.Tony Blair
France and the whole of Europe have a great culture and an amazing history. Most important thing, though, is that people there know how to live! In America they’ve forgotten all about it. I’m afraid that the American culture is a disaster.Johnny Depp
Europe itself is an embodiment of this diversity.Ulrich Beck
Człowiek strzela, Pan Bóg kule nosi (Polish). Man shoots, God carries the bullets.
L’argent ne se trouve pas sous le sabot d’un cheval (French). Money isn’t found under a horse’s hoof (money doesn’t grow on trees).
Dios es el que sana, y el médico lleva la plata (Spanish). God cures the patient and the doctor pockets the fee.
Gode ord skal du hogge i berg, de dårligere i snø (Norwegian). Carve your good words in stone, the bad in snow
Rozhdennyj polzat letat ne mozhet (Russian). If you’re born to crawl you can’t fly.
Al draagt een aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding (Dutch). Even if the monkey wears a golden ring it remains an ugly thing.
Don’t marry for money; you can borrow it cheaper (Scotland)
Twice the pride, double the fall (England)
There is nothing so bad that someone won’t praise it, or so good that someone won’t complain (Finland)
To have a good life you need to live hidden (France)
Tell the truth and run ( Yugoslavian)
Great sorrows are silent (Italian)
Advice after injury is like medicine after death (Danish)
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected (Swedish)