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Map of countries in Europe and the surrounding region.

Europe is a historical and cultural continent, and a geographical subcontinent, forming the westernmost part of the Eurasian supercontinent. Europe is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus Mountains to the east, the Black Sea in the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. At about 10,180,000 km² (3,930,000 sq mi), it covers 6.8% of the total land area on Earth, and with over 731 million human inhabitants in 50 countries, it accounts for about 11% of the Earth's human population.


According to Homer, the name Europe (Greek: Εὐρώπη, Eurṓpē) was originally given to central Greece. Later it stood for mainland Greece and by 500 BC its meaning was extended to all the lands of the north. The name Europe possibly stems from a female character in Greek Mythology named Europa, a Phoenician princess, who was abducted by a bull-shaped Zeus. There is some trouble with this theory, though—the myth has nothing to do with Europe. Europe is often said to derive from Greek words meaning broad (eur-) and eye (op-, opt-), hence Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing", "broad of aspect." Many, however, see a Semitic origin, pointing to the Semitic word 'ereb, meaning "sunset." From the point of view from the Middle East, the sun would appear to set over Europe: the lands to the west. In this regard it may be significant that Eurus is also a Latin term for the East Wind. This may even provide the connection with Europa, as she was originally from Phoenicia and so, from the Greeks' point of view, was a woman of the East.


The French Revolution

Main Article: French Revolution

The French Revolution (1789–1799) is a time of radical social and political upheaval in French and European history. The ruling political classes were the Girondins, most wanting liberal economic reform and representative democracy. Secondly the Mountain (Montagnard) which introduced a communitarian governance concept based on radical, dictatorial direct democracy advocating death to the ruling King. The third political class was the Plain which were essentially independents and thus viable in continuing power of either the Girondins or the Mountain. The Girondins once ruling the Legislative Assembly of Paris with their power now fading collided with the Mountain violently in competition for Plain support during the time of the Reign of Terror (1793 to 1794).[1]

European Enlightenment

Main Article: Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment (18th and 19th century) ushered in an age that celebrated reason over faith, not faith over reason, thus no authority but man's reason was considered authoritative. Considered the central theme of Western philosophy reason and its relative disciplines are still a predominant system of thought applied within the world today. Especially within intellectual (academia), scientific and social life or culture. The Enlightenment substantially grips European life after the Reformation of Protestantism, a time that effectively wrestled the intellectual stranglehold of the ecclesiastical establishment.[2]

European Union

Main Article: European Union

European Union (EU) is a confederation of 27 European countries for the cooperation of common interests within several areas, such as economics. More recently due to the emerging threat the likes of which were seen on September 11, 2001 within the United States of America, a common security approach has been brought to the forefront. [3]


Shown here is the percentage in each country which responded that "they believe there is a god".



  1. Reign of Terror By Wikipedia
  2. 10. Enlightenment Western New England College. Lecture List for Western Civilization II
  3. EU leaders unite behind U.S.

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