is the region of Europe
farthest from Asia, with the countries and territories included varying depending on context.
Video taken by the crew of Expedition 29
on board the ISS
on a pass over Western Europe in 2011
After the beginning of foreign exploration in the Age of Discovery
, roughly from the 15th century, the concept of Europe
as "the West" began gradually to be distinguished from and eventually to replace the hitherto dominant use of "Christendom
" as the preferred means of self-definition within the region.
Later, during the Age of Enlightenment
, the concept of "Eastern Europe
" was created to consolidate and purify the concept of "Western Europe".
Classical antiquity and medieval origins
Prior to the Roman
conquest, a large part of Western Europe had adopted the newly developed La Tène culture
. As the Roman domain expanded, a cultural and linguistic division appeared between the mainly Greek
-speaking eastern provinces, which had formed the highly urbanized Hellenistic civilization
, and the western territories, which in contrast largely adopted the Latin
language. This cultural and linguistic division was eventually reinforced by the later political east–west division of the Roman Empire
. The Western Roman Empire
and the Eastern Roman Empire
controlled the two divergent regions between the 3rd and the 5th centuries.
In East Asia
, Western Europe was historically known as taixi
in China and taisei
in Japan, which literally translates as the "Far West
". The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty
. The Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci
was one of the first writers in China to use the Far West as an Asian counterpart to the European concept of the Far East
. In Ricci's writings, Ricci referred to himself as "Matteo of the Far West".
The term was still in use in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Religious division in 1054
Political spheres of influence in Europe during the Cold War
; neutral countries (shaded gray or light blue) considered informally Western-oriented but not formally aligned to the West
During the four decades of the Cold War
, the definition of East and West was rather simplified by the existence of the Eastern Bloc
. Historians and social scientists generally view the Cold War definition of Western and Eastern Europe as outdated or relegating.
Although some countries were officially neutral
, they were classified according to the nature of their political and economic systems. This division largely defines the popular perception and understanding of Western Europe and its borders with Eastern Europe
Western European Union
UN geoscheme classification
In the UN geoscheme, the following countries are classified as Western Europe:
Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts
has been published since 1971 and now in its 17th edition.
It was written by the authors Jan Nijman, Peter O. Muller and Harm J. de Blij. It is used in many US schools to teach students world geography.
Here, the definition of Western Europe includes:
classifies seven countries as belonging to "Western Europe":
The CIA also classifies three countries as belonging to "Southwestern Europe":
Western European and Others Group
Using the CIA classification a little more liberally and including "South-Western Europe", would give the following calculation of Western Europe's population.
European climate. The Köppen-Geiger climates
map is presented by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and the Global Precipitation Climatology Center of the Deutscher Wetterdienst.
- ^ Delanty, Gerard (1995). "The Westernisation of Europe". Inventing Europe Idea, Identity, Reality. p. 30. doi:10.1057/9780230379657. ISBN 978-0-333-62203-2. Until the late fifteenth century the idea of Europe was principally a geographical expression and subordinated to Christendom which was the dominant identity system in the West. The idea of Europe as the West began to be consolidated in the foreign conquests of the age of 'discovery" (...) "Europe then begins to shed itself of its association with Christendom and slowly becomes an autonomous discourse.
- ^ Sushytska, Julia (2012). Bradatan, Costica (ed.). "What Is Eastern Europe? A Philosophical Approach". Angelaki. Routledge: 39–51.
- ^ "Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land". Rbedrosian.com. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
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- ^ Ricci, Matteo (1610) . On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince. Translated by Timothy Billings. Columbia University Press. pp. 19, 71, 87. ISBN 978-0231149242.
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- ^ "Being Christian in Western Europe", Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 2018, retrieved 29 May 2018
- ^ "The geopolitical conditions (...) are now a thing of the past, and some specialists today think that Eastern Europe has outlived its usefulness as a phrase.""Regions, Regionalism, Eastern Europe by Steven Cassedy". New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner's Sons. 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- ^ "One very common, but now outdated, definition of Eastern Europe was the Soviet-dominated communist countries of Europe."http://www.cotf.edu/earthinfo/balkans/BKdef.html Archived 10 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Too much writing on the region has – consciously or unconsciously – clung to an outdated image of 'Eastern Europe', desperately trying to patch together political and social developments from Budapest to Bukhara or Tallinn to Tashkent without acknowledging that this Cold War frame of reference is coming apart at the seams. Central Europe Review: Re-Viewing Central Europe By Sean Hanley, Kazi Stastna and Andrew Stroehlein, 1999Archived 31 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Berglund, Sten; Ekman, Joakim; Aarebrot, Frank H. (2004). The handbook of political change in Eastern Europe. p. 2. ISBN 9781781954324. Retrieved 5 October 2011. The term 'Eastern Europe' is ambiguous and in many ways outdated.
- ^ a b "UNSD — Methodology". unstats.un.org. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
- ^ a b "Confirmed: Czech Republic is in Western Europe, says US textbook". News.expats.cz. Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- ^ "Field listing: Location". CIA World Factbook. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
- ^ "EuroVoc: 7206 Europe". Retrieved 9 February 2021.
- ^ "EuroVoc: Western Europe". Retrieved 9 February 2021.
- ^ UNAIDS, The Governance Handbook, January 2010 Archived 9 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine (p. 29).
- ^ a b "World Population Prospects 2018". Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- ^ "Europe :: Netherlands — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- ^ a b c "Europe". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
- ^ "Basque language". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- ^ "GDP (current US$) - European Union | Data". data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- ^ "2020 Social Progress Index". The Social Progress Imperative. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
Last edited on 13 July 2021, at 14:19
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