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Session #2 - East Central Europe

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University of Toronto St. George
Piotr Wrobel

EAST CENTRAL EUROPE – A DEFINITION AND GEOGRAPHY  Balkanization – refers to the division of countries ~ Comes from the late 19 century when the Ottoman Empire was trying to deal with all of these different ethnic groups  East Central Europe is divided into four tiers: 1. Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary – most Western 2. Baltic (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) – only appear after WWI 3. Belarus and the Ukraine (the “little Russians”) 4. The Balkans Geographic Features of East Central Europe  Carpathian Mountains – create a natural division  Contemporary Poland, Belarus, the Ukraine are known as the “bread basket of Europe as the land is very fertile ~ Has allowed for many armies to pass through (Teutonic knights, Mongols, Ottomans) Roman Origins  Christianization – happened in the 9 century in the Moravian region ~ Gave larger centralized centres of government to this region Terminology  “Central Europe” = Ostsiedlung, Mitteleuropa, Drang nach Osten, Lebesraum ~ German control of this region  Ostsiedlung – refers to historical colonization of this region by the Germans (the Teutonic knights moving into the Baltic region)  Mitteleuropa – becomes prominent in the 19 century during WWI, stating that Germany should take control of East Central Europe to solve its “backwardness”  Dr
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