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Lecture 1.pdf

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Western University
Geography 2050A/B
Leichelle Little

What Is Europe? 1/14/2014 11:30 AM What Exactly Constitutes Europe? • What are its boundaries? • What is the “Europe” of this course? • In this course Europe is analyzed from the social, political, and historical perspective o Europe is not a fixed entity ! it changes/moves • It is therefore a course on the cultural geography of the European continent Objectives • The course is designed to acquaint you with subjects such as o Frontiers, boundaries and the claims of national minorities o Cultural and linguistic differences of European peoples o European identities (cultural and political) o European integration (EU) and minority rights Europe And Change • We will discuss territorial and political transformations in Europe at three geographical scales o Supranational (the European Union) o National (the nation-states of Europe) o Sub-national (minority nations and regions) Some Examples Embedded In European History • Germany (mainly Berlin) • Spain (mainly Barcelona) • France The Borders With Asia • Europe blends into Asia • The flat landscapes of Northern Germany and Poland continue unchanged for hundreds of kilometers into Russia • Only the Urals mark a frontier between Europe and Asia Areas Of Little Cultural European Impact • Russia • Ex-Soviet nations • Turkey • Areas of West Asian influence • But these judgments are arbitrary…like drawing lines on the map Europeans And Their Relationship To The Natural Environment • Influence of geological and physical factors o Population distribution o Economic activity o Settlement sites o Boundaries o Resource distribution Changing Climate • Mountains have a profound effect on the potential for human settlement • Mountain range:
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