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Facts about Europe For Kids


Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally ‘divided’ from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas.

  • Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast.
  • Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term “continent” can incorporate cultural and political elements.
  • Of Europe’s approximately 50 states, Russia is by far the largest by both area and population, taking up 40% of the continent, while the Vatican City is the smallest.
  • Both World Wars were largely focused upon Europe, greatly contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the United States and Soviet Union took prominence.
  • For example, Cyprus is approximate to Anatolia (or Asia Minor), but is usually considered part of Europe and currently is a member state of the EU.
  • On the other hand, the Council of Europe has 47 member countries, and only 27 member states are in the EU.
  • In addition, people living in insular areas such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, the North Atlantic and Mediterranean islands and also in Scandinavia may routinely refer to “continental” or “mainland” Europe simply as Europe or “the Continent”.
  • However, in some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa.
  • Neanderthal man appeared in Europe 150,000 years ago and disappeared from the fossil record about 28,000 BC, with this extinction probably due to climate change, and their final refuge being present-day Portugal.
  • During this period giant megalithic monuments, such as the Megalithic Temples of Malta and Stonehenge, were constructed throughout Western and Southern Europe.
  • Another major influence on Europe came from the Roman Empire which left its mark on law, language, engineering, architecture, and government.
  • The Germanic and Slav tribes established their domains over Western and Eastern Europe respectively.
  • A East-West Schism in 1054 split the former Roman Empire religiously, with the Eastern Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Catholic Church in the former Western Roman Empire.
  • This eventually led to the Thirty Years War, which crippled the Holy Roman Empire and devastated much of Germany, killing between 25 and 40 percent of its population.
  • Discontent with the aristocracy and clergy’s monopoly on political power in France resulted in the French Revolution and the establishment of the First Republic as a result of which the monarchy and many of the nobility perished during the initial reign of terror.
  • Biodiversity is protected in Europe through the Council of Europe’s Bern Convention, which has also been signed by the European Community as well as non-European states.
  • Since the Renaissance, Europe has had a major influence in culture, economics and social movements in the world.

List of Countries in Europe