Europe's Physical Geography

How Europeans Adapted to Geographical Challenges

Impact on Trade

Europe is nicknamed the "peninsula" continent. This has definitely worked to Europe's advantage. The continent has many miles of rivers that allow trade throughout the continent to be easily achievable. After the Europeans figured out how to sail ships across the oceans, trade with Asia and the Americas greatly increased. Europe has been trading with Asia for a really long time because the two continents are on the same landmass.


The Ardennes Mountains of Belgium were a major obstacle during World War II. It had been thought to be impossible to cross the Ardennes in a full scale military operation, until Nazi Germany crossed them during the 1940 invasion of France. Because France believed no attack would come from the Ardennes, the area was barely defended, allowing Germany to swiftly invade.

Impact on migration

Over the past centuries, there has been a positive migration balance; More people have entered Europe than left the land.

The western part of Europe has always had more of a migration number compared to the east. One reason is because the west began to mordernize quicker while both east and west had ethnic conflicts of the protestant transformation. (These conflicts took years for people to overcome!)

However, The main reason is because the western has a cool climate, consisting of the atlantic ocean's winds and currents while the east had harsh climates and frequent earthquakes as well as volcanic eruptions.

Demographic results show that most people moved towards the west as it had better resources, climate and vegetation. This also began the period of time (renaissance) when new sea routes(such as Christopher Columbus's voyage) were found. THIS marked the time when the WHOLE WORLD began to have a strong connection to Europe. Soon, it was the most powerful to have began a new phase in history. Thus, the physical features of Europe play a huge role in Exploration, migration and connection.

After world war one, Europe was running huge economic problems. Since many foreigners came into the land, they began to settle over there. Soonthey used resources and millions of 'migrant workers' occupied the region. By this time, not only people from Africa and the Americas came here, but also people from Turkey, Yugoslavia and the Indian subcontinent.

It can also be said that Europe's location is the perfect determinant of migration;


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During the time of the Roman empire, the river Rhine was a very turbulant, deep, winding, and wide river. Its inconsistency kept bridges from being built, and was not cross able in mass movements. This kept the Romans from conquering the unconquered barbarian lands all the way up until the time of Julius Caesar.

Rivers of Europe

The picture below is a picture of most of the rivers in Europe. As you can see, the Europeans could have easily used these rivers to transport goods and services throughout the continent, thus allowing trade and cultural diffusion to naturally occur.
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Water Bodies of Europe

The video below mentions some (but not all) water bodies in Europe.

Elevation of Europe

Below is a map that shows the elevation of different parts of Europe. The low elevation of most of Europe contributes to the continent's moderate climate.
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Geography of Europe and Its Uses

The video below talks about the geography of Europe and its uses.