Chapter 19 Central & Eastern Europe

By: Lillian James

The Czech Republic

Population: 10 million people live in Czech Republic.

Type of Government: Communist; After Soviet forces expelled the Germans in 1945, they directed a Communist takeover. From 1948 to 1989, Communists controlled the nation.

Velvet Revolution: a revolution without bloodshed; declining influence of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

Bohemia: Deposits of quartz, a substance used to make glass. The Czech capital city of Prague lies in central Bohemia.

Moravia: Industry dates back to the Industrial Revolution. Moravia's old coal and steel industries now face an uncertain future, because they are too inefficient to compete in the world market.

Challenge the country faces: Trying to put an end to air and water pollution.

Slovakia

Independence: The Slovak Republic became an independent nation in 1993 when Czechoslovakia was peacefully divided.

Population Size: More than 5 million people live cradled with the arch formed by the Carpathian Mountains.

Collective Farming: Private ownership of farms in 1948 and set up government owned; collective farms, workers were paid by the government and they shared the profits from their products

Challenge the country face: Manufacturing

Hungary

Major ethnic group: 90% of Hungarians are descended from the Magyars who settled the area in the late 1800s.

Type of government: Communist government in 1956, but the revolt was crushed. Not until 1990 were Hungraian voters were able to freely elect their first non-Communist government in 40 years.

Size of the country: Is about the size of Indiana.

Country's nickname: "breadbasket"

Challenges the country faces: Converting from Communist control to a free market system. Production dropped sharply in old, inefficient industries.

Romania

Population Size: Nearly 23 million people live in Romania; most belong to the Romanian ethnic group.

Nicolae Ceauescu: led the nation to economic chaos,

Economic Chaos: energy was so scarce that television aired only two hours each night.

American soft drink maker: spent $150 million in Romania to build up its operations there. Its investment helped about 25,000 small shops start or stay in business.

Multiplier effect and how it relates to Romania: effect an investment has in multiplying related jobs throughout an economy.

Challenges the country faces: how one person leads the country in economic chaos.

Bulgaria

Nickname: "garden of Eastern Europe" ; summers are warm, and winters along the Black Sea coast are mild.

Type of government: Bulgaria turned away from strict communism in the early 1900s, but now has a democratic government, although some former Communists still are politically active.

Challenges the country faces: Inflation levels dropped as the currency's was stabilized.

Albania

Population Size: 3.5 million people live in this mountainous nation

Nickname: "Europe's hermit"

Effect of isolation: Albanians has often felt threatened by their neighbors, this fear continues after World War 2, when its Communists leaders turned away from both the former Soviet Union.

End of Communism effect: Albania has received billions of dollars from foreign nations and from Albanians who have relocated to live in other countries.

Yugoslavia

Meaning of the name: "the land of the southern Slavs"

Effect of Communism ending: The communist control ended in the late 1980s, internal tensions increased. It was mostly wealthy republic and was afraid the other Yugoslavian republics would drag it down to poverty.

Why the country broke apart: After World War 2 was held together only by a strict Communist rule, but after the Communist control ended the country was better.

Serbia/Montenegro

Physical geography: Rugged peaks of Montenegro and the fertile plains of the Danube valley in Serbia.

Economic disaster: The breakup of Yugoslavia and the wars that followed; the gross domestic product was only half as high as it had been in 1990.

Croatia

Population Size: More than three quarters of nearly 5 million people who live in Croatia are ethnic Croats.

Conflict between the Croats and Serbs: Serbs practice Easter Orthodoxy and use the Cyrillic alphabet, whereas most Croats are Roman Catholics and use Latin alphabet. Croatia declared its independence, Serbs within its border fought to gain their own independence or to link themselves with Serbia.

Slovenia

Population Size: 2 million residents of Slovenia are Slovenes, one of the Slavic peoples.

Impact of Industry: Industrial development took place earlier in Slovenia than in other parts of the Balkan Peninsula because of its solid industrial base.

Bosnia/Herzegovina

Independence: Bosnia and Herzegovina declared itself independent in 1991, but its initial prospects were not to bright.

Conflict among peoples: More than half of the population had been displaced during the war, and many factories were destroyed.

Resources: Iron ore and lead.

Macedonia

Tensions among Greece/Albania: Tensions with neighboring Greece and Albania complicated trade patterns and hampered the Macedonian economy; Greece objected to the use of the name Macedonia for a nation comprised largely if Slavic people, claiming the name was Hellenic.