North European Plain – stretches from northern France across the Germanic and Polish lands and into Russia – rich, productive soil – great for farming – area of where the highest concentration of people live – cities such as London, Paris, Moscow, Warsaw, Berlin
Alpine Mountains – stretch from Switzerland across to Austria, into the Balkans and across the Black Sea to Georgia – form a natural barrier between Central (Germanic) Europe and Mediterranean (Greco-Roman) Europe – The Alps , a mountain range in Italy and Switzerland from which the system takes its name, is but one range in the Alpine chain
Fossil fuels, particularly oil and coal, are found across the continent
Large oil fields can be found in the North Sea and in Siberian Russia, although much of it lays far from centers of population, and thus must be transported great distances via pipelines.
Russia also has great reserves of coal and iron ore
Great Britain also has a shallow, but important, vein of coal that runs the spine of the island. This vein was important for the early industrial revolution, which relied heavily upon steam engines powered by coal fires.
Timber reserves are largely depleted due to hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years of development and civilization
Important for philosophical thought and the idea behind observation and logical processing in science, medicine and reasoning
Democracy – form of government used in ancient Athens – every citizen votes on every law – impracticable in a large society
Dictatorship – form of government used in ancient Sparta – citizens serve the state – no individualism – absolute equality
Republic – form of government advocated by Plato in his book, The Republic – citizens vote for representatives, and those representatives vote on the laws for the citizens – sets the pattern for modern republics of today
Based on the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew from Palestine (a small Roman province in the eastern reaches of the empire)
Religion of Salvation – gave poor people hope for a better afterlife (especially popular among women and slaves)
Spread by Paul of Tarsus to people throughout the empire – He established churches in many cities and then wrote letters back to the faithful. Some of these letters are in the Bible.
Acts as a cancer to Rome – Christians commit treason by not praying to the emperor’s God – Christians are crucified by the thousands, but the movement continues to grow, eventually causing the empire to rot from within.
When Rome collapses, Christianity will survive and will serve to unite Europeans behind the pope, who will become the most powerful man in Europe