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Blog notes

  1. 1. Eastern Europe
  2. 2. Physical Geography
  3. 3. Physical Features Land of Contrast  cold-warm climates; jagged mountains; rolling hills Landforms:  Northern European Plain, Carpathians (low mt. range), Great Hungarian Plain (fertile area), Dinaric Alps & Balkan Mts. cover Balkan Peninsula Water Features:  Adriatic Sea (trade and transportation, Black Sea (trade and transportation), Danube River (transportation, trade, important to economy, & produces electricity; heavily polluted)
  4. 4. Climate & Vegetation Wide variety determined by climate and landscape The Baltic Coast  Coldest location in E. Europe  Fog is common  Huge forests
  5. 5.  The Interior Plains  Milder temps  Many types of vegetation: forests, grassy plains, wildflowers  Eastern Europe’s forests: damaged by terrible accident  Nuclear power plant explosion Chernobyl, Ukraine  Radiation released into the air ruining forests and soil
  6. 6.  The Balkan Coast  Mediterranean climate  Beaches attract tourists  Not many forests  Shrubs and hardy trees
  7. 7. Poland and the Baltic Republic
  8. 8. History Settled by many different groups  Groups became: Estonians, Latvians, & Lithuanians  Each had own language and culture  Historical events tie all together
  9. 9. Early History  People of the Baltics  Formed many independent kingdoms  Lithuania & Poland were largest & strongest  Ruled much of Eastern & Northern Europe  Latvia & Estonia small and weak kingdoms  Often invaded by others
  10. 10. The World Wars WWI & WWII were devastating  WWI fought mainly in Poland: many soldiers and civilians died  WWII: began when Germany invaded Poland from the west. Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east. Millions were killed & property destroyed.  Estonia, Latvia, & Lithuania also suffered  Occupied by Soviet army
  11. 11. Soviet Domination Soviets dominated Eastern Europe after WWII Estonia, Latvia, & Lithuania became part of U.S.S.R. after war Poland remained free, but had to have Communist gov’t Communist gov’t was opposed by many  1991 the Baltic Republics broke away from U.S.S.R. & became independent once again.
  12. 12. Culture Cultures are different & similar  Speak different languages and practice different religions  Latvian, Lithuanian, & Polish  Catholic & Lutheran  Common customs: cook same types of foods & enjoy same types of entertainment  Potatoes & sausage, seafood  Pottery, painting, and embroidery, music & dance  Frederic Chopin
  13. 13. The Region Today Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, & Poland  Feel effects of Soviet Rule still  Economies not developed during Soviet Rule  No decent infrastructure (the set of resources, like roads, airports, and factories, that a country needs in order to support economic activities.  Working to build & strengthen economies  Replacing old & outdated factories w/ new ones  Seeking new sources of income  Tourism is on the rise in these countries
  14. 14. Estonia Russian control  History of  30% ethnic Russian  Russia is still important trading partner  New ties forming w/ Finland  Language related to Finnish  Most people are Lutheran  Ferries link Estonian capital w/ Finnish capital
  15. 15. Latvia Baltic country  2 largest nd  Highest % of ethnic minorities  57% are Latvian  30% are Russian  Largest urban area of Baltic countries  Strong Scandinavian & Russian influences  Once part of Russian Empire & part once rules by Sweden  Most people are Lutheran  Sweden & Finland are important trading partners
  16. 16. Lithuania  Largest of southernmost Baltic countries  Small % of ethnic minorities  80% are Lithuania  9% Russian  7% Polish  Ancient ties w/ Poland  Roman Catholicism is main religion  Agriculture & production of consumer goods are important
  17. 17. Poland most populous  Largest &  Gained independence after WWI  WWII communist gov’t formed by Soviets  1989 Communists allowed free elections  Ties w/ western countries has strengthened  1999 Poland, Czech Republic, & Hungary joined NATO
  18. 18. Inland Eastern Europe
  19. 19. History & Culture Inland Europe:  Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus, & Moldova Ruled by many different people  Influenced culture and customs
  20. 20. Czech Republic & Slovakia Once home to many small kingdoms  Founded by Slavs  People from Asia Austria eventually conquered Slavic kingdoms WWI  Allies formed new nation: Czechoslovakia  1993 split into Czech Republic & Slovakia Long ties w/ Western Europe  Influenced by Western Europe  Roman Catholic
  21. 21. Hungary 900s  Magyars invaded  Eventually conquered by Austrians, but continued to shape culture of area  Hungarian language based on language of Magyars
  22. 22. Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova Settled by Slavs Conquered by other groups later  Vikings  Rus  Settled in Kiev, Ukraine  800s built huge empire 1700s  Rus empire became part of Russia 1922  Ukraine, Belarus, & Moldova become Soviet Republics  Independent w/ Soviet Union breakup in 1991 Influenced by Russian culture  Orthodox Christians  Languages written in Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet
  23. 23. Inland Eastern Europe Today Overcome most problems from Soviet Union control or influence  Some issues still remain Government:  Once Communist gov’t w/ few freedoms  Poor economies & hardships from policies  Today: republics w/ elected leaders  Belarus: claims to be republic, but really dictatorship  Belong to Commonwealth of Independent States  Meets to discuss issues such as trade and immigration that affect former Soviet Republics  Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, & Bulgaria not members belong to EU
  24. 24. Economies Economic Development is major challenge Industry has help strengthen economies Ukraine: productive farmlands  Potatoes, grains, & sugar beets
  25. 25. Cities Life centered around cities, especially capitals  Capitals are key economic & cultural centers Cities are home to influential leaders & universities Cities are popular tourist destinations
  26. 26. The Balkan Countries
  27. 27. History Conquered & ruled by many groups  Different groups continues to shape life in these areas
  28. 28. Early History 600 B.C.  Greeks founded colonies (Northern Black Sea coast)  Romans conquered most of area (Adriatic Sea to Danube River)  Roman Empire Divided in late 300s A.D.  Area became part of Byzantine Empire  Many became Orthodox Christians at this time  Muslim Ottoman Turks conquered Byzantine Empire  Many people became Muslims  Ottomans drove out in 1800s & separate kingdoms were created
  29. 29. WWI & After Trouble between Balkan kingdoms & neighbors led to WWI  1800s: Austro-Hungarian Empire took control of part of Balkan peninsula. A man from Serbia shot the heir to Austro-Hungarian throne, starting the war After WWI  Europe’s leaders divided peninsula  Yugoslavia created (combination of several former independent countries under one gov’t)  Lasted until the 1990s (conflict between ethnic & religious groups)
  30. 30. Culture Most diverse culture area in Europe Large number of religions practiced & languages spoken
  31. 31. Religion Most are Christian  3 Types: Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Large group of Muslims who follow Islam
  32. 32. Language 3 major:  Slavic (related to Russian)  Latin form (related to French, Italian, and Spanish)  German Some languages are not related to these languages  Albanian  Roma (have own language)
  33. 33. The Balkans Today Recovering from weak economies from Soviet Communist gov’t  Poorest in Europe Religious & Ethnic groups have had serious implications  Violence  Largest religious or ethnic groups tried to get rid of all other groups (threatened with punishments or death)  Known as ethnic cleansing  Troops sent in 1995 & in 2008 fighting ended
  34. 34.  Albania: poorest; struggled since end of Soviet period; high unemployment & crime rates Macedonia: once part of Yugoslavia, broke away in 1991; did so peacefully Slovenia: once part of Yugoslavia; joined EU in 2004 Croatia: once part of Yugoslavia; fighting between Croats and Serbs; many Serbs left and peace was restored Bosnia & Herzegovina: peacefully since end of ethnic & religious violence; people working to rebuild
  35. 35.  Serbia: largest nation of former Yugoslavia; fighting between different ethnic groups Kosovo: former province of Serbia; independent in 2008; mostly ethnic Albanian Montenegro: mountainous country separated peacefully from Serbia in 2006 Romania: largest of Balkan states; recovering from years of bad gov’t; poor leaders have left gov’t and economy in ruins Bulgaria: people are working to develop a capitalist economy based on industry and tourism