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Categorizing Europe

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Apr 25th, 1999, 06:44 AM
  #1
Pedro
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Categorizing Europe

I know this may seem like an odd question but I am interested in your response. How would you categorize Europe? I mean what countries would you put in Western, Northern, Central, Eastern, Southeastern Europe. I am just interested because guide books and many people always categorize or regionize Europe differently.
 
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Apr 25th, 1999, 07:13 AM
  #2
s.fowler
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This IS an provocative question. My interests are in the Balkans. I've heard Hungary refered to as a Balkan country. While they did suffer 150 years of Ottoman rule, in most opinions, including mine, they are NOT Balkan! On the other hand we have Slovenia with a long history of looking west, who are Balkan, if that term is applied to those countries formed from the breakup of Yugoslavia. Then there is Greece, a member of the western NATO alliance, and in my opinion [and recent experience] Greece is as Balkan as you can get!
We had this discussion over on lonely planet when they broke the Europe board into two parts. Public uproar pushed them to label the board Eastern and Central Europe!
I look forward other opinions!
 
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Apr 25th, 1999, 08:35 AM
  #3
wes fowler
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Pedro,
I started to respond to your intriguing question with the intent of beginning in Great Britain in the west of Europe and moving east and immediately threw up my hands in defeat. Why? I looked at England's history and suddenly realized England has never had an "English" king! From Harald, a Dane, through William, a Norman, the French Plantagenets, Welsh Tudors, Scottish Stuarts, the Dutch William and the German Hanovers and Windsors, none had pure English ancestry. Cromwell, while English, had a Welsh grandmother. Two of England's greatest politicians were equally "foreign"; Disraeli's father was Venetian, Churchill's mother from Brooklyn, New York. I decided not to answer you, considering I hadn't even begun to pursue the Austrian Habsburgs and French Bourbons who ruled Spain! Too mind boggling to delve into. Great question and one that should prompt some fascinating comments.
rtoi
 
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Apr 25th, 1999, 10:58 AM
  #4
Josh
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My viewpoint:

Western Europe:
France, Benelux, Ireland, UK, Lichtenstein and Switzerland

Southern Europe:
Italy, San Marino, Malta, Spain, Portugal, and Andorra

Northern europe:
Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Baltics

Central Europe:
Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary

Eastern Europe:
Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbajan, Armenia, Georgia

Southeastern Europe:
Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey
 
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Apr 25th, 1999, 03:45 PM
  #5
Pedro
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These are some interesting responses. I would have to agree putting Hungary in the Balkan category would be wrong, it has totally different culture and if you look at a map, not in the Balkans geographically.I have never heard anywhere that Hungary is in the Balkans. Hungary is geographically in the center of Europe, and it is most proper to put it in the Central Europe region. I would also find it interesting that Josh put the Caucasus countries in Europe.

s.flower:

Why did lonely planet break up Europe into a "West" category and a "Central and East" category. Did they feel Western Europe was too good to be associated with Central and eastern europe?
 
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Apr 25th, 1999, 06:24 PM
  #6
s.fowler
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LP broke the Europe forum simply because it was getting too big.
 
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Apr 25th, 1999, 07:49 PM
  #7
Doug
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As a child of the Cold War era I still view Europe as the West being those countries that were non-communist and the East as the Iron Curtain territories. The Scandanavians (except Denmark which was our ally) were Northern Europe. When I heard "Central Europe" that meant the area, probably in Germany, where the Commies and us would meet in the "Big One". Southern Europe simply meant the land bordering the Mediterranean.
 
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Apr 26th, 1999, 05:28 PM
  #8
Larzon
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Very interesting question, most controversial. When asking someone to regionize Europe, you have to be real careful to make sure you do not insult a country by putting it in the wrong region. Northern Europe is not only Scandinavia buit the Baltics aswell. If you travel to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania you will experience more of a scandinavian culture than Soviet. Although there are Russians living in these countries and they were part of the Soviet Union, they still have a Western Style cutlure and religion and have a different economy than Russia's. Also, Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic in my opinion and many others should indeed not be called Eastern European but Central European. Excuse 40 years of socialism, which they did not choose and look at their culture, religion, geography, and modern economy. Right now, these 3 countries's growth is 4.5% and the EU's 2% that's more than double the EU, they are members of NATO, and preparing to join the EU by 2006. Also look at their religion Catholic, and in Hungary some protestant. Czech almost became the official Catholic language instead of Latin during the Middle Ages. Also look at the architecture, famous musicians, fmaous scientists, and famous authors. To name some Franz Liszt the Hungarian composer, Copernicus the Polish astronomer, and Kafka the Czech author. LLast the geography, if you precisly measured Europe from east to west and north to south the middle would be somwhere in Hungary. So before you say what country goes where next time consider these points. I think Josh has a quite accurate list, a few bumps in my opinion but I won't get into it I have already written enough. If you are wondering how I know so much, then I am happy to tell you my major is European History and Culture. i am just now getting into Modern politics and Economy.
 
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Apr 27th, 1999, 06:12 AM
  #9
dan
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Not to mention that the histories of the Czech and Slovak republics and Hungary were heavily shaped by their inclusion in the Austrian Empire (an obviously central European country, geographically, culturally, linguistically, and politically). Another question that has been asked for centuries: Is Russia European or Asian? I feel that has become more and more linked to Europe since Peter the Great and perhaps made indelibly so by the centralization forced upon the country by the communist government. Still, some areas are quite asian in location and ethnic makeup.

For the most part, I agree with Josh's categorization.
 
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Apr 27th, 1999, 01:19 PM
  #10
DanL
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Interesting Josh, I have never viewed the Caucasus countries as European, I alway viewed them as Middle Eastern.
 
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Apr 27th, 1999, 01:41 PM
  #11
Tony Hughes
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And don't any of you even think of calling me English .......
 
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