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Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the part of the . There is no consensus on the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of , geographical, cultural, and connotations.
There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and ". One definition describes Eastern Europe as a entity: the region lying in Europe with the main characteristics consisting of , , , , and some influences.
Another definition was created during the and used more or less synonymously with the term . A similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the as Eastern Europe.
Some historians and social scientists view such definitions as outdated or relegated, but they are still sometimes used for statistical purposes. Eastern Europe in the European regional grouping according to : Equivalent to the European part of the former . Picture also shows Northern Europe, Western Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and other regions The brought the end of the East-West division in Europe, but this geopolitical concept is sometimes still used for quick reference by the media or sometimes for statistical purposes.
Another definition was used during the 40 years of between 1947 and 1989, and was more or less synonymous with the terms and . A similar definition names the formerly European outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe. European sub-regions according to the of the : Blue: Northern Europe Green: Western Europe Red: Central and Eastern Europe Yellow: Southern Europe Grey: Territories not considered part of Europe Several other definitions of Eastern Europe exist today, but they often lack precision, are too general or outdated.
These definitions vary both across cultures and among experts, even , as the term has a wide range of , geographical, cultural, and connotations. There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and ". Geographical While the eastern geographical boundaries of Europe are well defined, the boundary between Eastern and Western Europe is not geographical but historical, religious and cultural.
The , , and the are the of the eastern edge of Europe. In the west, however, the historical and boundaries of "Eastern Europe" are subject to some overlap and, most importantly, have undergone historical fluctuations, which make a precise definition of the western geographic boundaries of Eastern Europe and the somewhat difficult.
Religious The East–West Schism (which began in the 11th century and lasts until the present) divided Christianity in Europe, and consequently, the world, into and . Western Europe according to this point of view is formed by countries with dominant Roman Catholic and Protestant churches (including Central European countries like , the , , , , and ).
Eastern Europe is formed by countries with dominant Eastern Orthodox churches, like , , , , , , , , , and for instance. The schism is the break of communion and theology between what are now the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman Catholic from the 11th century, as well as from the 16th century also Protestant) churches.
This division dominated Europe for centuries, in opposition to the rather short-lived Cold War division of 4 decades. • Religious division in 1054 Since the of 1054, Europe has been divided between and churches in the West, and the (many times incorrectly labeled "Greek Orthodox") churches in the east. Due to this religious cleavage, Eastern Orthodox countries are often associated with Eastern Europe. A cleavage of this sort is, however, often problematic; for example, is overwhelmingly Orthodox, but is very rarely included in "Eastern Europe", for a variety of reasons, the most prominent being that Greece's history, for the most part, was more so influenced by Mediterranean cultures and contact.
Cold War Historians and social scientists generally view such definitions as outdated or relegated. Eurovoc , a multilingual maintained by the , has entries for "23 EU languages" ( Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish), plus the languages of candidate countries ( Albanian, Macedonian and Serbian).
Of these, those in italics are classified as "Central and Eastern Europe" in this source. Contemporary developments Baltic states Main article: , , , , STW Thesaurus for Economics place the Baltic states in , whereas the CIA World Factbook places the region in Eastern Europe with a strong assimilation to . They are members of the regional cooperation forum whereas Central European countries formed their own alliance called the .
The , the and are other examples of Northern European cooperation that includes the three Baltic states that make up the . • • • Caucasus Main article: The Caucasus nations of , , and are included in or histories of Eastern Europe. They are located in the transition zone of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. They participate in the 's program, the , and are members of the , which specifies that all three have political and cultural connections to Europe. In January 2002, the noted that Armenia and Georgia may enter the EU in the future.
However, Georgia is currently the only Caucasus nation actively seeking NATO and EU membership. • • • There are three de facto independent in the Caucasus region. All three states participate in the : • • • Other former Soviet states Main article: The term "Central Europe" is often used by historians to designate states formerly belonging to the , the , and the .
In some media, "Central Europe" can thus partially overlap with "Eastern Europe" of the Cold War Era. The following countries are labeled Central European by some commentators, though others still consider them to be Eastern European. • • • (can variously be included in or ) • • • • (most often placed in but sometimes in ) Southeastern Europe Main articles: and Some countries in Southeast Europe can be considered part of Eastern Europe. Some of them can sometimes, albeit rarely, be characterized as belonging to , and some may also be included in .
In some media, "Southeast Europe" can thus partially overlap with "Eastern Europe" of the Cold War Era. The following countries are labeled Southeast European by some commentators, though others still consider them to be Eastern European. • • • • (can variously be included in or ) • • • • (can variously be included in or ) • (mostly placed in but sometimes in ) • (most often placed in but sometimes in ) • (only the region , west of the , the , and the ; constitutes less than 3% of the country's total land mass) : • Further information: Ancient kingdoms of the region included , , and (not to be confused with the people of in ).
These kingdoms were either from the start, or later on incorporated into various Iranian empires, including the , , and Empires. Parts of the and more northern areas were ruled by the as well, including , , , and most of the coastal regions of , , and . Owing to the rivalry between and , and later and the , the former would invade the region several times, although it was never able to hold the region, unlike the Sassanids who ruled over most of the during their entire rule.
The earliest known distinctions between east and west in Europe originate in the history of the . As the Roman domain expanded, a cultural and linguistic division appeared between the mainly -speaking eastern provinces which had formed the highly urbanized . In contrast, the western territories largely adopted the . This cultural and linguistic division was eventually reinforced by the later political east-west division of the .
The division between these two spheres was enhanced during and the by a number of events. The collapsed starting the . By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire, mostly known as the , managed to survive and even to thrive for another 1,000 years. The rise of the in the west, and in particular the that formally divided and , enhanced the cultural and religious distinctiveness between Eastern and Western Europe.
Much of Eastern Europe . The conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the , by the in the 15th century, and the gradual fragmentation of the (which had replaced the Frankish empire) led to a change of the importance of / vs. concept in Europe. Armour points out that the alphabet use is not a strict determinant for Eastern Europe, where from Croatia to Poland and everywhere in between, the Latin alphabet is used.
Greece's status as the cradle of Western civilization and an integral part of the Western world in the political, cultural and economic spheres has led to it being nearly always classified as belonging not to Eastern, but to Southern or Western Europe.
During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries Eastern Europe enjoyed a relatively high standard of living. This period is also called the east-central European golden age of around 1600. Interwar years Further information: and A major result of the First World War was the breakup of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman empires, as well as partial losses to the German Empire.
A surge of ethnic nationalism created a series of new states in Eastern Europe, validated by the . after the had divided it between Germany, Austria, and Russia. New countries included Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine (which was by the Soviet Union), Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. Austria and Hungary had much-reduced boundaries. Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania likewise were independent. Many of the countries were still largely rural, with little industry and only a few urban centers.
Nationalism was the dominant force but most of the countries had ethnic or religious minorities who felt threatened by majority elements. Nearly all became democratic in the 1920s, but all of them (except Czechoslovakia and Finland) gave up democracy during the depression years of the 1930s, in favor of autocratic or strong-man or single-party states. The new states were unable to form stable military alliances, and one by one were too weak to stand up against Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, which took them over between 1938 and 1945.
World War II and the onset of the Cold War Other former Communist states not aligned with Moscow Russia ended its participation in the First World War in March 1918 and lost territory, as the Baltic countries and Poland became independent.
The region was the main battlefield in the Second World War (1939–45), with German and Soviet armies sweeping back and forth, with millions of Jews killed by the Nazis, and millions of others killed by disease, starvation, and military action, or executed after being deemed as politically dangerous. During the final stages of World War II the future of Eastern Europe was decided by the overwhelming power of the Soviet Red Army, as it swept the Germans aside.
It did not reach Yugoslavia and Albania however. Finland was free but forced to be neutral in the upcoming Cold War. The region fell to Soviet control and Communist governments were imposed. Yugoslavia and Albania had their own Communist regimes. The with the onset of the Cold War in 1947 was mostly behind the Western European countries in economic rebuilding and progress.
Winston Churchill, in his famous "Sinews of Peace" address of March 5, 1946 at in , stressed the geopolitical impact of the "iron curtain": From in the to in the an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of and Eastern Europe. , , , , , , , and . Further information: Eastern Europe after 1945 usually meant all the European countries liberated and then occupied by the Soviet army. It included the (also known as East Germany), formed by the of Germany. All the countries in Eastern Europe adopted communist modes of control. These countries were officially independent from the Soviet Union, but the practical extent of this independence – except in Yugoslavia, Albania, and to some extent Romania – was quite limited.
The Soviet secret police, the , working in collaboration with local communists, created secret police forces using leadership trained in Moscow. As soon as the Red Army had expelled the Germans, this new secret police arrived to arrest political enemies according to prepared lists. The national Communists then took power in a normally gradualist manner, backed by the Soviets in many, but not all, cases.
They took control of the Interior Ministries, which controlled the local police. They confiscated and redistributed farmland. Next the Soviets and their agents took control of the mass media, especially radio, as well as the education system.
Third the communists seized control of or replaced the organizations of civil society, such as church groups, sports, youth groups, trade unions, farmers organizations, and civic organizations. Finally they engaged in large scale ethnic cleansing, moving ethnic minorities far away, often with high loss of life. After a year or two, the communists took control of private businesses and monitored the media and churches.
For a while, cooperative non-Communist parties were tolerated. The communists had a natural reservoir of popularity in that they had destroyed Hitler and the Nazi invaders. Their goal was to guarantee long-term working-class solidarity. Under pressure from Stalin these nations rejected grants from the American . Instead they participated in the which later evolved into the . When was created in 1949, most countries of Eastern Europe became members of the opposing , forming a geopolitical concept that became known as the .
• First and foremost was the (which included the modern-day territories of , , , , , , and ). Other countries dominated by the Soviet Union were the , , , , , and . • The (SFRY; formed after World War II and before its later dismemberment) was not a member of the . It was a founding member of the , an organization created in an attempt to avoid being assigned to either the NATO or Warsaw Pact blocs.
The movement was demonstratively independent from both the Soviet Union and the Western bloc for most of the Cold War period, allowing Yugoslavia and its other members to act as a business and political mediator between the blocs. • The broke with the Soviet Union in the early 1960s as a result of the , aligning itself instead with China. Albania formally left the Warsaw pact in September 1968 after the suppression of the . When China established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1978, Albania also broke away from China.
Albania and especially Yugoslavia were not unanimously appended to the Eastern Bloc, as they were neutral for a large part of the Cold War period. With the fall of the in 1989, the political landscape of the , and indeed the world, changed.
In the , the Federal Republic of Germany peacefully absorbed the German Democratic Republic in 1990. In 1991, , the , and the Soviet Union were dissolved.
Many European nations which had been part of the Soviet Union regained their independence (, , , as well as the of , , and ). into the and in 1993. Many countries of this region joined the , namely , the , , Estonia, , Latvia, Lithuania, , , and . • ^ , Global Perspectives: A Remote Sensing and World Issues Site.
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• ^ . New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner's Sons. 2005 . Retrieved 2010-01-31. • ^ . economist.com. • ^ . www.ce-review.org. • ^ Frank H. Aarebrot (14 May 2014). . Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 1–.
. • ^ April 3, 2015, at the .. Eurovoc.europa.eu. Retrieved on 2015-03-04. • ^ (PDF). • V. Martynov, The End of East-West Division But Not the End of History, UN Chronicle, 2000 ( [ ]) • . BBC News. 2007-08-21. • Drake, Miriam A. (2005) Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, CRC Press • . Rbedrosian.com. Archived from on 10 June 2013 . Retrieved 23 February 2013. • . Archived from on February 13, 2013 . Retrieved 23 February 2013. • Dragan Brujić (2005).
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Retrieved 2016-12-11. • , , 17 July 2014: “...pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – like any other European state – have a European perspective and may apply to become members of the Union...” • Division, United Nations Statistics. . unstats.un.org. • About the Visegrad Group • (PDF) • Wallace, W. The Transformation of Western Europe London, Pinter, 1990 • Huntington, Samuel The Clash of Civilizations Simon & Schuster, 1996 • Johnson, Lonnie Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbours, Friends Oxford University Press, USA, 2001 • • ^ .
www.cia.gov. • ^ Lonnie Johnson, , Oxford University Pres • ^ Armstrong, Werwick. Anderson, James (2007). "Borders in Central Europe: From Conflict to Cooperation". . Routledge. p. 165. . CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list () • Bideleux and Jeffries (1998) A History of Eastern Europe: Crisis and Change • February 5, 2009, at the .
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(2003), Studies In Medieval Georgian Historiography: Early Texts And Eurasian Contexts, pp. 292-294. Peeters Bvba . • The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, ,"page 1515,"The Thracians were subdued by the Persians by 516" • .
Retrieved 22 April 2015. • . Retrieved 22 April 2015. • Armour, Ian D. 2013. A History of Eastern Europe 1740–1918: Empires, Nations and Modernisation. London: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 23. • See, inter alia, Norman Davies, Europe: a History, 2010, Eve Johansson, Official Publications of Western Europe, Volume 1, 1984, Thomas Greer and Gavin Lewis, A Brief History of the Western World, 2004 • Baten, Jörg (2016). A History of the Global Economy. From 1500 to the Present.
Cambridge University Press. p. 46. . • Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2011) • Anne Applebaum (2012). . Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 31–33. . • Also Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956 introduction, pp xxix–xxxi • .
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956 (2012) • Decades of Crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II (2001) • Frankel, Benjamin.
The Cold War 1945-1991. Vol. 2, Leaders and other important figures in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and the Third World (1992), 379pp of biographies. • Frucht, Richard, ed. Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism (2000) • Gal, Susan and Gail Kligman, The Politics of Gender After Socialism, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. • . Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. • . Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism, Duke University Press, 2011. • Held, Joseph, ed.
The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century (1993) • . History of the Balkans, Vol. 1: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (1983); History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century (1983) • Lipton, David (2002). . In (ed.). (1st ed.). . CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list () , , • Myant, Martin; Drahokoupil, Jan (2010).
Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Wiley-Blackwell. • Ramet, Sabrina P. Eastern Europe: Politics, Culture, and Society Since 1939 (1999) • The Rebirth of East Europe (4th ed. 2001); 204pp • Seton-Watson, Hugh. Eastern Europe Between The Wars 1918-1941 (1945) • Eastern Europe in the Postwar World (1991) • . (2011) • Swain, Geoffrey and Nigel Swain, Eastern Europe Since 1945 (3rd ed.
2003) • Verdery, Katherine. What Was Socialism and What Comes Next? Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996. • Walters, E. Garrison. The Other Europe: Eastern Europe to 1945 (1988) 430pp; country-by-country coverage • Wolchik, Sharon L.
and Jane L. Curry, eds. Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy (2nd ed. 2010), 432pp
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