Essay Example on Europe is arguably the most historically influential Continent









Europe is arguably the most historically influential continent despite being the second smallest continent on the planet Europe's geographical features including the Great European Plain and extreme accessibility to waterways made it an optimal place for settlement farming trade and development Europe is a peninsula made up of other peninsulas which include the Iberian Balkan Italian Scandinavian and Jutland peninsulas Europe is surrounded by multiple access points by water including the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and the Mediterranean Black and Caspian seas The continent s boundaries extend from Iceland to Portugal in the west to the Ural Mountains in Russia to the East and from the chilly arctic waters up north by Norway Sweden and Finland to the warm southern Mediterranean waters by Spain Italy and Greece Europe's mild climate and natural resources of iron ore and coal helped Europe develop into an industrial powerhouse up until the 20th century Europe's international prowess with economic social and cultural influence eventually led to conflict in this hot zone Europe was the setting for two of the most devastating wars in the history of the world World War I and II These wars were the result of constant conflict over resources territories access to waterways and power and notoriety After these bloody disputes attempts for peace were made but as the story goes what is best for governance is not always what is best for the governed Post World War II Europe saw a high influx of migrants and refugees that was being bolstered by the high rates of employment opportunities 

Due to this combination the continent experienced an increase in population and a a growing economic and industrial sector well into the 1960s In order to regulate industrial production six European countries created the European Coal and Steel Community ECSC which was a precursor to the European Union EU This centralized authority united the countries economically and politically to attempt to establish security and peace Not everyone was a fan of this supra nationalist organization and the ECSC experienced some pushback from Russia and other Eastern powers who suspected the organization was a move toward Western dominance This pushback was evident from the high levels of civil unrest and tension from the Cold War and growing populist far right movement The cheap immigrant labor that was being brought into Europe due to the high level of employment opportunities and the migrant worker program triggered anti immigrant movements who did not agree with calls to unity and the integration of Europe This growing rhetoric blossomed into far right political parties who were gaining speed and recognition for their pro nationalist philosophies This led to the migrant guest worker program to eventually come to an end in 1973 but marked a period of transformation for Europe due to the fact that these migrants had already established themselves throughout European cities So when the oil crisis of the 1970s came around and marked this period with high levels of unemployment many nationalists blamed migrants for their financial woes thus heightening tensions This theme of blaming the other and reclaiming nationalist identities led to the current developments of hyper nationalist movements in places like France Spain and Britain When the Berlin wall was brought down at the turn of the 90s a period of free flow trade and single market took place It is during this period that the Maastricht Treaty on the European Union was signed

The east and west showed signs of integration as the Soviet Union and Communist regimes collapsed during this time But it was Nationalism that was still a constant threat and attempted to stop such integration Hyper nationalist movements began to manifest due to the movement of refugees such as the Yugoslavians from Communist oppression and genocides such as the one suffered by Armenians Additionally the push for the Euro as a single currency and a single European government threatened growing anti supranationalist groups who saw this as an attack to their sovereignty and cultural identity A cycle of financial crises beginning with the corrupt Greek economy put into question the effectiveness of a United Europe And again migrants became a scapegoat for the unstable European economy due to the rising rate of unemployment and European recession Opposition to unification peaked as right wing parties gained a political offices thus swaying policies towards more conservative and austere measures that would further cripple the economies of EU nations like Greece and Spain Due to the anti immigration and Islamophobic sentiments that have been resonating with conservative nationalistic European political parties and their followers there has been a call for tougher and expansive immigration and nationalistic policies These sentiments lead to the controversial decision by Britain to leave the European Union in 2016 Europe is at a moment in its history where it can come together for the good of each other and the union or destroy the union at the whim of emboldened nationalistic tendencies

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