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Western Europe. Introduction Center of Land Hemisphere centrality of location, easy contact with rest of world maritime technology and formation of colonial empires railroads open up continental interiors aviation and high-speed ocean commerce Maritime Orientation

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Western europe
Western Europe

  • Introduction

    • Center of Land Hemisphere

      • centrality of location, easy contact with rest of world

      • maritime technology and formation of colonial empires

      • railroads open up continental interiors

      • aviation and high-speed ocean commerce

    • Maritime Orientation

      • Europe forms ragged Atlantic fringe on vast Eurasian land mass

      • shelters coats and harbors

      • most countries have direct access to sea

  • Landforms

    • Northwest Highlands

      • includes Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, British isles, and Breton peninsula in NW France

      • influence of volcanism and glaciation

      • isolation, rugged landforms, gale-force winds

      • almost no soil, non-productive agricultural land

      • seafaring traditions

      • marshlands and lakes

      • hydroelectricity in Norway and Sweden

      • fjords

      • cloudy, cold, wet weather

      • grazing sheep and cattle

  • European Plain

    • Stretches from Pyrenees to Ural Mts.

    • broad, rolling lowland plain

    • varied and complex soils

    • influence of seas and rivers

    • most river systems flow north, facilitate trade and travel

    • efficient and integrated transportation systems with canals,rivers, railroads, and highways

    • location of greatest European cities- Paris, Berlin

    • high agricultural potential

    • Central Uplands

      • zones of hilly, rugged plateaus

      • old geologic formations, rounded Mts., moderately high

      • not as productive as European plain

      • not well suited to agriculture, too rugged, too steep

      • grazing and fodder crops

    • Alpine Mt.. System

      • high Mts., rugged plateaus, steep slopes

      • southern flank of Europe, parts of Iberian, Italian, and Balkan peninsulas

      • Alps relatively young like with peaks from 10-15K high

      • passes focal point of routes from Europe to Mediterranean

      • Brenner, St. Bernard, Gotthard passes

      • earthquakes and volcanic activity

    • Climate

      • Introduction

        • Alps are climatic divide in Europe

        • north has moderate temperatures, moist marine climate with lush green landscapes (Ireland the Emerald Isle)

        • south has dry summers, subtropical climate with brown, parched fields

      • Marine Climate

        • moderate temperature, abundant moisture from the Atlantic

        • Atlantic Ocean warmer than latitude would suggest

        • North Atlantic Drift

    • Dry Summer Subtropical Climate

      • Mediterranean climate

      • clear, hot, dry summers

      • moderate, moist winters

      • found in California, Chile, South Africa, South Australia

      • subtropical high pressure shifts north in summer producing clear, sunny, dry skies

      • farmers plant crops in winter and spring for harvest in early summer

      • use of cloches to grow vegetables in winter

      • fruit trees and olive trees well adapted

      • tourism flourishes in summer

    • Humid Continental Climates

      • Inland from coastal areas

      • Mostly found in Central Europe

      • Influence of continental air masses from inner Asia

      • Winters are colder and summers hotter

      • Short summer climates in the north (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic)

      • Warmer and longer summers in Hungary, Romania, north Bulgaria

      • Vegetation mostly forests with good soils particularly in the Danube Valley

    • Environmental Issues

      • population increases and utilization of resources

        • impact of industrial revolution, concentration of factories

      • pollution of rivers from industrial, mining, and domestic wastes

        • loss of fish stocks

        • efforts recently to clean up rivers

      • air pollution problems

        • winter smoke, fogs, road traffic, sulfur and nitrogen oxides produce acid rain

        • impact of air pollution on coniferous forests from Alps to Scandinavia

    • pollution of Mediterranean Sea

      • population along coasts rising

      • impact of tourism in summer on pollution

      • shipping lanes and oil pollution

      • urban industrial areas- Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, and Athens

      • recognition of problem and some progress

    • waste management, a growth industry in Europe

      • landfill sites limited

      • incineration of waste

      • recycling increasingly popular

    European union
    European Union

    • European unity

      • Virtually all European states members of EU today

      • Movement toward unity arose from WWII to interlock economies so further war would be difficult

      • ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community) in 1952 joined German and French heavy industry together

    • EEC (European Economic Community) signed in Rome 1958.

    • EFTC (European Free Trade Community) led by UK and non-EEC countries

    • European Parliament and European Commission in Strasbourg, FR

    • Maastricht Treaty in 1990

    • From 6 to over 15 European countries members today

    • European currency introduced this year (Euro)

    • Achievements

      • Expanding market and stimulation of economic growth in Europe

      • CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) problems of abolishing tariffs on agricultural products

      • Sovereignty eroding; concern about loss of autonomous decision-making power in UK, Denmark, Greece, Portugal

      • Future of East European states, Turkey, and EU

      • European outlook developing

      • Future of NATO and relations with Russia

    United kingdom
    United Kingdom

    • Background

      • Composed of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

      • International dominance from 1815-1914

      • Overseas empire, spread of language and culture

      • World’s most foremost manufacturing nation until WW I

      • After WW I, economic growth declined; political stature declined after WW II

      • Role in EU and Commonwealth of Nations

    Scottish Highlands

    Scottish Lowlands

    UK Physical Map


    Mts. Of Wales

    British Lowlands

    Cornwall peninsula

    • Physical Regions of UK

      • Highland Britain

        • Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and northern and southwestern England

        • treeless hills, uplands, low mountains, older rocks

        • Scottish highlands, Southern Uplands of Scotland, Pennines, Lake District of north England, mountains of Wales, Cornwall peninsula

        • Highland Britain contains two lowlands (1) central plain of Ireland and (2) Scottish lowlands

        • Scottish lowlands only 1/5 of Scotland’s area but has 4/5’s of the population. Glasgow and Edinburgh

    • Lowland Britain

      • all of this area lies in England

      • better soils

      • pastures, meadows, crop fields, villages and market towns

      • industrial revolution in this area, expanding population, urbanization

      • five industries part of industrial rise- coal mining, iron and steel, cotton textiles, woolen textiles, and shipbuilding

    • Coal Industry

      • fuel for blast furnace and steam engines

      • coal production rose until WW I, then declined in 20th C

      • reasons for decline: competition from foreign sources, depletion of easily mined coal, and substitution of other fuels

    • Iron and Steel

      • steel scarce and expensive before industrial revolution

      • improvements in process of making steel

      • superior strength and versatility of steel made cheaply

      • reliance on domestic ores initially, later imported

      • US and Germany surpass British output by 1900

      • located in scattered areas (1) eastern England; (2) south Wales; (3) lower Tees River area

    • Cotton Milling in Lancashire

      • cotton textiles leading export

      • cotton industry centered in Lancashire and Manchester

      • raw cotton imported; manufactured textiles exported

      • importance of inventions in cotton milling and weaving

      • foreign competition after WW II

    • Woolen Textile Industry of Yorkshire

      • largest woolen textile industry in world

      • concentrated in Yorkshire in Leeds Bradford

    • Shipbuilding on Tyne and Clyde

      • wooden ships constructed by Britain

      • deforestation and timber imports from US

      • competition from US shipbuilding in New England

      • Britain building 80% of iron and steel ships by 1900

      • center of shipbuilding was NE England along Tyne River and Scottish lowlands along River Clyde

      • built for UK merchant marine and foreign owners

      • Britain’s share of world shipbuilding declined after WW I, now only 2-3% of world’s total

      • competition from Japan and Korea

    • Urbanization

      • industrial revolution fueled growth of cities

      • most large cities near coal fields

      • uniqueness of London, not an industrial city but center of government, commerce, insurance, media, arts, and tourism

      • reasons for predominance of London

        • near major trading partners

        • location in productive area

        • transportation and communications facilitated

        • location on a river permitting ocean-going ships to dock

      • much development downstream today, containerization

    • Food and Agriculture

      • large dependence on imported food

      • poor soils, steep slopes, cool summers, cloudiness not good for agriculture

      • Lowland Britain better suited to agriculture

      • high concentration on grass farming for milk and meat

      • barley and other crops for feed

      • British agricultural yields good

    • English Channel Tunnel

      • Underground tunnel between Southern UK and Calais, Fr

      • Travel time 3 hours between London and Paris

      • Psychological importance of the Chunnel- UK no longer as isolated.

      • Stimulating of trade and tourism between UK and Europe

    • Problem of Old Industrial Areas

      • constant succession of economic difficulties since WWII

      • trade and competition are problems for British industry

      • unemployment in coals fields

      • newer industrials like autos also in difficulty

      • reasons for economic decline?

        • loss of resource advantages

        • cheaper labor abroad

        • technological advantages of new states

        • technological unemployment

        • conservative management

    • Service sector

      • expanding employment in this area

      • government, insurance, health, sales, education, research, tourism, communications, and media


    • Background

      • Ireland is land of hills, lakes, marshes, peat bogs, verdant grasslands (Emerald Isle)

      • Republic of Ireland occupied 4/5’s of land; Northern Ireland occupied 1/5 of land in Northeast

    • Economic factors

      • Ireland in midst of transition from predominantly agricultural country to industrial economy

      • low level of income

      • lack of mineral resources

      • dependent status of Ireland; harsh rule of Britain

    • Northern Ireland part of United Kingdom, religious and political discrimination against Catholics

    • Protestant majority (Scottish Presbyterians) in Northern Ireland

    • shipbuilding and linen textiles industries in Belfast

    • foreign investment recently in Republic of Ireland due to cheap labor, governmental incentives, tax breaks

    • manufacturing now larger than agriculture

    • most industrialization in Dublin and Cork

    • agriculture still important, especially dairying, fodder crops

    • farms are small and undermechanized

    • problems with terrorism from 60’s through 90’s political discrimination against Catholics

    • Good Friday Agreements in 1998 has ameliorated some conflict

    • UK yielded direct political rule to Northern Ireland in 1999

    • prospects for peace enhanced since 2001

    Ireland political discrimination against Catholics

    Physical Map

    France political discrimination against Catholics

    • Background

      • one of world’s most important countries

      • major industrial and trading nation; atomic power

      • lost significance as major colonial power

      • Paris, center art and culture

    • Physical and Cultural Unity of France

      • hexagon framed by several seas and mountains: (1) Mediterranean Sea and Pyrenees; (2) Bay of Biscay and English Channel; (3) Alps and Jura Mts.; (4) Vosges Mts. and Rhine river; (5) Ardennes Upland

    France: Physical Map political discrimination against Catholics

    English Channel

    Paris Basin


    Ardennes Uplands

    Jura Mts

    The Alps

    Carcassone Gap

    • recognizable political unit since Roman times political discrimination against Catholics

    • natural fortress with Pyrenees, Alps, Jura Mts. protecting France

    • northeast frontier less defensible against Germany

    • Franco-Prussian war 1870; World War I; and World War II

  • French Agriculture

    • French Agriculture

    • agriculture more important in France than most developed countries; 60% of French land in agriculture

    • major producer of wheat, wine, barley, cereal products, corn, dairy products, fruits, vegetables

    • EU membership important advantage political discrimination against Catholics

    • physical advantages in topography, climate and soil

    • vineyards concentrated in south and southwest

    • northeast France has loess soil that produce wheat and sugar beets

  • French Cities

    • Paris, primate city and largest urban, industrial city

      • strategic location of Paris

      • capital of French kings, seat of government, bureaucracy, cultural life

      • hub of national road and rail system

      • center of quality luxury items- fashions, haut couture, perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry, (Christian Dior; Lancôme)

  • importance of Urban and Industrial Districts adjourning Belgium

    • second-ranking urban and industrial area along Belgian border

    • Lille, largest metropolitan area of region

    • coal fields, textile plants, chemicals, heavy industry

    • unemployment problems of the Nord region

  • urban and industrial districts in Southern France

    • Lyon, third largest urban industrial area

    • valleys of Rhone and Saone rivers

    • transportation artery- superhighways, rapid rail, and barges

  • mining and heavy industry in Lorraine

    • important area with heavy industry

    • iron-ore producing area near Nancy and Metz

    • low quality deposits, losing market share to others

    • new iron and steel plants at Dunkirk and Bay of Fos using overseas resources

    • attempts to relocate new industry in Lorraine difficult because of environment, quality of life and unions

  • industries of Western France and Massif Central

    • less populous and urban

    • Bordeaux, Toulouse and Nantes are main cities

  • dynamism of recent urban and industrial development

    • major changes since WW II in structure of economy

    • importance of EU

    • new technologies and new industries

    • national and regional planning, cooperation between government and business

    • reduction of historic regional imbalances

    • diversion of development from Paris to outlying areas

    • ethnic diversity, poverty, and disaffection in Brittany and Corsica

    • Bordeaux, seaport on Garonne River, center of wine industry

  • Germany
    Germany chemical, aircraft plants

    • Background

      • Federal Republic of Germany and Democratic Republic of Germany united in 1990

      • most important and dynamic country in Europe

      • population of 80 million

      • time and money required to integrate East Germany into West Germany

    • German Environment

      • central location in Europe

      • lowlands of Northern Germany part of North European plain

    Germany: Physical Map chemical, aircraft plants

    German Plain

    The Ruhr

    Black forest

    German Alps

  • Location of German Cities

    • most cities located in economically advantaged areas or strategic transportation areas

    • Four of eight largest cities on the Rhine river- Dusseldorf, Cologne, Wiesbaden-Mainz, and Mannheim-Ludwigshfen-Heidelberg

    • Other four largest cities on tributaries of the Rhine- Essen, Wuppertal, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart

    • North/South cities- Dortmund, Duisburg and Aachen

    • Ruhr industrial area crucial in development of several cities

    • strategic location of Hanover, Leipzig and Dresden in loess belt

    • Hamburg on Elbe estuary; Bremen on Wesser estuary

    • southern uplands - Munich on pass route across Alps and Nuremberg

    • Berlin, unlikely location but historic seat of government

    • Evolution of Germany Essen, Wuppertal, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart

      • German tribes occupied expanse from Rhine to Vistula

      • as Germans moved westward, Slavs occupied area in east up to Vistula river in Poland

      • German control to Poland in late 1700’s, some German influence as far as Volga river in Russia

      • new German empire in 1871 under Prussian leadership

      • rapid population growth stimulates growth

      • coal, chemical, metallurgical and engineering industries boomed.

      • development of railway system, canals, transportation

    • German ports centers of world trade Essen, Wuppertal, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart

    • impact of WW I on German development

    • Third Reich under Hitler

    • impact of WWII on Germany’s eastern border and division of Germany

    • 13 million Germany migrated to West Germany by 1961, necessitating creation of Berlin Wall

    • collapse of Soviet empire in 1989/90

  • German Industrial Economy

    • roots of development in medieval times in Rhine Uplands (Weisbaden), Saxony(Czech border), and Silesia (Poland)

    • importance of metallic ores, smelted with charcoal and use of water power

    • Ruhr coal field and development of heavy industry on Rhine River

    • Saxony, coal resources poorer, development of machinery, precision instruments, textiles, chemicals

    • railways and canals bring resources for industrial development

    • rapid recovery of German economic after WW II

    • abundant skilled workers, hungry markets, high prices on foreign goods

    • production of agricultural products suited to German climate and poor soil

    • Common market deprived farmers of protection, movement of people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

    • farm labor declined from 5.2 million to 1.7 million between 1950-1976

    • petroleum replaced coal as fuel in 70’s; atomic energy developed to produce electricity, protests by anti-nuclear groups

    • Soviet natural gas deal strains US relations

    • increasing competition with Japan for world markets

    • costs of integrating East Germany into the new German Federal Republic

    • productivity and living standards lower; environmental problems of East Germany

    Benelux countries
    Benelux Countries people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

    • Background

      • Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg closely associated throughout history

      • “Low Countries” descriptive of Belgium and the Netherlands but not Luxembourg

      • parts of Netherlands along coast below sea level, protected by sand dunes and man-made dikes

      • Ardennes includes half of Luxembourg, rolling terrain similar to that in French Lorraine

      • high population densities, high productivity, and high incomes

    Benelux Physical Map people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

    • Role of Trade people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

      • economic life of Benelux has intensive development of industry, agriculture, and trade

      • limited resources necessitate trade in manufactured products, livestock products, vegetables, and flowers

      • position of Benelux favorable for trade near UK, France, Germany

      • Benelux handles significant portion of trade from Switzerland, eastern France, and Germany (Rhine river traffic)

      • importance of former colonial empires-East Indies (Indonesia) and Belgian Congo (Zaire/Congo)

    • Dutch and Belgian Ports people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

      • three of largest world ports in Low Countries, i.e.. Rotterdam and Amsterdam in Netherlands and Antwerp in Belgium

      • Amsterdam (1.9 million) was main port of Holland in 17th/18th C

        • entrepot for tropical products from East Indies

        • manufacturing center

        • distinctive ethnic and cultural flavor from Indonesian community

        • North Sea Canal replaced approach from Zider Zee which was too shallow to accommodate large ships

      • Rotterdam (1.1 million) largest world port in terms of tonnage handled

    • ideally situated to handle Rhine traffic people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

    • impact of New Waterway channel in 1872 and industrialization of Ruhr responsible for growth

    • Europort along New Waterway handles supertankers and containerize ships

  • Antwerp (1.1 million) up Scheldt River in Belgium

    • primarily a port for Belgium but also gets Rhine traffic

    • deep estuary of Scheldt gives Antwerp best harbor in country

    • closer to the Ruhr

  • Manufacturing in Benelux

    • highly industrialized

    • discoveries of natural gas in Netherlands in 50’s supported industrialization

    • Heavy Industry in Sambre Meuse District people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

      • major coal field in valley of Sambre and Meuse rivers

      • iron and steel industry developed here before Industrial Revolution in Liege

      • problems of old, coal-based industries, a declining industry

      • newer industrial plants in northern Belgium where unions weaker and wages lower

      • Luxembourg large has exports of iron and steel but wants to diversify economy

    • Industries in Netherlands people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

      • less heavy industry but more light industries like textiles, electronics, electrical equipment, etc. (Philips, Unilever)

      • refineries in Rotterdam largest in Europe (Shell Oil)

      • petrochemicals and chemicals

      • good size merchant marine fleet

      • food processing, flower and bulb industry

    • Intensive Agriculture of Low Countries

      • Netherlands and Belgium have important agricultural resources

      • high productivity of land due to fertile soils, intensive use of labor, use of agricultural machinery, fertilizers

    • types of land people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

      • poder lands surrounded by dikes and artificially drained

      • loess lands in Belgium exceptionally fertile

      • sandy soils less productive, grow feed crops, livestock production, milk and dairy products

  • Problems of Benelux Countries

    • Belgium problem of national unity- Flemish vs. Walloons

      • French-speaking Belgians known as Walloons south of Brussels used to be politically and economically dominant

      • Flemish minority now an increasing majority

      • Flemish areas growing at faster rate due to cheap labor and better location

      • periodic problems of violence

    • Population and Planning Problems people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

      • how to provide pleasant living conditions in very crowded country

      • limitations on urban sprawl and promotion of outdoor recreational areas

      • greenbelts, bicycle transport, leisure industries

    • Reclamation of New Land

      • new poders from Zuider See

      • 18 mile dike across entrance to Zuider Zee with reclaimed land and freshwater lake

      • Delta Plan for flood control to avoid repetition of 1953 devastating floods

      • construction of dikes connecting major islands in delta of Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt rivers

    Switzerland and austria
    Switzerland and Austria people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

    • Background

      • Two small countries have much in common, similar physical environment with high rugged mountains and strips of morainal land formed by retreating glaciers

      • Swiss plateau from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance

      • Austrian plateau between Salzburg to Vienna

    • Disparity of Resources and Economic Success

      • Austria has more arable land, more forests, some minerals

      • Switzerland enjoys greater economic success

    • Switzerland has highest per capital income in world people from rural areas to urban industrial cities

    • long period of peace in Switzerland

      • no internal war since 1815

      • position as buffer between larger powers

      • defensibility of terrain

      • small value of Swiss economic production not worth price of war

      • value as intermediary between combatants

      • policy of armed neutrality

    • exploitation of banking, tourist, manufacturing, and agricultural potential

    • massive inflow of capital to Swiss banks

    • Zurich is major center of international finance

    • major tourist destination for winter sports (Zermatt, Davos, and St.. Moritz)

    • manufacturing with power supplied from hydroelectricity

    • value added from skilled design and workmanship

    • Swiss agriculture highly specialized in dairy farming along Swiss plateau

    • Transhumance, the ancient practice of seasonal migration of farm people and livestock for summer grazing in high mountain passes

    Switzerland and Austria and St.. Moritz)

    Switzerland and St.. Moritz)

    • National Unity of Switzerland and St.. Moritz)

      • stable, democratic, competent government with religious and linguistic differences

      • creation of transportation network through high Alps

      • large measure of local autonomy for cantons

      • widespread use of initiative and referendum

      • government support of infrastructures projects like railroads, hydroelectric power generating systems, roads

    • Austria: Problems and Readjustments and St.. Moritz)

      • Austria victim of 20th C wars and military disasters

      • remnant of Austro-Hungarian empire

      • population German in language and culture but forbidden by victors to unite with Germany

      • after WW II Austria reconstituted as independent state but divided into occupational zones until 1955

      • diversified industrial economy utilizing Austrian iron ore and coal from Bohemia and Moravia in Czechoslovakia

      • difficulty of penetrating European markets

      • exports inadequate to pay for imports

    • importance of tourism to Austria and St.. Moritz)

    • forest industries, tourism, iron ore production, clothing, textiles and major products

    • dairy and livestock farming

    • fairly high percentage of population (7-8%) in agriculture

    • dominance of Vienna lessening as population moves to medium size cities

    • strategic location of Vienna on Danube river and route to Adriatic sea.

    Southern europe
    Southern Europe and St.. Moritz)

    • Background

      • southern Europe separated from Africa by Mediterranean Sea and three large peninsulas

      • Iberian peninsula with Spain and Portugal

      • Italian peninsula with Italy and Sicily

      • Balkan peninsula

      • includes several islands like Sicily, Sardinia, Crete, and the Balearic islands

      • African lands on Mediterranean are Islamic while countries of southern Europe are Roman Catholic or

      • Greek Orthodox

    • Mediterranean Agriculture and St.. Moritz)

      • dry-summer subtropical climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers

      • Spanish Meseta in the interior cut off from rain-bearing winds, colder in winter

      • winter wheat, barley, olives, grapes

      • olive oil source of fat in Mediterranean diet

      • beans and peas also source of protein

      • sheep and goats preferred over cattle because they can survive on sparser pasture

      • transhumance practiced

      • fruits and vegetables for local market and export

    • few irrigated areas strand out including northern Portugal, Mediterranean coast of Spain, north coast of Sicily, Italian coast near Naples, and Po River valley

    • extensive irrigated orchards in Spain and Sicily (oranges from Valencia; lemons in Sicily)

    • Campania around Naples extensively farmed

    • corn and rye more important in northern Spain

    • Po River Valley produces irrigated rice, sugar beets, hemp, peaches, fruits with high yields

    • Terrain and Population Distribution Mediterranean coast of Spain, north coast of Sicily, Italian coast near Naples, and Po River valley

      • Rugged terrain predominates in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece

      • Population distribution influenced by topography with lowland plains heavily populated, mountainous areas less populated

      • Spanish Meseta 2,000-3,000 feet in elevation, deep river valleys cut through it

      • Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mts. north of Meseta; Betic Mts. and Sierra Nevada south of Meseta; most population on periphery or coastal lowlands

      • Alps and Apennines major mountains of Italy

    • Apennines are backbone of Italian peninsula down to Sicily where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft

    • Italian lowlands more heavily populated than highlands

    • Po River Valley has 40% of Italian population

    • Ligurian coast near Genoa, Arno River inland near Florence, and Campania around Naples also heavily populated

    • Pindus Range of Mts. in Greece north of Gulf of Corinth extend to islands off shore

    • Attic Plan with Athens and seaport of Piraeus

    • Historic Contrasts of Wealth and Power where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft

      • each of four major countries in southern played major role in world history

      • 600-300 BC Greek city states

      • Roman empire rules whole of Mediterranean until its collapse in 5th C AD

      • Italian city states of Middle Ages, Venice, Genoa, Milan, Bologna, and Florence

      • Spanish power after 1492 (Defeat of Moors)

      • Portugal’s role in exploration around Africa to Far East

    • Retarded Development of Southern Europe where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft

      • relatively poor part of Europe today

      • lagging industrial development

      • unfavorable resource conditions

      • role of Catholic church

      • lack of abundant capital, poor education, control by wealthy landowners, unstable and undemocratic governments

      • lack of good coal and iron-ore deposits

      • only three sizable industrial areas of Southern Europe: (1) Po River Plain in north Italy; (2) area around Barcelona; and (3) Bilbao, north coast of Spain

    • Economic Progress since WW II where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft

      • new dynamism at end of 20th C

      • improved transportation systems

      • importation of oil and discovery of gas

      • good market conditions for subtropical vegetables, fruits, and some manufactured products like automobiles

      • infusions of foreign capital

      • boom in tourism around ancient cities, resort coasts like Costa Brava and Costa del Sol, Balearic Islands, and Italian Rivera

    • Po River Basin where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft

      • economic heartland of modern Italy

      • diversification of industry previously dominated by textiles

      • growth of engineering and chemical industrials, iron-steel industries, reliance on domestic natural gas and imported oil

      • Leading cities of Milan (3.8 mil); Turin (1.6 mil) and Genoa (800 k)

      • Milan: industrial capital, center of finance, business administration, railway transportation, Italian fashion industry, shoes, textiles, publishing ( Pirelli Tires)

    • Turin where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft: center of automobile industry (Fiat)

    • Genoa: overseas trade, seaport

  • Other Urban Centers

    • non industrial character of other cities

    • Athens, Greece (3 mil) : capital, main port, and leading industrial city with port of Piraeus

    • Rome (3.2 mil) central location, governmental, religious, and tourist center

    • Naples (2.9 mil) port of Campanian agricultural region, Vesuvius, Pompeii and island of Capri

    • Madrid (4.7 mil) central location, no economic reason for existence, hub of rail and road network, some industry

    • Barcelona where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft (major port and center of industry due to good financing, hydroelectric power, cheap and skilled labor, and imported raw materials

    • Valencia, business center, irrigated lands, oranges for export

    • Lisbon (2.3 mil) magnificent harbor at mouth of Tagus River, capital and leading seaport

    • Oporto (1.3 mil) mouth of Douro River, famous port wine industry

    • Shift from Agriculture to Industry where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ft

      • movement from agriculture to industrial development since WW II

      • tourist industries, scenery, historic sites, beaches

      • countryside progressively poor in environment and economy as one moves south

      • Mezzoriorno (land of the midday sun) in southern Italy very rocky, poor agriculture, floods in winter, problem of Mafia in Sicily

      • unemployment in southern Italy approaching 20% in 70’s and 80’s; northern Italy chronically short of labor until recently.

    • Economic Progress in late 20 where Mt.. Etna reaches 10,900 ftth C

      • New dynamic economic growth in southern Europe

      • Improvements in transportation and communication

      • Expansion of agriculture overseas, i.e. tropical fruits and vegetables, processed foods

      • Capital flows from other parts of Europe due to good supply of cheap labor and a favorable location