Eastern Europe as a single region Essay

Submitted By jumanju
Words: 632
Pages: 3

The European continent is often seen as integrating two sub regions, both having different cultural and specific identities. One can distinguish Central Europe from Eastern Europe. What are these differences that make those two regions so culturally, economically different? Why can we talk of Eastern Europe as a single region? Writers on this issue seem to explain this by a growing gap between the two blocs through the ages.

To understand the particularity of Eastern Europe through the ages, Berend dresses an expose where he approaches the initial differences between the blocs, he explains the impacts the worldwide changes during the 16th and 17th century and the double industrial revolutions had on Eastern Europe, he then finishes on dressing a portrait of the region after the WW2. According to him, it seems the cultural gap between the two blocs started in the Medieval ages (5th-8th century); central and Christian Europe had adopted feudalism, which was based on reciprocal relations; between nobles and peasant for exp. Eastern Europe, later on followed the model of western feudalism, adapting it their own way, that is seen as more superficial; “ the real substance of feudalism was never integrated into the social fabric of East European life”. This deviant system, adopted in many east European countries such as Poland, Hungary and Russian East Europe made them adopt a similar political culture.

The worldwide changes firstly in the 16th /17th century also drove the two blocs apart; where central Europe was progressing, adapting to the rise of mass consumption and capitalism, Eastern Europe was held back, if not regressing, due to several “military defeats, collapse of states, occupations” during the Turkish Era. This incapacity of obtaining a dominant place in the new global economy impeached the east European countries to develop and enrich themselves. Mechanism favourable to this kind of progress, such as the rise of middle class and ‘bourgeois development’ did not happen the way it did in the West.
This economical delay was enhanced during the double industrial revolutions, where only a few east European countries like Germany managed to catch up with western economy. Political issues such as the remaining aristocratic privileges, the ‘rigid structure’ of the political system and the contemptuous look of the west towards the east, which is also enhanced by Durandin, can be seen as a failure of the eastern European countries’ revolution, which only made the gap between the worldly dominant west and the leisurely…