Portugal spain England and france. In the late high middle ages ,eastern Europe anxious to attract german settelersto lands cleared from the great forests offered many legal and economic encincitives this granted them land and much greater personal freedom. As a result the phlight of pesants has improved. Western Europe is the region comprising the westerly countries of
Europe. While the term has a geographic context, another main definition developed during the
Cold War to describe the countries associated with the Western European Union, a defensive alliance drafted in 1948 among non-communist European nations during the Cold War, as opposed to the countries of the Eastern Bloc . Countries culturally and geographically associated with other European regions that steered clear of Soviet influence during the Cold War are usually included, while western members of the former Eastern Bloc are excluded.
Countries described as Western European are invariably high-income developed countries, characterized by democratic political systems, mixed economies combining the free market with aspects of the welfare state, and most are members of NATO and the EU.
The United Nations Statistics Division considers Western Europe to consist of just nine countries, although the United Nations Regional Groups include European countries from the
UN-designated Northern and Southern Europe in its Western European and Others Group.
From modern political point of view all European Union member states in Europe are considered to be part of the Western world, or western Europe.
Classical antiquity and medieval origins
As Roman domain expanded, a cultural and linguistic division appeared between the mainly
Greek-speaking eastern provinces which had formed the highly urbanized Hellenistic civilization and the western territories, which, in contrast, largely adopted the Latin language. This cultural and linguistic division was eventually reinforced by the later political east-west division of the
The division between these two was enhanced during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages by a number of events. The Western Roman Empire collapsed starting the Early Middle Ages. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire, mostly known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire, managed to survive and even to thrive for another 1000 years. The rise of the Frankish Empire in the west, and in particular the Great Schism that formally divided Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman
Catholicism, enhanced the cultural and religious distinctiveness between Eastern and Western
The conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, by the Muslim
Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, and the gradual fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire led to a change of the importance of Roman Catholic/Protestant vs. Eastern Orthodox concept in
Western Europe's significant historical events include the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the
Protestant Reformation by Martin Luther and the Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church, the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.
During the final stages of World War II the future of Europe was decided between the Allies in the 1945 Yalta Conference, between the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, U.S.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin.
Post-war Europe would be divided into two major spheres: the West, influenced by the United states, and the Eastern Bloc, influenced by the Soviet Union. With the onset of the Cold War,
Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain.
This term had been used during World War II by German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and later Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk in the last days of the war; however, its