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April 20, 2014

Homework Help: AP European History

Posted by Alex on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 11:51am.

I have to write an essay answering the following questions:
What is the relationship between the study of geography and the study of history? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Europe’s geography? Explain the impact of Europe’s geography on European History.


This is what I have so far. Is it okay?

History and Geography
The physical characteristics of a region can have a very significant impact on its history. Two regions very near to each other could develop completely different ways of life due to their different geographies. This relationship means that understanding geography is an essential part of understanding history. For instance, the advantages and disadvantages of Europe’s geography have helped define what it is like today. As much of Europe is a large peninsula, trade was able to flourish. In addition, the large mountain ranges provide both protection and isolation from other countries. The geography of Europe, which includes several defining features such as the Pyrenees, the Iberian Peninsula, the Northern European Plain, and the Central Russian Upland, helped shape its history by defining trade routes, deciding battles, and creating entire new and different cultures.
Geography is the study of the earth and its features, whereas history is the study of humanity’s past. The study of geography is very important when examining the history of a region, and a people’s way of life can be determined by its environment. For example, civilizations often spring up along rivers, due to the fertile soil nearby. Without that source of fertile soil, these civilizations might not have survived, or even existed in the first place. Geography affects the outcome of events and the decisions people make, which in turn affects the fates of civilizations. For example, the physical characteristics of an area can affect aspects of history such as the outcome of battles or the establishment of trade routes. Mountain ranges can hinder trade between countries, while access to oceans and rivers allow trade to flourish. History is a very broad field, and encompasses everything humans have experienced, whereas geography can change the study into a study of how humans interact with the physical environment.
Europe has a wide variety of climates and terrains. Some of them are beneficial to the people living there, while others can make life much more difficult. Europe is a peninsula, therefore giving easy access to oceans and seas. This is very advantageous, because it opens vast opportunities for trade with foreign countries. For instance, the Iberian Peninsula gives Spain and Portugal easy access to trade with other countries. Another prominent feature of Europe is the Northern European Plain, which has excellent soil for farming. The fertile soil gave rise to farming communities, especially along the fertile rivers, such as the Oder and Dnieper Rivers. The Pyrenees and the Alps act as a natural barrier and provide protection from invaders. However, this can also be a disadvantage, because mountains can wall countries in, cutting off trade and separating them from the progress and development of other countries. The hostile terrain of the mountains and highlands kept people separate, and prevented much progress in those regions, at least until the 18th century, when coal and iron deposits would industrialize these regions. Europe’s physical attributes both hindered and aided its growth and development, and the wide variety of physical regions in Europe created a wide variety of cultural regions as well.

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