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American professor Peter J. Rather than a physical entity, Central Europe is a concept of shared history which contrasts with that of the surrounding regions. The issue of how to name and define the Central European region is subject to debates. Very often, the definition depends on the nationality and historical perspective of its author. Former University of Vienna professor Lonnie R. He also thinks that Central Europe is a dynamic historical concept, not a static spatial one. For example, Lithuania , a fair share of Belarus and western Ukraine are in Eastern Europe today, but years ago they were in Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth.

However, according to Romanian researcher Maria Bucur this very ambitious project suffers from the weaknesses imposed by its scope almost years of history. The term is mostly used to denominate the territory between the Schelde to Vistula and from the Danube to the Moravian Gate. The first follows international borders of current countries.

A Conceptual History

The second subdivides and includes some countries based on cultural criteria. In comparison to some other definitions, it is broader, including Luxembourg, Croatia, the Baltic states , and in the second sense, parts of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Italy, and France. There is no general agreement either on what geographic area constitutes Central Europe, nor on how to further subdivide it geographically.

At times, the term "Central Europe" denotes a geographic definition as the Danube region in the heart of the continent, including the language and culture areas which are today included in the states of Croatia , the Czech Republic , Hungary , Poland , Serbia , Slovakia , Slovenia and usually also Austria and Germany , but never Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union towards the Ural mountains.

Introduction. Reconnecting the Twentieth-century Histories of Southeastern Europe

Central Europe, as defined by E. Schenk [65]. Central Europe, according to Alice F. Mutton in Central Europe. A Regional and Human Geography Depending on context, Central European countries are sometimes grouped as Eastern or Western European countries, collectively or individually [67] [68] [69] [70] but some place them in Eastern Europe instead: [67] [68] [69] for instance Austria can be referred to as Central European, as well as Eastern European [71] or Western European.

The Baltic states , geographically in Northern Europe , have been considered part of Central Europe in the German tradition of the term, Mitteleuropa. Benelux countries are generally considered a part of Western Europe, rather than Central Europe. Nevertheless, they are occasionally mentioned in the Central European context due to cultural, historical and linguistic ties. The borders to Western Europe and Eastern Europe are geographically less defined and for this reason the cultural and historical boundaries migrate more easily West-East than South-North.


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Southwards, the Pannonian Plain is bounded by the rivers Sava and Danube - and their respective floodplains. Central Europe is one of the continent's most populous regions. It includes countries of varied sizes, ranging from tiny Liechtenstein to Germany, the largest European country by population that is entirely placed in Europe. Demographic figures for countries entirely located within notion of Central Europe "the core countries" number around million people, out of which around 82 million are residents of Germany. If the countries which are occasionally included in Central Europe were counted in, partially or in whole — Croatia 4.

Switzerland uses its own currency — Swiss franc , Serbia too Serbian dinar. Countries in descending order of Human Development Index data :. The index of globalization in Central European countries data : []. Legatum Prosperity Index demonstrates an average and high level of prosperity in Central Europe data []. Most countries in Central Europe tend to score above the average in the Corruption Perceptions Index data : []. According to the Bribe Payers Index , released yearly since by the Berlin -based NGO Transparency International , Germany and Switzerland, the only two Central European countries examined in the study, were respectively ranked 2nd and 4th in Industrialisation occurred early in Central Europe.

That caused construction of rail and other types of infrastructure. Central Europe contains the continent's earliest railway systems, whose greatest expansion was recorded in Austro-Hungarian and German territories between s. Railway density, with total length of lines operated km per 1, km2, is the highest in the Czech Republic Before the first railroads appeared in the s, river transport constituted the main means of communication and trade.

Central European countries are some of the most significant food producers in the world. Germany is the world's largest hops producer with Poland is the world's largest triticale producer, second largest producer of raspberry, currant, third largest of rye, the fifth apple and buckwheat producer, and seventh largest producer of potatoes. The Czech Republic is world's fourth largest hops producer and 8th producer of triticale. Hungary is world's fifth hops and seventh largest triticale producer. Serbia is world's second largest producer of plums and second largest of raspberries. Central European business has a regional organisation, Central European Business Association CEBA , founded in in New York as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting business opportunities within Central Europe and supporting the advancement of professionals in America with a Central European background.


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  • Central Europe;
  • Central European countries, especially Austria, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland are some of the most competitive tourism destinations. Central European countries are very literate. The most popular language taught at schools in Central Europe as foreign languages are: English , French and German. Student performance has varied across Central Europe, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment. In the study, countries scored medium, below or over the average scores in three fields studied.

    The first university east of France and north of the Alps was the Charles University in Prague established in or by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and modeled on the University of Paris, with the full number of faculties law, medicine, philosophy and theology. Its current members include year it joined for the first time in brackets : []. Central European architecture has been shaped by major European styles including but not limited to: Brick Gothic , Rococo , Secession art and Modern architecture. Seven Central European countries are amongst those countries with higher numbers of World Heritage Sites :.

    Large Protestant groups include Lutheran and Calvinist. Central Europe has been a centre of Protestantism in the past; however, it has been mostly eradicated by the Counterreformation. Before the Holocaust —45 , there was also a sizeable Ashkenazi Jewish community in the region, numbering approximately In some of these countries, there is a number of atheists , undeclared and non-religious people: the Czech Republic non-religious Zagreb Cathedral , Zagreb Catholic , Croatia.

    Stephen's Basilica in Budapest Catholic , Hungary. Jesuit Church, Lucerne Catholic , Switzerland. Abbey of Saint Gall Catholic , Switzerland. Cologne Cathedral Catholic , Germany. Matthias Church is a Catholic church in Budapest, Hungary.

    Nation Building - The Great Sorting Out in Central Europe

    Cathedral of St. Vaduz Cathedral Catholic , Liechtenstein. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna Catholic , Austria. Esztergom Basilica Catholic , is an ecclesiastic basilica in Esztergom, Hungary. Central European cuisine has evolved through centuries due to social and political change.

    Most countries share many dishes. The most popular dishes typical to Central Europe are sausages and cheeses, where the earliest evidence of cheesemaking in the archaeological record dates back to 5, BCE Kujawy , Poland. List of countries by beer consumption per capita is led by the Czech Republic , followed by Germany and Austria.

    Poland comes 5th, Croatia 7th and Slovenia 13th. Human rights have a long tradition in Central Europe. In Hungary defined for the first time the rights of the nobility in its "Golden Bull". In the Statute of Kalisz and the General Charter of Jewish Liberties introduced numerous rights for the Jews in Poland, granting them de facto autonomy.

    In for the first time, Poland forbid corporal punishment of children in schools. In the same year, a German state of Baden banned slavery. On the other hand, there were also major regressions, such as "Nihil novi" in Poland in which forbade peasants from leaving their land without permission from their feudal lord.

    Generally, the countries in the region are progressive on the issue of human rights: death penalty is illegal in all of them, corporal punishment is outlawed in most of them and people of both genders can vote in elections. Nevertheless, Central European countries struggle to adopt new generations of human rights, such as same-sex marriage. Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland also have a history of participation in the CIA's extraordinary rendition and detention program, according to the Open Society Foundation.

    Regional writing tradition revolves around the turbulent history of the region, as well as its cultural diversity. There is a whole spectrum of media active in the region: newspapers, television and internet channels, radio channels, internet websites etc. Central European media are regarded as free, according to the Press Freedom Index, although the situation in Poland, Hungary and Croatia is described as "problematic".

    Some of the top scoring countries in the Press Freedom Index are in Central Europe, and include: []. Football is one of the most popular sports. Countries of Central Europe had many great national teams throughout history and hosted several major competitions. Central European Defence Cooperation. Central Europe is a home to some of world's oldest democracies.

    However, most of them have been impacted by totalitarianism , particularly Fascism and Nazism. Germany and Italy occupied all Central European countries, except Switzerland. In all occupied countries, the Axis powers suspended democracy and installed puppet regimes loyal to the occupation forces.


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    • Also, they forced conquered countries to aplly racial laws and formed military forces for helping German and Italian struggle against Communists. Communism also banned democracy and free elections, and human rights did not exist in Communist countries. Most of Central Europe had been occupied and later allied with the Soviet Union , often against their will through forged referendum e. Nevertheless, these experiences have been dealt in most of them. Most of Central European countries score very highly in the Democracy Index : [].

      In spite of its turbulent history, Central Europe is currently one of world's safest regions. The time zone used in most parts of the European Union is a standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is commonly called Central European Time because it has been first adopted in central Europe by year : [ citation needed ]. While walking over the famous Charles Bridge , the main character, Lovejoy says: " I've never been to Prague before.

      Professor Mark Cornwall | History | University of Southampton

      Well, it is one of the great unspoiled cities in Central Europe. Notice: I said: "Central", not "Eastern"! The Czechs are a bit funny about that, they think of Eastern Europeans as turnip heads. Wes Anderson 's Oscar-winning film The Grand Budapest Hotel is regarded as a fictionalised celebration of the s in Central Europe, and the region's musical tastes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Region of Europe. Different views of Central Europe. There are numerous other definitions and viewpoints.

      Bohemia in During this phase, the dialogue was challenged not only by disagreements between Belgrade and Pristina, but also by disagreements from within the EU. Conceptual Analyses By:. When the future or, more specifically, a redirection of South-East European studies is discussed in a series of essays in this journal, one has to have in mind that this is not the first discussion of this kind — and for sure not the concluding one.

      Economic effects

      In an increasingly globalizing world, area studies are under permanent critical observation. What can particular findings related to an area contribute to the understanding of the whole, the global, and how is the global represented in the particularities of an area? However, this kind of critical self-reflection that can sometimes result in self-deprecation was not always the case in the long history of the study of South-East Europe.

      Book Review Analyses By:. Steam and water power required a concentration of labour close to the power source. Concentration of labour also allowed new discipline and specialization, which increased productivity. The new machinery was expensive, and businessmen setting up even modest factories had to accumulate substantial capital through partnerships, loans from banks, or joint-stock ventures. While relatively small firms still predominated, and managerial bureaucracies were limited save in a few heavy industrial giants, a tendency toward expansion of the business unit was already noteworthy.

      Commerce was affected in similar ways, for new forms had to be devised to dispose of growing levels of production. Small shops replaced itinerant peddlers in villages and small towns. In Paris, the department store , introduced in the s, ushered in an age of big business in the trading sector. Urbanization was a vital result of growing commercialization and new industrial technology. Factory centres such as Manchester grew from villages into cities of hundreds of thousands in a few short decades. Rapid city growth produced new hardships, for housing stock and sanitary facilities could not keep pace, though innovation responded, if slowly.

      Gas lighting improved street conditions in the better neighbourhoods from the s onward, and sanitary reformers pressed for underground sewage systems at about this time. For the better-off, rapid suburban growth allowed some escape from the worst urban miseries. Rural life changed less dramatically. A full-scale technological revolution in the countryside occurred only after the s.

      Nevertheless, factory-made tools spread widely even before this time, as scythes replaced sickles for harvesting, allowing a substantial improvement in productivity. Larger estates, particularly in commercially minded Britain, began to introduce newer equipment, such as seed drills for planting. Crop rotation, involving the use of nitrogen-fixing plants, displaced the age-old practice of leaving some land fallow, while better seeds and livestock and, from the s, chemical fertilizers improved yields as well.

      Rising agricultural production and market specialization were central to the growth of cities and factories. By in Britain, far and away the leader still, only half the total population lived in cities, and there were as many urban craft producers as there were factory hands. Relatively traditional economic sectors, in other words, did not disappear and even expanded in response to new needs for housing construction or food production.

      Nevertheless, the new economic sectors grew most rapidly, and even other branches displayed important new features as part of the general process of commercialization. Geographic disparities complicate the picture as well.