From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"THE Rumanians are certainly one of the most curious amongst European nations. The descendants of the conquerors of the ancient world, they live detached from, and far to the north-east of, the other nations of the Greco-Latin family, and not many years ago they were hardly known by name. The grave events of which the Lower Danube has been the scene since the middle of this century have brought these Rumanians prominently to the fore, and we know now that they differ essentially from their neighbours, be they Slav, Turk, or Magyar. They constitute, in fact, one of the most important elements amongst the populations of Eastern Europe, and numerically they are the strongest nation on the Lower Danube, the Bulgarians alone excepted."--The Earth and Its Inhabitants (1875–1894) by Élisée Reclus
Eastern Europe A socio-politic geographical area of eastern Europe usually including the European countries to the east of the Czech Republic, Poland and the Balkans, and to the west of the Urals. However, the boundaries of Eastern Europe are not always clearly defined. "Overlapping" occurs in such cases as those of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.
One view of the present boundaries of Eastern Europe came into being during the final stages of World War II. The area eventually came to encompass all the European countries which were under Soviet influence or control. These countries had communist regimes imposed upon them, and neutral countries were classified by the nature of their political regimes. The Cold War increased the number of reasons for the division of Europe into two parts along the borders of NATO and Warsaw Pact states.
A competing view excludes from the definition states that are historically and culturally different. This usually refers to Central Europe and sometimes the Baltic states which have significant different political, religious, cultural, and economic histories from their eastern neighbors.
- Enlargement of the European Union
- Geography of the Soviet Union
- Russian explorers
- Slavic Europe
- Central Europe
- East-Central Europe
- Eastern European Group
- European Russia
- Geographical midpoint of Europe
- Southeast Europe
- Western Europe