Europe, 6th largest continent, c.4,000,000 sq mi (10,360,000 sq km) including adjacent islands (1992 est. pop. 512,000,000). It is actually a vast peninsula of the great Eurasian land mass. By convention, it is separated from Asia by the Urals and the Ural River in the east; by the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus in the southeast; and by the Black Sea, the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles in the south. The Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar separate it from Africa. Europe is washed in the north by the Arctic Ocean, and in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, with which the North Sea and the Baltic Sea are connected...Europe General Information.
History of Europe
From prehistoric to modern times, Europe has been occupied by numerous peoples and nations. The following summary will emphasize only those events, developments, trends, and individuals that have been responsible for decisive transitions or transformations in Europe through the ages. The history sections of the articles on European countries contain more detailed data on the genesis, growth, and present state of continental civilization. These sections also refer the reader to a wide range of articles dealing with broader aspects of European history. Moreover, a number of articles contain references to other related entries on continental affairs. Further reading on specific periods of European history will provide greater understanding of the continent's development.
Economy of Europe
Europe is highly industrialized; the largest industrial areas are found in W central Europe, England, N Italy, Ukraine, and European Russia. Agriculture, forestry (in N Europe), and fishing (along the Atlantic coast) are also important. Europe has a large variety of minerals; coal, iron ore, and salt are abundant. Oil and gas are found in E Europe and beneath the North Sea. Coal is used to produce a significant, but declining amount of Europe's electricity; in Norway and Sweden and in the Alps hydroelectric plants supply a large percentage of the power. More than 25% of Europe's electricity is generated from nuclear power...more on Economy of Europe.
Europe at a Glance
Physical Geography: The huge Alpine mountain chain, of which the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkans, and the Caucasus are the principal links...more on Physical Geography of Europe.
Travel Chronicle: Europe Destination Guide