There are 50 countries in Europe spanning a wide geographic area, culture, beliefs, religion, and terrain. The countries range from Spain to Kazakhstan and represent some of the oldest cultures in the world.
Europe is a massive continent that is home to millions of people that live in the various countries that make up Europe. In total there are 50 countries in Europe including some countries that are also in Asia, as well as few countries that have no international recognition. Check out this guide to learn about all the countries in Europe.
Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy. – Margaret Thatcher
All About EuropeEurope. Image source: Wikitravel
Where Does The Name “Europe” Come From?
So just where does the name Europe come from, and who invented that name?
As you may have guessed, the name was coined by the incredibly smart ancient Greeks. Europa, in Greek mythology, was 1 of either 2 people; she was either the queen of Crete or was a Phoenician princess. It is somewhat unclear who Europa was exactly, however.
The name Europe also contains different Greek elements. The Greek word “euria” means wide and the word “ops” means eye. So Europe, put together, means “broad gazing” referring to Europe’s massive size. Today, we know the word Europe to means a large land mass surrounded by water. This also includes the various islands that are considered to be a part of Europe.
The first time we see the word “Europe” used is in the 6th century B.C.
Europe has a very long, and pretty violent, history.
The earliest record of humans in Europe was about 1.8 million years ago with homo erectus georgicus found in modern day Georgia (hence the name georgicus). Other early humans in Europe date back to about 1 million years ago in Spain. 150 thousand years ago Neanderthals (named after a valley in Germany) was found in Germany and more recently in Portugal (around 28,000 BC).
After early hominids came the Neolithic period where crops and livestock were prominent. It is in the Neolithic period where we also see pottery and other artifacts become popular. After the Neolithic period can the Bronze Age (in 3200 BC) primarily in Greece which is actually considered to be the first “advanced” civilization in Europe. After the Bronze Age came the Iron Age in Italy and Greece in 1200 BC.
The early middle ages happen from about the 6th-century up to the 10th century, where the late middle ages began. During this time there were a lot of migrations, rises of power, discoveries, and tragedies and famines. After the middle ages were the Renaissance period where new thought processes emerged and different wars occurred.
World Wars 1 and 2
Fast forward to the 1900s (A.D.) and Europe was home to World War I and World War II.
World War I
|Allied Powers||Central Powers|
|British Empire||German Empire|
World War I began in 1914 between the allied powers and the central powers (which you can see above). This war was brutal and hard fought, killing over 30,000,000 troops on both sides and killing over 7 million Europen civilians. The primary trigger that started the War was when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in 1914 by Gavrilo Princip of Serbia. tensions had been escalating until then but when Serbia called for help from their allies, and Austria called for help from their allies as well war began between most of the countries in Europe.
The Great War ended in 1918 when both sides signed peace treaties. The “winner” of World War I were the Allied countries, but unfortunately, war for Europe was not over.
World War II (1939 to 1945)
|Axis Powers||Allied Powers|
Just about every country in the entire world participated in WWII, so the list above is just including some of the bigger players in the War. Even though World War I was supposed to be “the war that ended all wars”, World War II was considerably more massive and deadlier than WWI. As you might know, WWII spurred from Adolf Hitler in Germany lead a campaign to essentially take over countries and to re-arm the troops (breaking the treaties signed at the end of WWI).
In total, a combined 73 million troops were killed on each side, and a combined total of over 49 million civilians were killed across the globe. This war would lead to nuclear bombs being dropped, the United Nations being formed, and finally, the US and Russia being considered as military superpowers.
After WWII the Cold War started between the United States and Russia. Luckily, this “war” was more or less just high tension between the 2 countries, but no fighting actually occurred. The Cold War ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved.
Countries in Europe
In total there are 5o countries in Europe and 6 “countries” that have no international recognition. The list of the countries is in alphabetical order:
|2||Andorra||Andorra la Vella||68 thousand|
|8||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Saravejo||3.5 million|
|12||Czech Republic||Prague||10.2 million|
|40||San Marino||San Marino||27 thousand|
|49||United Kingdom||London||65.1 million|
|50||Vatican City||Vatican City||900|
Now let’s list the countries that are not internationally recognized (in alphabetical order):
|4||Northern Cyprus||Nicosia||265 thousand|
|5||South Ossetia||Tskhinvali||70 thousand|
There you have it, all 50 countries in Europe, which is your favorite? How many have you visited?