Four Physiographic Regions of Europe

A physiographic zone is an area with distinct geomorphology. Europe is often referred to as the Peninsula of Peninsulas since it is surrounded by sea on three sides (De Blij et al., 2016). The Alpine mountains, Western uplands, Central Uplands, and North European Plain are the four major physiographic regions of Europe.

The Western uplands, often known as the Northern Highlands, are the least inhabited territory in Europe. Particularly, it arcs up the western edge of Europe. The region describes the physical landscape of Iceland, Portugal, France, and Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) among others. Northern Highlands is made up of hard ancient rocks shaped by the prevalence of glaciation. When the glaciers receded from the region, some distinctive physical features such as marshlands, lakes, and fjord were left (De Blij et al., 2016). In fact, the western uplands are commonly referred to as the home of Fjords.

The northern European plain is the most populated area in Europe and acts as the center of agriculture. The common landforms present in this area include coastlines and low plains. Notably, the region extends from the east part of the southern United Kingdom to Russia. Some of the areas covered by the province include Germany, Poland, Belgium Belarus and Baltic states (Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania) among others. Most of this regions are elevated below 152 meters (approximately 500 ft.) (De Blij et al., 2016). Additionally, the area is unique since it is the home of many navigable rivers such as Rhine, Oder, and Weser. The climate also supports the production of seasonal crops.

The central uplands spread from east to west across the central Europe. Some of the countries covered by this physiographic region include southern Germany, western France, and northern Austria. The area is unique since it is heavily wooded, less rugged as well as it has a lower altitude compared to the alpine region (De Blij et al., 2016). As a result, the population is sparsely populated except along the central river valleys of river Rhine, Danube, and the Elbe. Also, the area is vital for the location of manufacturing industries.

The Alpine mountains include ranges in the southern France, northern Spain, Balkan and Italian peninsulas. The region comprises of mountains such as The Alps, Balkans, Dinaric Alps, Carpathians, and the Pyrenees. Also, the Alpine region includes active volcanoes such as Mount Vesuvius and Etna in Italy. Remarkably, the area has unique features such as high elevations, steeply sloping land, mountains as well as rugged plateaus. The highest point in the alpine region is Mount Elbrus which is located in the Caucasus Mountains and is approximately18, 510 feet (De Blij et al., 2016).

Part B: Key Events That Shaped Russian Empire between 15th Century and 1904

The Russian empire began as a result of Ivan III overthrowing the Mongol dominance in 1480. The Russians began to move to the southeast regions conquering and defeating the Khanate of Astrakhan. Notably, the political structure of the nation was substantial thus increased successful expedition. Several events during the rise of the empire play a significant role in shaping the history of the Russia Empire.

Between 1682 and 1725, a Romanov Dynasty was established with the aim of restoring peace in Russia (Plokhy, 2005). The process was eased by the weakening of the Russian enemies which included the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden because the two entities conflicted. Russia obtained an opportunity to instill peace with Sweden in 1617 and with Polish-Lithuanian in 1619 at a price of loss of limited territories. However, the regions were later recovered by the Pereyaslav treaty which was signed with the Ukrainian Cossacks in 1654. The Romanov dynasty continued with the policy of expansion thus shaping Russian Territorial history.

Similarly, the reign of Catherine after the death of Tsar Peter played a significant role in the Russian empire. Initially, the European culture was dominant among the Russia aristocracy especially in years preceding to the destruction of empire in the French revolution. However, Catherine brought a change through proclaiming lands thus making Russia a multinational state. According to Plokhy (2005), she expanded the country by conquest, diplomacy, and colonization, therefore, continuing with the great policy of modernization initiated by Peter.

Remarkably, the Napoleon Bonaparte war with Russia shaped the history of the country. Napoleon was the leader of the French nation and send his army in Russia to fight Alexander Empire as a result of increased tax rates as well as to punish him for leaving Continental system. In June 1812, Bonaparte led his army to Russia. Although Napoleon expected a short war, the war took a long time thus weakening his army. Unfortunately, Napoleon lost the battle due to poor discipline, faulty logistics, and climate conditions. The event is significant in the Russian history since it reveals how the empire was mighty.

Additionally, the Russo-Japanese War is significant as it shaped the Russian History. The war developed as a result of rivalry between Japan and Russia as a result of Manchuria and Korea dominance. Between 1904 and 1905, Russia was defeated by Japan thus proving to the world that Japan was substantially a world power nation. The Japanese troops attacked Russians in Manchuria and Korea and consequently won by unexpectedly crushing Baltic fleet at Battle Tsushima which belonged to Russians (Plokhy, 2005). As a result, Tsar Nicholas and Russian empire lost considerable reputation. Furthermore, the economy was interrupted thus fanning the flames of revolution.

Part C: Ottoman Empire and Impact of Mandate System

Ottoman Empire comprised of one of the most powerful as well as culturally radical civilization in the world during the sixteenth century. The empire began in 1299 in the current nation of Turkey and consequently extended dramatically over the years. Also, the realm was the leading regarding geopolitics, ideology, and culture. Between 1516 and 1517, the empire had already captured most of the countries in the Middle East such as Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon (Anghie, 2012). As early as the 17th century, the empire had expanded their territories to areas in South-Eastern Europe and North Africa such as Bulgaria, Greece, Balkan states and Romania.

In the First World War, Germany signed a secret alliance with the Ottoman in August 1914 thus forcing Ottoman to join the war on the side of the Central Powers. By so doing, the Ottoman Empire became weaker and finally declined as a result of the war outcome. Ultimately, Germany and all the allied powers lost the war thus ending the First World War.

Consequently, the League of Nations created the mandate systems under the 22nd article of the covenant. Under the mandate system, the victors of the war were given the mandate to take the governing responsibility of former Ottoman and German territories (Anghie, 2012). Therefore, the African and Asian countries which were not ready to govern themselves were divided among the winning allied powers.

Notably, the system was divided into three groups depending on location, economic and political level of development. One of the groups comprised of Turkish provinces which were divided between the British and France. For example, Iraq and Palestine were under Britain while Lebanon and Syria were under France. Consequently, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned thus resulting in further war. However, the armistice of 1918 October led to end of ottoman war with the allies though there was no peace or stability in the region (Anghie, 2012). As a result, the Ottoman Empire collapsed.


Anghie, A. (2012). Imperialism, sovereignty and the making of international law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

De Blij, H. J., Nijman, J., Muller, P. O., Grant, R., Hsing, Y., & Shin, M. (2016). The world today: Concepts and regions in geography. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.

Plokhy, S. (2005). Unmaking imperial Russia: Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the writing of Ukrainian history. Toronto, Ont: University of Toronto Press.

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