European Borders In 1914 vs Borders Today

Map of Europe 1914 vs Borders Today
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This Map Shows How European Borders Changed Since 1914

Europe has been the center of change and modernization of the entire world for many centuries. From the classical Greek philosophies to Britain’s empire that the sun never set, Europe has had a profound mark on world history.

However, just as much as Europe was a catalyst for the changes in the world, Europe itself was changed drastically. The following maps will show you the changes Europe underwent during the last century to reach the current state it is in.

How many Countries are there in Europe? Although, there are officially 50 countries in Europe today, back in 1914 there were only 20. All the states in Europe today are Democratic Republics, meaning they are democracies governed by the citizens of those nations. However, back in 1914, many of the nations were kingdoms or empires. And Europe was the home to the largest trans-global empires back then, with the British Empire controlling almost one-fourth of the world back then.

Europe In The Early 20th Century

Europe was a place of power and controversy back in the early 20th century. House to the global powerhouses, the countries were often at war with each other or diplomatically hostile, mainly because of economic and geographical controversies.  Often, the countries were ideologically and politically separated. And looked at each other with suspicion and fear.

Central Europe, unlike today, was occupied mainly by two great empires, the German Empire and the Astro-Hungarian Empire. These two empires spanned from Central Europe to Eastern Europe until they bordered with the Empire of Russia, ruled by the Tsars then. Also, unlike today, Eastern Europe did not have many sovereign nations. Russia was the only country.

Today, the regions controlled by the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empire have fragmented into many separate countries.

However, unlike Eastern Europe, Western Europe was pretty much the same as it is today back in 1900s’ Spain, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Belgium, along with the Scandinavian nations such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland almost had the same borders as they have today, with only minor changes over the century.

Rapid Change In European Borders: From World War I to World War II and to the Collapse of the USSR (Russia) In the 1990s

World War one, or the “Great war” as many called it changed the European Borders, Politics and the way of life like never before. At the end of the war, when the Central Powers, who were Germany, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire were defeated by the Allied powers, mainly the Britain, France, Italy and USA, many of the territories held by the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire changed and new nations were formed.

Moreover, the October revolution and the subsequent overthrow of the Tsars and the establishment of the Soviet Union saw the expansion of Russia.

Border Changes After World War I

The end of the first world war witnessed the end and the dilution of several European powers, namely, the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.  After the war, following new territories were created in Europe and new nations were born.

  • Poland
  • Austria
  • Hungary
  • Czech-Slovakia 
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Estonia

The allied parties dissolved the Austro-Hungarian Empire and made them two separate states. Furthermore, the overseas colonies of the German Empire in Africa and Asia were divided among the Allies.

Border Changes After World War II

The second world war was proved to be destructive and catastrophic than the previous world war. It decimated many of Europe, bankrupted many nations and the era of the super empires were ended. The war changed Europe dramatically and several new nations were born.

  • Serbia
  • Bosnia
  • Montenegro
  • Albania
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovakia
  • Moldova
  • East Germany
  • West Germany

Events After The Dissolution Of The Soviet Union

The Unification of West Germany and East Germany in 1989 saw the beginning of a new chapter in Europe and the subsequent withering of the Communist power in Eastern Europe. In 1991, the Soviet Union was finally dissolved into 16 separate nations and several new nations were born in Eastern Europe. they were,

  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Belarus
  • Ukraine

In 2009, Albania was formed and became the youngest nation in the world.

After the dissolution of the USSR (Soviet Union) and the end of the Cold War, Europe, and European politics were relatively stable. The formation of the European Union saw the strengthening of ties between many European nations and the introduction of the Euro as the common currency in the Euro Zone helped towards economic prosperity and productivity as well.

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