The most recent millennium of European political history was wrought with war and conquest. Borders shifted; empires rose and fell. In the video above we see Europe’s evolution from 1000 A.D. to the modern era, a three-and-a-half minute crash course in modern European history, all set against that song from Inception that everyone loves.
Where the Europe we know today is made up of a number of large, relatively stable states, that was not always the case. Look to the central European region, where what is now Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and others was fragmented into myriad tiny regions.
That trend toward smaller, independent political states carried over from the preceding millennium. Here’s a map showing a longer period of time, from 1 A.D. to 2000 A.D., made using maps from Euratlas. At the beginning of the common era, Europe was dominated by the Roman Empire. You can see the fragmentation beginning, starting around 400 A.D.
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