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Europe is a continent located predominately in the Northern Hemisphere. To the west, it borders the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, with the continent of Africa to the south. The most populated cities include Istanbul, Moscow, Paris, London, Madrid and Barcelona. Northern Europe comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
The continent is generally considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides. These divisions include the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits.
The border does not, however, follow political boundaries. Therefore, both Turkey and Russia are transcontinental countries.
More than fifty sovereign states are present in Europe. The Russian Federation is the largest and most populated. In 2016 Europe had a total population of around 741 million people. Warm Atlantic currents to the west influence the European climate creating warm summers and mild winters. Central and East Europe typically experience colder temperatures and harsher winters.
Southern Europe is considered to be the birthplace of Western civilisation. The best-known catalysts being the Roman Empire originating in Italy, and the philosophy of Ancient Greece.
The French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars helped to shape the continent both culturally and politically. Furthermore, the region dramatically evolved from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. Most notably, The Great Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th-century, radically changed the economic, cultural, and social life in Western EU. In addition, The Industrial Revolution would continue to create massive change throughout the entire world.
In Strasburg during 1955, the Council of Europe listened to a speech by Sir Winston Churchill of Great Britain. His idea was to unify countries within the European continent to achieve common goals hence creating the beginning of a union. The unification included the majority of European states. Due to this union, the integration of further countries soon followed which led to the formation of the European Union as we know it today.