Europe. One of the continents that form the supercontinent Eurasia, on Earth located between the parallels 36º and 70º of North latitude, which in a conventional way and for historical reasons is considered a continent. It extends in the eastern half of the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south. To the west, it reaches the Atlantic Ocean; to the east, it borders Asia, from which it is separated by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Range. Europe is the second smallest continent in terms of surface, covering about 11,100,000 square kilometers, or 2% of the surface of planet Earth, and about 6.8% of the total emerged lands. It is home to a large number of sovereign states, whose exact number depends on the definition of Europe's border, as well as on the exclusion or inclusion of partially recognised states. Of all European countries, Russia is the largest in both area and population, while the Vatican is the smallest. Europe is the fourth most populous continent after Asia, Africa and the Americas with a population of 735,000,000 or about 11% of the world's population.
Neanderthal Man is considered the only human species indigenous to Europe. This species was already in Europe when the Cro-Magnon man (Homo sapiens) arrived, a species to which all the present humanity belongs. These two human species lived together for quite some time until Neanderthal man became extinct probably due to competition with Cro-Magnon man, although there are still many questions about Neanderthal man and his extinction. On the other hand, it seems proven that there was no reproductive cross between the two species.
Classical antiquity is dominated by the influence of the Greco-Latin Civilization, and the Roman Empire on the rest of Europe. The decline of the Roman Empire and the arrival of new ethnic groups with new kingdoms led to the political fragmentation of Europe.
The beginning of the Middle Ages is traditionally situated in the year 476 with the fall of the Western Roman Empire. This event was followed by successive attempts at unification and conquest, which plunged the continent into numerous conflicts and wars during the Middle Ages, such as the Hundred Years' War (which lasted more than a century). This, along with the influence on the continent of new groups, such as the Mongols who arrived from the steppes, or the emergence of Islam, creating a barrier that divided two cultures and the Mediterranean, and with the clashes on this border, shaped this era in the continent.
The Modern Age marks, for Europe, with the birth of capitalism, the beginning of processes that much later will lead to globalization, and it is the time when warlike conflicts became increasingly disastrous, such as the so-called Thirty Years' War. European nations seized important territories in the rest of the world, exterminated their original inhabitants and plundered their natural resources in the name of the Christian religion.
Economic growth and scientific and technological development accelerated at the expense of other continents in a much more noticeable way during the contemporary era, producing tensions due to competition that triggered more wars (such as the Napoleonic Wars and the World Wars). Today, processes aimed at unification are pursued peacefully, as is the case with the European Union, whose origins date back to the 1950 Schuman Declaration. In the world order it continues to impose policies that are detrimental to the countries of the South, many of which were its former colonies Europe is the continent that has had the most influence in the history of the world (conquests, colonizations, looting, movements and revolutions, world wars, etc), both negative and positive.
In the 19th century, the first modern integration of the economy of several European states took place through the German Customs Union. Germany is economically the most powerful nation in Europe, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain although the first in terms of per capita income is, both in Europe and the world, Luxembourg. There is a great disparity in the economic wealth of different European countries, so while in the five major economies the GDP exceeds 20,000 euros per person, Moldova barely exceeds 2,000. A large part of the continent's economic dynamics is framed within the functioning of the European Union. Since 2009, sixteen European states share the same currency, the euro (euros). The new reality of the world economy, which has been consolidated over the past decade, is mainly marked by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the rapid growth of the People's Republic of China and the materialization of economic unity of much of Europe. In the midst of these changes, new poles for the world economy have emerged, driving the so-called "Globalization" process. One of the particularities of the European economy is the fact that several states of small territorial extension, without major natural resources and without possessing coasts, have prosperous economies with a high standard of living. Such is the case of Andorra, Luxembourg, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, as well as Monaco, although the latter has coasts on the Mediterranean.
The current European population is overwhelmingly phenotypically Caucasian, divided into two large groups: the Nordics, who tend to have a light white and pink skin pigmentation, blond, reddish or light brown hair and blue eyes, living mainly in Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Northern Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Holland and parts of Spain, etc. and Mediterranean people who mostly have white skin with a slight blush (semi-red cheeks) on the face, dark or brown hair mostly with brown eyes and to a lesser extent brown, green, gray or blue, living in Spain, Italy, southern France, Portugal, Greece and the Balkans. But in the intermediate regions between these two groups, there are many populations that present characteristics of both. There were several ethnic groups that, over the centuries, invaded the European continent, among them we highlight the Iberians, Celts, Germans, Vikings, Latins or Romans, Etruscans, Hellenics, Slavs, etc. then considered native to that continent, to which is added the migration from the Asian continent: Phoenicians, Arabs, Jews and Gypsies among others. At present there are other types of immigrants, including Asians from the Far East and those from Africa and Latin America.