Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia. Europe is bound to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, to the southeast by the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea and the waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. To the east, Europe is generally divided from Asia by the water divide of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, and by the Caspian Sea.
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent in terms of area, covering about 10,400,000 sq km (4,010,000 sq mi) or 2.0% of the Earth's surface. The only continent smaller than Europe is Australia.
Historically, Europe has been one of the most conflicted regions of the world. From the 16th century until the early part of the 20th century, various countries in Europe maintained vast overseas empires, with the end result that European politics dominated the globe. Conflict amongst the various countries of Europe often lead to conflict in North America, Asia, and Africa.
The continent of Atlantis was settled by people from Europe who grew discontented with the status quo of their respective countries. When Europeans came into contact with Terranova, Atlantis' strategic important grew to Britain, France, and Spain, as the three powers jostled for importance at home and abroad. However, their subjects in Atlantis were quite determined to retain their independence. Ultimately, European interference was unavoidable; English and Dutch ships were required to bring the Avalon pirates to heel in 17th century, and Britain and France brought war to the continent in the 18th century.
Crosstime Traffic was aware of an alternate in which China had kept European trade out of the Indian Ocean. However, it was subsequently conquered by Japanese warlords. In another alternate, European civilisation developed far later than in the home timeline. Consequently, Native American cultures were the most advanced. Footage taken in this alternate was shown to Jeremy Solters and his fellow students in US history class. In another, Europeans had never discovered North America and Native Americans still had a Bronze Age level of technology in the late 21st Century.
In the late 1930s, the United Kingdom and France initiated a war against the German Empire, which had emerged victorious from the brief war of 1914. However, the second war was quickly snuffed out by Germany, which from then on was the absolute ruler of Europe.
Northern Europe was left to pick up the pieces of their civilization. In France, a man named Henri began a religious movement which preached patience and a promise of better life, despite the horrors of the Deaths. When he proclaimed himself the Second Son of God, he was martyred by the King of France and the Pope, who died in an accident the very next day. Henri's message of the Second Revelation changed Christianity in Northern Europe, particularly in France and the Germanies.
Europe began colonizing the New World shortly after Christopher Columbus' voyages in the late 15th century. The creatures that inhabited the new territory, the sims, were particularly threatening to the continued existence of the colonies. However, Europeans also discovered that the sims could be trained for domestic service in Europe.
Europe was conquered by the Greater German Reich and its weaker and highly malleable allies during World War II. All countries, whether directly occupied by Germany or simply aligned were ruled by Reich-backed fascist governments. However, under the reformer Führer, Heinz Buckliger, the Reich began easing its control of Europe in 2010 and into 2011.
After the German-Soviet armistice in 1943 ended the Eastern Front of World War II, Germany was able to secure Europe against Anglo-Americaninvasion and retain its hold over much of the continent. Germany retained hegemony over most of the continent (west of the USSR) in 1979, when Britain and Germany negotiated over access to the North Sea oil wells. The price Britain had to pay was aid in suppressing anti-fascistuprisings in German client states.
Europe was turbulent and divided continent by the end of the 16th century. Countries battled over territory, politics, and, especially, religion. Most of the continent was dominated by the Hapsburgs who ruled both Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Spain was arguably the most powerful country in Europe, with a substantial overseas territorial empire. Moreover, Spain's King Philip II was devoutly Catholic, expanding Spain's empire in response to the growth of Protestantism throughout Europe. To that end, Spain conquered England and made war on various of her neighbours.
After England threw off Spanish rule in 1598, the balance of power in Europe shifted.
Europe was the epicenter of the Great War. The complex alliance systems that had come to dominate global politics in the early 20th century were triggered by the 1914 assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand quickly embroiled not only the major European powers, but every inhabited continent as well. The Central Powers, led by Germany in Europe and the United States in North America, won the war, and asserted themselves politically over both continents, while eyeing each other warily. The 1930s saw the vanquished Entente countries move toward revanchism, as Britain and France began to challenge Germany for territory lost, culminating in the Second Great War in 1941. Although the Entente advanced at first, Germany drove its enemies back in 1943, and defeated them in 1944 (after a total of six superbombs had been used in Europe by both sides), reasserting itself as hegemon in Europe.
Europe was home to the seats of the world's three greatest empires: the British Empire, the Holy Alliance, and the Russian Empire, all of which virtually bookended the continent at the west and east. Portugal and Holland had more modest world empires, while Austria and Denmark, constrained by geography, made do as localised European powers.Sweden had lost all its overseas possessions and stayed out of the way in its inactive corner of Scandinavia, while the German and Italian states squabbled amongst each other and occasionally with Russia or Austria, providing something of a buffer zone between the titans.
Europe became a major theater of the war against the alien invaders. Although parts of the continent were swiftly occupied, the Germans and Soviets were able to maintain effective struggles against the Race. Fighting was particularly heavy along Germany's borders with both France and Poland, within the western portions of the Soviet Union, and in southern England during the Race's failed invasion of the island. In addition, many of the atomic weapons used during the war were detonated over, in, or near major European cities.
The Peace of Cairo in 1944 left the Greater German Reich dominant over most of Europe, with many countries being directly annexed to Germany while others were either made vassals (Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary) or enjoyed a precarious independence (Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Ireland). Poland, Spain and Portugal were ceded to the Race while the Soviet Union regained its borders of June 1941. The United Kingdom, shorn of its empire, began aligning itself with Germany from the late 1940s.
Germany's dominance over Europe ended with the Race-German War of 1965, as Germany was completely defeated and forced to restore France's independence. The Race exercised a more subtle influence over Europe throughout the late 1960s, occupying parts of Germany and supporting weak but independent states such as France and Finland against the great human powers. By the end of the century, however, the Reich had sufficiently recovered to become a major power once more.