7 Reasons Why Europe Is Developed

Europe is one of the most well-known parts of the world. It is also one of the most influential. Europe is an economic and cultural power which influences major global trends. It is also one of the richest and most technologically advanced regions in the world. But how did Europe, essentially a small region on the edge of the Eurasian landmass, become so developed and advanced? Why are so many developed nations located in Europe? Well, let us explain…

1. Europe Has A Large Economy

A first reason why Europe is developed is because of its large economy.

There are 44 countries across Europe. Combined, these nations make up 23% of the total world’s wealth. This means that Europe has the second largest economy in the world.

Having a large economy is a key reason why Europe became developed. As the continent’s economy grew, people became richer and businesses were able to expand. This allowed governments across Europe to increase their revenue through taxation. This is money they could then spend on developing their nations.

Around the year 1800, Europe wasn’t much richer or more developed than the rest of the world. However, over the past two centuries, Europe’s economy has grown enormously. This is a key reason why the continent has been able to become developed.

2. Europe Has A Big Population

A second reason why Europe is developed is because it has a large population.

Today, the population of Europe is nearly 750 million people. This makes it the third most populous region in the world. Having a large population can be key to a country or region developing. Simply, by having more people, there are more people to be economically productive. This helps a country grow not only by making it wealthier, but also often by increasing efficiency. This is a key reason why Europe is developed.

Another factor that has contributed to Europe’s development is the density of its population. Compared to many regions, Europe is comparatively small. However, with a large population, this has meant that European countries could capitalize on their human and economic connections to become developed. Everything from trade and commerce, to housing and transport, are easier when more people live closely together. These factors have contributed greatly to Europe’s development.

3. Colonialism Helped Europe Develop

A third factor that contributed to Europe’s development was colonialism.

It is not fair to say that the only reason Europe developed was because of the colonial expansion of many countries on the continent between 1500s and 1900s. However, it also cannot be ignored that colonialism helped contribute to the development of Europe today.

As countries in Europe became comparatively richer than the rest of the world – from around the 1600s onwards, they began taking territories overseas. This began a nearly 400-year period where a few countries in Europe ruled over much of the world. Colonialism helped Europe develop because it gave European nations access to resources at below market rates. Essentially, European countries didn’t need to trade for the resources they needed, they acquired them through conquest. This fact greatly contributed to the development of many nations in Europe.

Although some nations, mostly in Western Europe, can attribute at least part of their development to colonialism, actually the majority of European countries didn’t have colonial empires. As we’ve said, colonialism is only one factor in why Europe is developed.

4. Europe Has Good Geography

Another reason why Europe is full of developed nations is because the continent has good geography.

Geographic features play a key role in how nations develop. Mountains, rivers, oceans, forests and jungles provide natural defensive barriers between peoples. Navigable rivers and access to the sea makes moving people and goods easier. Flat arable land helps to provide food to sustain a population.

Europe has some of the best geography in the world. This has helped it develop. The geography of Europe has led to cohesive nations forming. It’s also prevented many invasions and provided the people of Europe with strong defenses. Europe is highly fertile, which makes growing food and feeding the continent’s population relatively easy. The continent is also surrounded by oceans, meaning most countries have access to the sea, and there are many navigable rivers throughout Europe.

The continent of Europe has been blessed with some of the best geography in the world. This has been a key factor in the development of many of the nations on the continent.

5. There Is Competition Between Countries

A key reason why Europe is developed is actually because of the competition between countries on the continent.

Europe is well-known for having many different countries within a small geographical area. In fact, throughout European history, many of today’s modern states were further broken down into smaller statelets.

One result of Europe having many smaller countries throughout its history has been competition between these states. Nations in Europe have had to utilize ingenuity and technology in order to remain independent, and not be swallowed by larger neighbors. They have also had to compete with other neighboring countries for resources. A major result of this competition between nation states has been that Europe developed long before other regions of the world that were dominated by less, but much bigger, countries.

6. Europe Has Accountable Political Systems

A major reason why Europe has many developed countries is because of their accountable political systems.

An accountable political system takes the views of the wider public into consideration. It also ensures that political power is checked, and that leaders cannot consolidate control or take actions that solely benefit themselves. Accountable pollical systems limit corruption and nepotism, and often provide rights for citizens including of speech, the press, assembly and association, as well protections from arbitrary detention.

Almost every country in Europe is a democracy. Although this expansion of democracy across the continent has been a recent phenomenon, Europe has a long history of accountable political systems.

The protections and rights, as well as the divisions of power, built into accountable political systems help nations to develop because they allow for sound political and economic decisions, as well as greater economic participation. Europe’s history of accountable political systems has led to the continent’s development.

7. Europe Has Invested In Its Infrastructure

A final reason why Europe is developed is because nations of the continent have heavily invested in infrastructure.

Infrastructure is the physical structures that allow a nation to function. This includes roads, railways, airports, utilities and tele-communication networks. Countries need infrastructure so that people, goods and information can move within their territory, and to facilitate business and trade with other nations. Having modern, well-kept infrastructure throughout a nation is a key sign of its development.

Europe industrialized in the late 18th and throughout the 19th Century. One result of this industrialization was massive development and expansion of many nations infrastructure. This propelled most European nations into prosperity. It also gave them a strong foundation upon which to build more modern infrastructure.

Today, Europe has some of the best infrastructure in the world, connecting almost all major cities, towns and villages. Europe’s extensive investment in infrastructure, combined with the continent’s long history of building and maintaining quality infrastructure, has allowed practically all nations in Europe to develop.

Global Affairs Explained

Global Affairs Explained is an ongoing project aiming to provide concise guides to world events. Focusing on international relations, history, and geo-politics, Global Affairs Explained uses original research and data to answer questions often not covered by traditional media.

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