Europe is a continent. Even though it consists of more than 40 countries Europe is the second smallest continent. The Atlantic Ocean is situated to the north and west of Europe; to the south you will find the Mediterranean Sea. In the east, Europe is connected to Asia. The border is a big mountain range called the Ural Mountains.
The European continent has a lot of coastal landscapes. It has a lot of islands, peninsulas, and inland seas. An inland sea, like the North Sea and Baltic Sea, is a part of the ocean that is almost landlocked. In contrast to China, there was never one empire ruling all of Europe. This may be because of all the islands, peninsulas and inland seas, where it was easier to defend against enemies.
Since the modern age, so since about 1,500 years ago, European nations have had many different colonies on other continents. A colony is a piece of land that was bought or conquered by another country. Therefore almost the entire world used to belong to Europe. That’s why people in South America mostly speak Spanish and many people in Australia and the United States speak English. However, between 1920 and 1960, most of the countries lost their colonies.
How united is the continent?
The people of Europe speak many different languages. If you count Russia as part of Europe, the most common language is Russian and the second is German. English is the language most people use to communicate with each other. Many European languages have their roots in the Latin language.
Europe has a lot of countries and that won't change very soon. However, many countries decided to work more closely with each other. They became members of the European Union. The European Union creates many rules that are valid in every European country.