Europe is considered by Eurocentrists and conservatives to be a continent, however in geological terms it is in actual fact the western peninsula of Eurasia. Its borders with Asia are set not by sea or tectonic plates, but by the the Ural mountains and large inland seas. Eurasia itself is considered by many to just be a part of a large super continent of Eurasia, or even Eurafrasia. Europe in some definitions (i.e. by the UNWTO) includes all Russia.
Europe contains some of the richest and most powerful nations in the world including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, as well as many other nations. It is the 3rd wealthiest continent on Earth, behind Oceania (mostly due to New Zealand and Australia) and North America (mostly due to US and Canada).
It is made up largely of former communist nations in the Balkan region of southern Europe, central Europe and former USSR in eastern Europe. They used to form the Eastern Bloc, erroneously they are considered by many to be eastern European (geographically), Eastern European (culturally) or Russian.
The part of Europe that the Communists did not dominated is called the Western Bloc, which it is often confused with western Europe (geographical term), or Western Europe (cultural region), a fraction of non-communist Europe. Confusing these political expressions and terms is considered today as offensive and divisive. There were the occasional rule of communist parties in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Europe consists of 5 major cultural regions:
- Central Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Northern Europe
- Southern Europe
- Balkan, or Southeast Europe
- Western Europe
The political affiliation of most Europeans is liberal, as opposed to America which is Conservative save for a growing number of brave young American people. Some argue this is because Europe enjoys a superior education system, or because Europe has seen first hand the evils of Conservatism (Nationalism during World War One and Nazism together with Fascism during World War Two).
The only conservative parts of Europe is the UK and some other European nations that uphold the hereditary-yet-constitutional monarchy.
First ministry of education (called the Commission for Education) was created in Poland was created in 1773.
Europe is the origin of many great things. For starters, it is the home of the Enlightenment, which gave birth to the great Liberals. Another contribution to the world is great coffee, as seen in Starbucks!
Bill Maher (while mislabeling social democracy with socialism) stated in 2011 about Europe:
"They enjoy high standards of living and freedom and they're socialists. Studies show they're actually happier then we are and that's not surprising because the only difference between American socialism and European socialism is: European Socialism WORKS. For their tax dollars, Europeans get full health-care coverage, a generous pension, daycare, long paid vacations, maternity leave, free college and public transportation that doesn't smell like pee. Whereas our tax dollars goes towards military bases in Germany, subsidies to oil companies, building bridges to nowhere, wars and putting half of Cheech and Chong in prison. [...] Even their paranoid racist loners look like speed-skaters. While ours look like Porky Pig."- Bill Maher, 2011