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and, though interrupted by the Strait of Messina, of Sicily also.
The Apennines scarcely reach the limits of perpetual congelation, the highest point being about 9,500 feet high.
Associated with the Alps is another chain, which stretching from the banks of the Rhine right across Germany, and circling Hungary, eventually joins the Balkan range. The German part of this range is called the Hercynian mountains, though it also bears various local names, as. the Black Forest, the Giant, the Hartz mountains; in Hungary it is denominated the Carpathian.
The mountain range of Sweden, called the Langfiel and Dofrefiel, &c., mountains, the Ural mountains to the east of Russia, and the Pyrenees between France and. Spain, are distinct and independent chains.
VOLCANOES. The principal volcanoes of Europe are,—Mount Etna,. in Sicily, whose base covers 180 sq. miles, and whose height is 10,870 feet; Mount Vesuvius, east of Naples, which. is about 3,600 feet high ; and Mount Hecla, in Iceland, upwards of 5,000 feet above the level of the sea.
By the eruption of Vesuvius, A.D. 79, (the first on record,) the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were entirely destroyed.
Volcano and Stromboli are interesting volcanic islands in the Lipari group. Stromboli is 2,000 feet high, and is the least elevated known volcano; it has been in a state of activity from the earliest ages.
The principal lakes are,- Onega and Ladoga, in Russia; Wener and Wetter, in Sweden; Geneva, Constance, and Neufchatel, in Switzerland.
RIVERS. The principal rivers in Europe are,-the Wolga, after draining the extensive provinces of central Russia, directs
its course to the Caspian Sea, into which it throws its immense volume of water.
The Danube ranks second among European rivers : it rises from the declivities of the Black Forest mountains. Situated between the Hercynian and Carpathian chain on the north, and the Alps and Hoemus on the south, it re.ceives all the waters that flow from their lofty summits, and running through Germany, Austria, and Turkey, it empties itself, by several mouths, into the Black Sea.
The Dnieper also falls into the Black Sea.
The Rhine carries the waters of Switzerland and Western Germany to the German Ocean.
The Rhone, rising in the immediate vicinity of the Rhine, pursues an opposite direction and falls into the Gulf of Lyons.
The Loire, the largest river in France, traverses the centre of that country, and runs into the Bay of Biscay.
The Elbe falls into the North Sea; the Oder, the Vistula, and Dwina, run into the Baltic ; another Dwina falls into the White Sea.
Taking the length of the Thames as 1, the length of the Wolga is 10, the Danube upwards of 8, the Dnieper and Don 5, the Dwina (White Sea) 4.1, and the Rhine 31. But as the longest rivers are generally the deepest and broadest, the Wolga probably discharges 30 times as much water into the sea as the Thames.
ISLANDS. The principal islands of Europe, besides Great Britain and Ireland, are Iceland, in the North Atlantic ; and Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, in the Mediterranean.
PENINSULAS, CAPES, ETC. The varied outline of Europe presents us with many peninsulas, &c. Spain and Portugal are often called by way of eminence the Peninsula. Sweden and Norway form the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Morea, united to the main-land by the isthmus of Corinth, and the Crimea,
by the isthmus of Perecop, are peninsulas. Continental Denmark and Italy come under the same denomination.
It is a remarkable fact, that all the principal peninsulas in the world point southward; Jutland is one of the very few exceptions, and it is a low flat country, composed of sand and other alluvial matter.
The North Cape is the most northerly point of Europe ; Cape Roca, in Portugal, the most westerly; and Cape Matapan, in the Morea, the most southerly.
CLIMATE AND PRODUCTIONS. Europe is situated, except a small portion towards the north, in the temperate zone, and enjoys a corresponding climate.
The eastern part is generally colder than the western, owing to its connexion with the extensive and lofty plains of Asia. The blasts of - Siberia are uninterrupted in their course until they encounter the ranges associated with the Alps. The winds from the burning deserts of Africa are tempered in their passage across the Mediterranean, notwithstanding the sirocco is still felt to the south of the Alps. The vicinity of the Atlantic and Northern Oceans, with their bays and gulfs, renders the western and northern parts of Europe temperate, though moist. The vine is cultivated in any exposure, under the parallel of 45 degrees north; the cultivation of the hop extends to the 60th degree;" and of the different kinds of grain, as of barley and oats, in Norway, to the 70th degree; whilst in the opposite coasts of America, such cultivation ceases at the 52nd degree.
Europe is, on the whole, more healthy than any other part of the earth.
POPULATION, GOVERNMENT, ETC. Population 233,000,000, being about 61 inhabitants to each square mile.
This is about a quarter of the entire population of the globe, though Europe occupies but an eleventh of its surface.
Those countries are in general most populous which have the greatest extent of sea-coast. Thus Great Britain and Holland are the most densely peopled of the European states.
Most of the present inhabitants of Europe are descended from the three great tribes which emigrated from the East, at a period beyond : record. --The Celts, occupying the west of Europe at the period when
history opens, and represented by their descendants the modern Highlanders ;—the Goths, occupying the central districts, from whom the Saxons and modern English take their descent; and the Sclavonians, the forefathers of the Russians, and the tenants of the soil at present possessed by those people. !
Europe enjoys more liberty and possesses more knowledge than the other parts of the earth, hence civilization prevails, and arts and commerce flourish. Its influence is felt throughout the world; its laws are obeyed, its languages are spoken, and its colonies flourish in the most distant parts of the earth.
The five great powers which regulate the policy of Europe, are Russia, England, France, Austria, and Prussia.
The whole of Europe professes Christianity under one form or another, excepting Turkey, where Mahometanism prevails. Protestantism prevails in the north ; the Greek church predominates in the east; and the Roman Catholic religion in the south.
About a million and a half of Jews are scattered throughout Europe ; they are most numerous in Poland.
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION. . In what part of the eastern hemisphere is Europe situated ? What are its boundaries, and with which of the other general divisions is it connected? Which is the most southern point of Europe ? Which is the most northern? Which the most westerly? Between what parallels of latitude is Europe situated ? How many degrees of longitude does it contain ? What is its length and breadth ?
How many independent states are there in Europe ?
What three gulfs communicate with the Baltic ? What bay lies between France and Spain? What gulf separates Italy from Turkey?
What small gulfs are in the Baltic ? What gulfs communicate with
the Mediterranean? What channel forms the communication between the German Ocean and the Baltic ? What strait connects the German Ocean with the English Channel? Through what strait does the Atlantic constantly flow into the Mediterranean?
What strait lies between the Sea of Marmora and the Archipelago ? What strait lies between the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea ?
What are the principal lakes in Europe? Which is the highest mountain in Europe? What is the height of Mount Blanc? What range forms the boundary between France and Spain? Through what country, and in what direction, do the Apennines run ? What mountains bound Hungary on the north and east? What mountain range traverses Norway?
Which is the highest volcanic mountain in Europe? Which the lowest? When did Vesuvius first become an active volcano ?
Name the six principal rivers of Europe in the order of theirimportance. Where does each rise? Into what seas do they fall? What circumstances modify the climate of Europe? What are its principal islands ? Name the principal capes. What is the population of Europe ? Which, in proportion to their area, are the most populous countries ? How are the three great divisions of the Christian religion geographically distributed ?
GREAT BRITAIN. Great Britain is the name now given to the United Kingdoms of England and Scotland.
It is called Great, to distinguish it from Brittany.
Great Britain extends from 50 to 58% degrees north latitude, and from 2 degrees east to 6 degrees west longitude. Its length may be computed at 580, and its breadth at 360 British miles.
Great Britain was the largest island known to the ancients; it was first discovered by the Phænicians, who visited it for its tin. The Romans invaded it under Cæsar, B.C. 55; and they continued in possession of it till A.1). 409, when they completely abandoned it.
· ENGLAND. England is bounded on the east by the German Ocean ; on the south by the English Channel; on the west by the