World Communication Systems Blogs- Week 10

Western Europe is very unique in the inconsistency that has plagued the region. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, territorial borders have never been a stable concept in the area. This is mainly due to the sheer amount of unique cultures and individual groups occupying the area.

When the Roman Empire, which spanned across almost all of Europe and even some of Asia, fell; it was divided into two halves. The eastern half of Rome became the Byzantine Empire, and eventually evolved into the region we know today as Eastern Europe. The western half quickly collapsed, and became a cluster of feudal states and small empires. Which groups of people owned which territory at a given time was not always very clear, due to constant change. This led to cultural and political instability in the region.

However, everything changed with the discovery of the discovery of the Americas in the late 15th century. This ushered on the historical era known as the Columbian Exchange. Western European powers fought for control of various colonies and territories around the world, mainly in North America, South America, South Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Not only were the cultures of these world regions forever shaped by Western European influence, Western Europe itself was changed by the cultures that they dominated.

Spawning soon after was the Enlightenment Era. This was a time of unique thought and creativity on a scale never seen before. Many religions, political ideologies, systems of thought, and artwork that are famous today came out of this period. The works of this era are still reflected in Western European media today.

The final major turning point was the World War 1 and World War 2 era. These wars changed both Western and Eastern Europe forever, completely altering their previous inconsistent system. There was a need for European unity in order to ensure that what happened in these wars would never happen again. Thus, the European Union (EU) was formed. The EU has a heavy bearing on Western European media, and even has media systems of its own.

The influences of these major historical milestones can still be seen in Western European media today. From the influences of the Columbian Exchange, Enlightenment, and the semi-unification of Europe after WW2, Western European media constantly calls back to these milestones with both style, content, and organization. Modern Western Europe is mostly democratic, and this is heavily reflected in the freedom of its media. While some nations are obviously not as open as others with regards to media, Western Europe is still a beacon for free media around the world.

Sources:

http://hartford-hwp.com/archives/61/index-a.html

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-history-basics/beginners-art-history/a/a-brief-history-of-western-culture

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ee.html

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