Here are some maps showing how Europe changed every century for the past 2,000 years. You’d see a lot of changes when looking at a map of present day Europe and comparing it to a 30 year old one. Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic States were all part of the USSR. Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were still states. Go back even further and the map looks even stranger. Putting all those different people under the same banner and keeping them that way was and still is next to impossible.
If we look at these maps below, we’ll see just how the layout of this continent has changed over the centuries, and how present-day countries have formed.
Late Antiquity (100 AD – 500 BC)
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world.
The Migration Period (200 – 700 BC)
Often defined from the period when it seriously impacted the Roman world, as running from about 200 to 700 BC during the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. This period was marked by profound changes both within the Roman Empire and beyond.
The Early Middle Ages (500 -1000)
The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to the 10th century. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages (c. 1001–1300)
The Viking Age (793 – 1066)
The Viking Age is the period A.D. 793–1066 in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids and conquest.
The High Middle Ages (1000 -1300)
The key historical trend of the High Middle Ages was the rapidly increasing population of Europe, which brought about great social and political change from the preceding era, the Renaissance of the 12th century, including the first developments of rural exodus and urbanization.
The Renaissance (1300 – 1700)
The Renaissance is a period in Europe, from the 14th to the 17th century, considered the bridge between the Middle Ages and modern history. It started as a cultural movement in Italy in the Late Medieval period and later spread to the rest of Europe, marking the beginning of the Early Modern Age.
The Age of Discovery (1400 -1700)
The Age of Discovery is an informal and loosely defined European historical period from the 15th century to the 18th century, marking the time in which extensive overseas exploration emerged as a powerful factor in European culture. Many lands previously unknown to Europeans were “discovered” during this period, though most were already inhabited and from the perspective of many non-Europeans it was marked the arrival of settlers and invaders from a previously unknown continent.
The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the factory system.