Watch Europe's Borders Change Rapidly Over 1,000 Years In This Awesome Animation

Illustration for article titled Watch Europes Borders Change Rapidly Over 1,000 Years In This Awesome Animation

Sometimes we forget just how chaotic Europe’s geopolitical past was. Long before the Nazis or the Soviet Union caused great shifts in the balance of power, endless conflicts shifted the continent’s borders time and time again. When put in perspective, empires rose and fell in the blink of an eye. This awesome animation shows just that.

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It also highlights that even though we see Europe as largely stable today, changes to its borders continue. Not depicted in this animation is Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014

The video below is very similar, but it is sped up to really showcase generally how much geographical flux Europe has seen over the last 1,000 years. Although some of these changes were a result of treaties or absorption of less powerful states, the majority was a result of conflict.

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If you were from an alien race, looking down on so much chaos over such a tiny amount of time relative to pretty much anything else in the universe, it would be very hard to conclude that humans are a peaceful species.

Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

Watching this video, it makes me even more annoyed when people chide the U.S. as being a “young nation” that’s too arrogant to have a widened voice in world political discussions.

Watch that video. With the exception of the U.K., every country in Europe has either had a revolution; major governmental change; or been conquered and liberated since the U.S. officially came in to being in the late 18th century. It’s the same with other countries. If you look at a list, I believe the U.S. is the eighth- or ninth-oldest in the world in terms of a continuous governmental structure.

Europe’s culture is old, but politically speaking it’s been an unstable, dysfunctional mess for 800 years. Makes me thankful for the 220 years, give or take, of stability we’ve had here in the Good Ol’ U S of A.