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Western Europe: Overview of a region. Essay

Category: Geography Pages: 6 Type: Essay Level: College
West Germany's political leaders aggressively sought new trade partners, and took advantage of the nation's central location. Its infrastructure demolished, it built new transportation networks and facilities based on the latest technology (de Blij and Muller, 2004). In 1990, it reunified with East Germany and took on the economic burden of its flagging economy and outdated factories. Today's German government has poured billions into rebuilding East Germany and is slowly making progress (de Blij and Muller, 2004).
France is the second major nation in the region. It is larger than Germany, but does not have any good natural harbors and a river system that is difficult for large ships to navigate. Its largest city has nearly 10 million residents. While Germany is well known for its industrial development, the French saw less impressive industry, but a strong, productive agriculture that made good use the country's range of soils and climates (de Blij and Muller, 2004). Its geography is varied, including flat plains or gently rolling hills in the north and west; low-lying coastal plains, evidence of past volcanic activity; and mountains (France, 2008).
The French economy is based around high technology. It leads the world in the production of high-speed trains, space technology, fiber optics, and aircraft. Since 1958, its government is a mixed system of president and parliament. Despite its past with Germany, it has overcome issues of trust and formed a bond with Germany that has boosted the economy of the whole region. France was central to the creation of the "euro," the common exchange currency of the European Union. France remains at the front of the efforts to develop the military strength of the EU and to boost progress toward a collective foreign policy