Plan of Study
Identify the major geographic
features of France.
Specify the link between history and geography in Germany.
Compare the geographic features of the Benelux countries.
Name landforms, languages, and population centers of the Alpine countries.
Chapter 11: Northwestern Europe
France is the largest country in Western Europe. Agriculture and manufacturing
are the major economic activities. In fact, France produces more food than
any other nation in Europe. Ruled by kings until the French Revolution
of 1789, France's government is now a republic. Germany is a global economic
power and a leader in the European Union. Following World War II, the Allies
divided Germany. Although the two parts were reunited in 1990, the eastern
region still lags behind the western region economically.
The Alps form most of the landscape in Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein.
Although it has few natural resources, Switzerland is a thriving industrial
nation. Austria's economy is strong and varied. Belgium, the Netherlands,
and Luxembourg are known as the Benelux countries. They are small nations
with long histories of international trade.
France contains mountains and fertile northern plains.
France's well-developed economy balances agriculture and industry.
Paris, the capital of France, is one of the world's leading cultural centers.
Germany is hilly and mountainous in the south and flat in the north.
The German economy is strong because of its skilled workers and natural
Germany reunited as one country in 1990.
The Benelux Countries
Belgium has two major ethnic groups: The Walloons and the Flemings.
The Dutch have reclaimed much of their land from the sea.
Luxembourg's capital is home to the headquarters of many multinational
The Alpine Countries
The Alpine countries include Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein.
The Alps cover much of Switzerland and Austria.
Most Austrians speak German, share cultural customs with Switzerland, and
are Roman Catholic.