Western Europe  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Western Europe is mainly a socio-political concept coined and forged during the Cold War, which largely defined its borders. In popular perception and usage, Western Europe was and still is, to a much lesser extent, distinguished from Eastern Europe by differences of politics and economics and its borders have little to do with clear and precise geography. Its boundaries were effectively forged in the final stages of World War II and came to encompass all European countries which did not came under Soviet control and influence. As such these countries did not see communist regimes imposed upon them. Neutral countries were classified by the nature of their political regimes.

Cultural and religious boundaries between these two regions are subject to considerable overlap and – most importantly – historical fluctuation, which makes a precise understanding somewhat difficult.

The term Western Europe is commonly associated, but not clearly delimited, with liberal democracy, capitalism and also with the European Union. Most of the countries in this region share Western culture, and many have economic, historical, and political ties with countries in North, South America, and Oceania (see Western world).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Western Europe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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