CENTRAL EUROPEAN UPLANDS 511. Location and character.—A wide region of low mountains and valleys lies like an arch north of the Alps. On the east it reaches almost to the Carpathians, and on the southwest almost to the Pyrenees. What regions does it touch? As the sharp Alps may be likened to our sharp Rockies, so this Central European Upland, composed of old, rounded mountains, may be likened to our Appalachian region and the Adirondacks. It has few long, paral lel ridges like the Alleghenies, but has, instead,. a number of old plateaus into which the rivers have worn many irregular valleys.
512. People, history, and government.— Just as our Appala chians reach through several states, so the Central European Highlands are a part of several different countries. Name them. What languages are spoken? The central west in cludes the well-known French departments (corresponding to our states) of Alsace and Lorraine, which the Germans and French have in turn taken from each other by wars. Between France and Germany is Luxemburg, a tiny state which remained independent when the other German states united to form the German Empire.
In the French and Belgian sections, much of the land is in small farms. So great is the peasant-owner's love of his land that during the World War families sometimes stayed on their farms even while the enemy was bombarding them.
East of the Rhine are the well-known German states of Bavaria, the capital of which is Munich; Wurtemburg, the capital. of which is Stuttgart; and many smaller states.
The northern part of the highlands com prises a part of the German state of Prussia, and the eastern part of Bohemia. The Bohemians, called Czechs, with their chief city at Prague, are one of the many Slav races.
After the Czechs had been ruled for many long years by the German-speaking Aus trians, the World War made their country again independent, and added to it the lands of the Slovaks, another Slavic pedple. Czecho slovakia now has a parliament and a president. Name the capital.
513. A beautiful, well kept land.— These Central Highlands of Europe are beautiful and well-kept. From
lookouts on a thousand hills the traveler may see down into valleys where the unfenced little fields lie spread out in patches showing many shades of green, yellow, and brown. Through every valley goes a shining white road, passing like a great ribbon through one farm village after another, each with its shade trees and church spire, and surrounded by its many well-tilled little fields. Here and there we see a city, with factory smokestacks, and boats on a river. Perhaps it took generations of labor for men to make the stream into a useful waterway. From the lookout you can walk along a well-leveled forest path to a pie turesque little inn or coffeehouse, whose keeper seems glad to make you comfortable.
514. Ease of travel.—Fortunately for the people who live in this region, several large rivers have made wonderful thoroughfares through it. No valley here is as long as the Great Valley that passes through our own Appalachians, but these European valleys are even better highways because they can be used by boats. Trace the course of the rivers Rhone, Seine, and Rhine. Observe how close together their upper waters are. Canals have been cut to join the three rivers, and boats can pass from one river to another.
The Rhine Valley is a highway by which boats can cross this entire upland region from Switzerland to the sea. What cities are on the Rhine? By way of what river do boats from Hamburg pass into the Bohemian plain? A canal connects this river with the Danube. The Danube furnishes an east and west thoroughfare through the highlands. A canal connects it with a branch of the Rhine called the Main. Besides these routes for transportation by water, there are many railroads in this region.
515. Mountains called forests.—What dif ferent mountain ranges can you name in this region? Many of these mountains are so well covered with forest that they are spoken of not as mountains but as forests. Thus Germany has the Black Forest (in Ger man "Wald"). There are many others.