Home >> Human Geography >> The Countries Of Eastern to The Southern Countries Of >> The New Countries of

The New Countries of Central Europe 388

plain, poland, people, hungary, country, polish, free and rumania

THE NEW COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL EUROPE 388. Making new nations.—When Jugo slavia and Albania were made free, there were also three new countries made in the middle of Europe between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. These countries are Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. Rumania was also made much larger than it had been before.

389. Poles. — For many hundreds of years, the kings of Poland ruled their own country and their own people from their capital at War saw. In 1683, when the Turks were about to conquer all Europe, the Polish army defeated them at Vienna and drove them back to the Balkans. About the time that our own United States became a free and indepen dent country, the kings of Prussia and Austria and the Czar cf Russia made war on Poland from all sides. Together they conquered Poland and divided up her land among them. For more than a hundred and thirty years the Poles have been a people divided and oppressed, but they have always longed for freedom. Since Germany, Aus tria, and Russia have been made to set free the Polish lands, the Polish people are again independent. Their seaport is the free city of Danzig, on the Baltic. The Poles now have a president and a parliament.

390. Czechs and Slovaks.—Czechoslo vakia, another new republic, is the land of the Czechs and Slovaks, two black-haired, white-skinned peoples who live in what used to be a part of Austria. Like Poland, this region was once an independent country, which was called Bohemia. The Czechoslovaks did not like to be ruled by the Austrians, and are very glad to have their own country with its capital at the old, old city of Prague, on the upper Elbe, to which steamers come from Ham burg.

391. too, was an independent kingdom long ago. For many years before the World War it was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is now independent, but not so large as it used to be, because the people of Eastern Hungary were Rumanians, and that region is now a part of Rumania. The people of South Hungary were Slays, and their land is now a part of Jugoslavia.

392. Rumanians.—The Rumanians are glad to be free from Hungarian rule, and to be joined with the other Rumanians, under their own king.

Many people from these four countries emigrated to the United States in the twenty years before the World War. The Czechs, Slovaks, and some of the Poles and Rumanians were among the many subject peoples in the old Austro-Hungarian Em pire. In the World War, Austria and Germany tried to make these peoples fight against their own friends in Rumania and Russia.

These four countries—Rumania, Hun gary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland—are made up of four different plains and one long curved mountain system, which is composed of the Carpathians and the Transylvanian Alps.

393. Poland.—The first of these plains, the plain of Poland, is really a part of the great central plain we have already seen in Germany. The country is one great, level stretch of villages and farms, with fields of potatoes, rye, barley, sugar beets, hay, and flax. Polish trade goes through the seaport of Danzig, on the Baltic Sea. Warsaw, the capital of the Polish Re public, has some manufactures; but these four countries of middle Europe are like Kansas and Nebraska, lands where nearly all the people are raising food, rather than working in factories, so there are not many cities in Poland.

394. of Poland lies Czechoslovakia. The Carpathian flows through the Carpathians. By using this canal, steamers can now go all the way from Vienna to the Black Sea, and small boats go on up into South Germany.

The fourth plain is that of Rumania east of the Carpathians. The farmers here grow large quantities of wheat and corn (Sec. 74), much of which goes in steam ships down the Danube and out to Italy, Spain, Belgium, and England. Trace the route the grain ship follows, and tell the ports to which it may go.

Mountains extend into Czechoslovakia and south of these mountains lies the plain of Bohemia. The river Elbe flows through this plain and then crosses Germany to the North Sea sixty miles beyond Ham burg. The Bohemian plain is much like the Polish plain. Its one large manufac turing city is Prague, the city of the Czechs, which is near a coal field. Iron goods and cloth are made here; and it is from Prague that we get the bright glass balls and beads for our Christmas trees.

395. Hungary and the southeast of Bohemia is the wide, level plain of Hungary. Budapest on the Danube is the capital of this country. Part of the Hungarian plain is wide and level, like or Dakota, and it is surrounded on all sides by mountains. It is one of the great wheat regions of the world. The climate is too warm for potatoes, of which there are so many in Bohemia and Poland. Wheat, corn, and herds of horses, mules, and cattle are the chief products of the great plain. The Danube River is the great highroad of Hungary and Rumania. A canal with locks has been built through the rocky pass called the Iron Gate, where the river