CHAPTER I The Geographical Scene

BY GRIFFITH TAYLOR

THE YUGOSLAV NATION, like most European nations, is primarily the creation of its environment. Not only the present population pattern but also the characteristic culture of the nation are mainly determined by geographical structure. It will therefore be profitable to examine the structure of the regions traversed by the Slav peoples in their migrations southward from the basin of the Vistula to the valleys of the Sava, Morava, and Vardar, and to the Dinaric and Rhodope Mountains.

Geologic structure .--The geological formations of Europe may be divided into two basic types: one is "original" Europe (Ur- Europa), which forms the widespread plains of Russia; this stable "shield" has altered little throughout the four hundred fifty million years of the later geological record. The other section is "peninsular" Europe, which has been the scene of mountain building, or earth folding, at comparatively regular intervals throughout the earth's history.

About three hundred million years ago a gigantic buckling of the earth produced the Caledonian folds across Britain and Norway. These folds were gradually worn down to low relic stumps. About one hundred fifty million years ago a second period of earth buckling occurred; this produced the Armorican folds, which extended from Spain through Brittany (Armorica) across the

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The Library of Congress system of transliteration for Serbo-Croatian has been used throughout this volume, with a number of modifications, especially in regard to words already in common use. The spelling "Yugoslavia" is used officially in English-speaking countries instead of "Jugoslavija."

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