A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation, their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy and history of law, giving expert legal opinions. Barristers are recognised as legal scholars. Barristers are distinguished from solicitors, who have more direct access to clients, may do transactional-type legal work, it is barristers who are appointed as judges, they are hired by clients directly. In some legal systems, including those of Scotland, South Africa, Pakistan, India and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man, the word barrister is regarded as an honorific title. In a few jurisdictions, barristers are forbidden from "conducting" litigation, can only act on the instructions of a solicitor, who performs tasks such as corresponding with parties and the court, drafting court documents. In England and Wales, barristers may seek authorisation from the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation.
This allows a barrister to practise in a'dual capacity', fulfilling the role of both barrister and solicitor. In some countries with common law legal systems, such as New Zealand and some regions of Australia, lawyers are entitled to practise both as barristers and solicitors, but it remains a separate system of qualification to practise as a barrister. A barrister, who can be considered as a jurist, is a lawyer who represents a litigant as advocate before a court of appropriate jurisdiction. A barrister presents the case before a judge or jury. In some jurisdictions, a barrister receives additional training in evidence law and court practice and procedure. In contrast, a solicitor meets with clients, does preparatory and administrative work and provides legal advice. In this role, he or she may draft and review legal documents, interact with the client as necessary, prepare evidence, manage the day-to-day administration of a lawsuit. A solicitor can provide a crucial support role to a barrister when in court, such as managing large volumes of documents in the case or negotiating a settlement outside the courtroom while the trial continues inside.
There are other essential differences. A barrister will have rights of audience in the higher courts, whereas other legal professionals will have more limited access, or will need to acquire additional qualifications to have such access; as in common law countries in which there is a split between the roles of barrister and solicitor, the barrister in civil law jurisdictions is responsible for appearing in trials or pleading cases before the courts. Barristers have particular knowledge of case law and the skills to "build" a case; when a solicitor in general practice is confronted with an unusual point of law, they may seek the "opinion of counsel" on the issue. In most countries, barristers operate as sole practitioners, are prohibited from forming partnerships or from working as a barrister as part of a corporation. However, barristers band together into "chambers" to share clerks and operating expenses; some chambers grow to be large and sophisticated, have a distinctly corporate feel. In some jurisdictions, they may be employed by firms of solicitors, banks, or corporations as in-house legal advisers.
In contrast and attorneys work directly with the clients and are responsible for engaging a barrister with the appropriate expertise for the case. Barristers have little or no direct contact with their'lay clients' without the presence or involvement of the solicitor. All correspondence, invoices, so on, will be addressed to the solicitor, responsible for the barrister's fees. In court, barristers are visibly distinguished from solicitors by their apparel. For example, in Ireland and Wales, a barrister wears a horsehair wig, stiff collar, a gown. Since January 2008, solicitor advocates have been entitled to wear wigs, but wear different gowns. In many countries the traditional divisions between barristers and solicitors are breaking down. Barristers once enjoyed a monopoly on appearances before the higher courts, but in Great Britain this has now been abolished, solicitor advocates can appear for clients at trial. Firms of solicitors are keeping the most advanced advisory and litigation work in-house for economic and client relationship reasons.
The prohibition on barristers taking instructions directly from the public has been abolished. But, in practice, direct instruction is still a rarity in most jurisdictions because barristers with narrow specializations, or who are only trained for advocacy, are not prepared to provide general advice to members of the public. Barristers have had a major role in trial preparation, including drafting pleadings and reviewing evidence. In some areas of law, still the case. In other areas, it is common for the barrister to receive the brief from the instructing solicitor to represent a client at trial only a day or two before the proceeding. Part of the reason for this is cost. A barrister is entitled to a'brief fee' when a brief is delivered, this represents the bulk of her/his fee in relation to any trial, they are usually entitled to a'refresher' for each day of the trial after the first. But if a case is settled before the trial, the barrister is not needed and the brief fee would be wast
Law Society of England and Wales
The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that represents and governs solicitors for the jurisdiction of England and Wales. It provides services and support to practising and training solicitors, as well as serving as a sounding board for law reform. Members of the Society are consulted when important issues are being debated in Parliament or by the executive; the Society was formed in 1825. The Hall of The Law Society is in Chancery Lane, but it has offices in Cardiff to deal with the Wales jurisdiction and Assembly, Brussels, to deal with European Union law. A president is elected annually to serve for one year; the current president is Christina Blacklaws. Barristers in England and Wales have a similar professional body, the General Council of the Bar known as the Bar Council; the London Law Institution, the predecessor to the Law Society, was founded in 1823 when many London Solicitors came together to raise the reputation of the profession by setting standards and ensuring good practice.'London' was dropped from the title in 1825 to reflect the fact that the Law Institution had national aspirations.
The Society was founded on 2 June 1825. The Society acquired its first Royal Charter in 1831 as The Society of Attorneys, Solicitors and others not being Barristers, practising in the Courts of Law and Equity of the United Kingdom. A new Charter in 1845 defined the Society as an independent, private body servicing the affairs of the profession like other professional and scientific bodies. By further Royal Charter in 1903 the name of the Society was changed to "The Law Society"; the Society first admitted women members in 1922. In July 2013, the Association of Women Solicitors, a national organisation working with and representing women solicitors in the United Kingdom, merged with the Law Society to form its Women Lawyers Division. Although merged, the AWS will operate separately from the Law Society. In 1834, the Society first initiated proceedings against dishonest practitioners. By 1907, the Society possessed a statutory disciplinary committee, was empowered to investigate solicitors' accounts and to issue annual practising certificates.
In 1983, the Society established the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors to deal with complaints about solicitors. Complaints regarding the conduct of solicitors are now dealt with by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; however complaints regarding poor service are the remit of the Legal Ombudsman. The Solicitors Act 1860 enabled the Society to create a three-tier examination system. In 1903, the Society established its own Law Society School of Law, which merged with tutorial firm Gibson and Weldon to become the independent College of Law. By 1922 The Law Society required a compulsory academic year for all clerks. Following the recommendations of the Clementi Review The Law Society split its representative and regulatory functions. Complaints from the public are handled by the Legal Ombudsman, a single portal for complaints by the public made against all providers of legal services including the Bar, licensed conveyancers etc. but excluding unqualified will-writers. The regulatory body for solicitors is the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
It is a Board of The Law Society although it regulates and enforces regulation independently of the Law Society. The Law Society remains the approved regulator, although following the Legal Services Act 2007 a new body, the Legal Services Board oversees all the approved regulators including the Bar Council, which has divested its regulatory functions into the Bar Standards Board. Law Society Gazette Solicitors Regulation Authority Legal Complaints Service Law Society of Scotland Law Society of Northern Ireland Lexcel Cambridge University Law Society Official website
An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education at a college or university. These institutions offer degrees at various levels including bachelor's, master’s and doctorates alongside other academic certificates and professional degrees; the most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor's degree, although in some countries lower qualifications are titled degrees while in others a higher-level first degree is more usual. The doctorate appeared in medieval Europe as a license to teach at a medieval university, its roots can be traced to the early church when the term "doctor" referred to the Apostles, church fathers and other Christian authorities who taught and interpreted the Bible. The right to grant a licentia docendi was reserved to the church which required the applicant to pass a test, to take oath of allegiance and pay a fee; the Third Council of the Lateran of 1179 guaranteed the access – now free of charge – of all able applicants, who were, still tested for aptitude by the ecclesiastic scholastic.
This right remained a bone of contention between the church authorities and the emancipating universities, but was granted by the Pope to the University of Paris in 1231 where it became a universal license to teach. However, while the licentia continued to hold a higher prestige than the bachelor's degree, it was reduced to an intermediate step to the Magister and doctorate, both of which now became the exclusive qualification for teaching. At the University, doctoral training was a form of apprenticeship to a guild; the traditional term of study before new teachers were admitted to the guild of "Master of Arts", seven years, was the same as the term of apprenticeship for other occupations. The terms "master" and "doctor" were synonymous, but over time the doctorate came to be regarded as a higher qualification than the master degree. Today the terms "master", "Doctor" and "Professor" signify different levels of academic achievement, but in the Medieval university they were equivalent terms, the use of them in the degree name being a matter of custom at a university..
The earliest doctoral degrees reflected the historical separation of all higher University study into these three fields. Over time, the D. D. has become less common outside theology and is now used for honorary degrees, with the title "Doctor of Theology" being used more for earned degrees. Studies outside theology and medicine were called "philosophy", due to the Renaissance conviction that real knowledge could be derived from empirical observation; the degree title of Doctor of Philosophy is a much time and was not introduced in England before 1900. Studies in what once was called philosophy are now classified as humanities; the University of Bologna in Italy, regarded as the oldest university in Europe, was the first institution to confer the degree of Doctor in Civil Law in the late 12th century. The University of Paris used the term "master" for its graduates, a practice adopted by the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the ancient Scottish universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
In the medieval European universities, candidates who had completed three or four years of study in the prescribed texts of the trivium and the quadrivium, together known as the Liberal Arts and who had passed examinations held by their master, would be admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, from the Latin baccalaureus, a term used of a squire to a knight. Further study and in particular successful participation in and moderating of disputations would earn one the Master of Arts degree, from the Latin magister, "master", entitling one to teach these subjects. Masters of Arts were eligible to enter study under the "higher faculties" of Law, Medicine or Theology and earn first a bachelor's and master or doctor's degrees in these subjects, thus a degree was only a step on the way to becoming a qualified master – hence the English word "graduate", based on the Latin gradus. The naming of degrees became linked with the subjects studied. Scholars in the faculties of arts or grammar became known as "master", but those in theology and law were known as "doctor".
As study in the arts or in grammar was a necessary prerequisite to study in subjects such as theology and law, the degree of doctor assumed a higher status than the master degree. This led to the modern hierarchy in which the Doctor of Philosophy, which in its present form as a degree based on research and dissertation is a development from 18th- and 19th-century German universities, is a more advanced degree than the Master of Arts; the practice of using the term doctor for PhDs developed within German universities and spread across the academic world. The French terminology is tied to the original meanings of the terms; the baccalauréat is conferred upon French students who have completed the
Legal education is the education of individuals in the principles and theory of law. It may be undertaken for several reasons, including to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for admission to legal practice in a particular jurisdiction, to provide a greater breadth of knowledge to those working in other professions such as politics or business, to provide current lawyers with advanced training or greater specialisation, or to update lawyers on recent developments in the law. Legal education can take the form of a variety of programs, including: Primary degrees in law, which may be studied at either undergraduate or graduate level depending on the country. Advanced academic degrees in law, such as masters and doctoral degrees. Practice or training courses, which prospective lawyers are required to pass in some countries before they may enter practice. Applied or specialised law accreditation, which are less formal than degree programs but which provide specialised certification in particular areas.
Continuing legal education, which do not lead to a qualification but provide practicing lawyers with updates on recent legal developments. Early Western legal education emerged in Republican Rome; those desiring to be advocates would train in schools of rhetoric. Around the third century BC Tiberius Coruncanius began teaching law as a separate discipline, his public legal instruction had the effect of creating a class of skilled non-priests, a sort of consultancy. After Coruncanius' death, instruction became more formal, with the introduction of books on law beyond the scant official Roman legal texts, it is possible that Coruncanius allowed members of the public and students to attend consultations with citizens in which he provided legal advice. These consultations were held outside the College of Pontiffs, thus accessible to all those interested. Canon and ecclesiastical law were studied in universities in medieval Europe. However, institutions providing education in the domestic law of each country emerged in the eighteen century.
In England, legal education emerged in the late thirteenth century through apprenticeships. The Inns of Court controlled admission to practice and provided some legal training. English universities had taught Roman and canon law for some time, but formal degrees focused on the native common law did not emerge until the 1800s. In many countries, including most of those in the Commonwealth of Nations, the principal law degree is an undergraduate degree known as a Bachelor of Laws. Graduates of such a program are eligible to become lawyers by passing the country's equivalent of a bar exam. In these countries, graduate law programs are advanced degrees which allow for more in-depth study or specialisation. In the United States, the primary law degree is a graduate degree known as the Juris Doctor. Students may pursue such a degree only after completing an undergraduate degree a bachelor's degree; the undergraduate degree can be in any field, though most American lawyers hold bachelor's degrees in the humanities and social sciences.
American law schools are an autonomous entity within a larger university. Primary degrees in law are offered by law schools, known in some countries as faculties of law. Law schools may have varying degrees of autonomy within a particular university or, in some countries, can be independent of any other post-secondary educational institution. Higher degrees allow for more advanced academic study; these include the Masters of Law by coursework or research, doctoral degrees such as the PhD or SJD. Practitioners may undertake a Masters of Law by coursework to obtain greater specialisation in an area in which they practice. In many common law countries, a higher degree in law is common and expected for legal academics. In addition, incorporating practical skills is beneficial for practitioners seeking higher degrees to better prepare them in their respective legal area of practice. In contrast, higher degrees in law are uncommon in the United States within the academy. In some countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany and some states of Australia, the final stages of vocational legal education required to qualify to practice law are carried out outside the university system.
The requirements for qualification as a barrister or as a solicitor are covered in those articles. Legal education providers in some countries offer courses which lead to a certificate or accreditation in applied legal practice or a particular specialisation. Continuing legal education programs are informal seminars or short courses which provide legal practitioners with an opportunity to update their knowledge and skills throughout their legal career. In some jurisdictions, it is mandatory to undertake a certain amount of continuing legal education each year. In Australia most universities offer law as an undergraduate-entry course, or combined degree course; some of these offer a three-year postgraduate Juris Doctor program. Bond University in Queensland runs three full semesters each year, teaching from mid-January to late December; this enables the Bond University Law Faculty to offer the LLB in the usual 8 semesters, but only 22⁄3 years. They offer a JD in two years; the University of Technology, Sydney will from 2010 offer a 2-year accelerated JD program.
In 2008, the University of Melbourne introduced the Melbourne Model, whereby Law is only available as a graduate degree, with students having to have completed a three-year bachelor's degree before being eligible. Students in combined degree programs would spend the first 3 years comple
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
University of the West of England, Bristol
The University of the West of England, Bristol is a public research university, located in and around Bristol, which received university status in 1992. In common with the University of Bristol and University of Bath it can trace its origins to the Merchant Venturers' Technical College, founded as a school in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers; the university is made up of several campuses in Greater Bristol. Frenchay Campus is the largest campus in terms of student numbers as most of its courses are based there. City campus provides courses in the creative and cultural industries, is made up of Bower Ashton Studios, Spike Island, Watershed; the institution is affiliated with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and validates its higher education courses. Frenchay Campus and Glenside Campus are home to most of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, with a further Adult Nursing cohort based at Gloucester Campus. Hartpury Campus provides training in animal sciences, equine and conservation.
The university is ranked among the top 25 higher education institutions in England for its graduate employment prospects. Recent figures show 96% of recent graduates are in employment or further study, with 78% in professional roles. Last year the university celebrated its highest student satisfaction levels, with 87% of students indicating they were happy with the quality of their course. In 2018 the Teaching Excellence Framework awarded the University of the West of England with Gold rating, awarded for outstanding and of the highest quality found in the UK Higher Education sector, it is only one of four universities in the UK to have a University Enterprise Zone providing space for over 70 businesses, the largest UK robotics lab. The University of the West of England can trace its roots back to the foundation of the Merchant Venturers Navigation School, founded in 1595. In 1894, the school became the Merchant Venturers Technical College; the University of Bristol was formed just a few years after this, leaving the college for the foundation of UWE Bristol.
The college was responsible for the creation of the Bristol College of Science and Technology in 1960, which gained a royal charter to form the University of Bath in 1965. The technical college in turn became Bristol Polytechnic in 1970. Bower Ashton Studios was formed in 1969 as the West of England College of Art, the art school of the Royal West of England Academy in Queens Road, Bristol; the St Matthias site was built in Victorian times and was a teacher training college. These campuses, together with campuses in Redland, Ashley Down, Unity Street and Frenchay became part of Bristol Polytechnic around 1976; the institution gained university status and its present name as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act, 1992. The Avon and Gloucestershire College of Health, now Glenside Campus and the Bath and Swindon College of Health Studies joined in January 1996. Hartpury campus joined in 1997; the university is a lead academic sponsor of Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy, a new university technical college.
In the spring of 2016, UWE Bristol launched a rebranding campaign which introduces a new look to the university, with a new logo as part of the Strategy 2020. UWE Bristol's largest and primary campus is named after the nearby village of Frenchay in the civil parish of Winterbourne, it is located 4 miles north of Bristol city centre, with Filton to the West and Stoke Gifford to the North. An £80 million student village located at the Frenchay campus, which includes a sports centre and rooms for 2000 students, opened in 2006. In August 2006, a new sports centre was opened at Frenchay. In September 2008 UWE Bristol purchased the major part of neighbour Hewlett Packard's adjoining land, resulting in a 70-acre expansion to their current 80-acre campus. In 2012, major changes were introduced to the Frenchay campus at UWE Bristol. First, the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the largest robotics laboratory in Europe, was opened and on in the same year the UWE Bristol International College was opened to students.
The International College provides international students with the necessary academic, subject-based and English language skills needed to progress on to a degree course at UWE Bristol. The Students' Union opened its new build in 2015. In autumn 2016 Future Space, a business incubator for hi-tech companies, was opened adjacent to the Bristol Robotics Laboratory on Frenchay Campus, it is only one of four universities in the UK to have a University Enterprise Zone providing space for over 70 businesses. The new Bristol Business School building at Frenchay Campus was completed in 2017, it houses Bristol Law School. Plans to develop an engineering building with teaching and research facilities will be located next to the new Bristol Business School in the heart of Frenchay Campus, it is expected open to students and staff in the summer of 2020. City Campus is made up of Bower Ashton Studios, Spike Island and Watershed. Bower Ashton Studios is home to the creative and cultural subjects, which are part of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education.
Adjacent to the Ashton Court estate, on the edge of the city of Bristol, the West of England College of Art was established in purpose-built premises in 1969, moving from its previous location as the art school of the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton. In 1970 the college became part of Bristol Polytechnic, the precursor
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water