Sample History Essays on Backpacking Through Europe

Backpacking refers to an independent and low-cost form of travel where backpacks are over long periods and distances. Backpackers are known for their preference of public transport as well as inexpensive lodging facilities such as youth hostels. The backpack travel concept has evolved over the years with travellers from various cultures and regions being involved in the trend. Backpacking often has impacts on the areas visited, and this is evident in Europe where young people who backpacked after WWII built on and rejected key aspects of European culture and politics.

In the period after WWII, young people who backpacked through Europe built on mobility and modernity. The cheap and constant travel alongside modern advancements witnessed in the global transport sector is an influence of the backpacking that took place in Europe after WWII. The practice paved the way for technological advancements in the transportation sector, which in turn, led to the increased manufacture of motor vehicles to improve transportation across Europe. As a result, travel costs reduced significantly, and people felt comfortable with the transportation system given availability of new cars and modern roads. Moreover, the technological advancements have seen Europe focus on the manufacture of environmentally-friendly vehicles. Over the years, Europe has focused on the manufacture of electric vehicles as well. In the “Backpack Ambassadors,” Jobs argues that young backpackers across Europe after the Second World War were more of explorers than travellers (Jobs 89). As such, during the exploration of Europe, they promoted fraternity since they created a good rapport with those they met.

The young backpackers crisscrossing Europe after WWII also rejected some aspects of European culture and politics. One of the ideas they rejected was fascism. Fascism in Europe was based upon the concept of dictatorship. It was based on political extremism and puritan cultures. The epitome of fascism was Italy that was led by Benito Mussolini, who never minded being called the Man of Providence. Fascism in Italy had no particular philosophy as it reflected a late-Hegelian notion of absolute and ethical state. Mussolini was full of rhetoric but did not have the philosophy to back it. Despite its popularity as an answer to Soviet communism, it was perceived as a hindrance to development across Europe. People Political dissidents were put on isolated islands, the free press was abolished, and political assassinations like that of Rosselli were common. In the “Backpack Ambassadors,” Jobs examines the idea of fascism and states that it was evident in Germany as youth hostels were initially targeted for national integration (Jobs 91). The Nazi politicisation was involved in curbing the fascism idea as they created a new International Youth Hostel Federation. Moreover, “Backpack Ambassadors” demonstrate how Cohn-Bendit, a German Jewish politician born, raised, and educated in France and held a German passport was prevented from entering the UK and France by immigration authorities. It was the young backpackers exploring Europe who engaged in protests to challenge the idea of fascism that was taking centre-stage at the time.

Overall, the young backpackers had a desire of positively influencing European culture and politics. Their impact on the continent is mainly positive as seen in their contributions towards the freedom of movement enjoyed in Europe today. Also, they opposed negative aspects such as fascism that was a significant barrier to economic and political development in Europe.



Work Cited

Jobs, Richard I. Backpack Ambassadors: How Youth Travel Integrated Europe., 2017.,