Europe is the fourth continent by size and is often considered part of a singular system with Asia. Considered the cradel of modernity, Europe and its countries have guided the world order since the 15th century, extending their influence across the planet through commercial and colonial expeditions. Historically and culturally, there are more sub-groups in Europe thatn anywhere else in the world. There is Mediterranean Europe, with Latin culture and predomenantly the Catholic religion; Germanic Europe, which absorbed the effects of the Protestant Refromation; Eastern Orthodox Europe, which also experienced the rift between the Western bloc and the pro-Soviet bloc in the Cold War era. To be considered separately is also Great Britain, equpped with an autonomous global projection.