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      • By the terms of the Basic Law, the Federal Republic of Germany was established with its provisional capital in the small city of Bonn. The West German state took shape as a federal form of parliamentary democracy. An extensive bill of rights guaranteed the civil and political freedoms of the citizenry.
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  2. Federal Republic of Germany is established - HISTORY

    May 20, 2020 · The Federal Republic of Germany (popularly known as West Germany) is formally established as a separate and independent nation. This action marked the effective end to any discussion of reuniting...

  3. Germany - Formation of the Federal Republic of Germany ...

    By the terms of the Basic Law, the Federal Republic of Germany was established with its provisional capital in the small city of Bonn. The West German state took shape as a federal form of parliamentary democracy. An extensive bill of rights guaranteed the civil and political freedoms of the citizenry.

  4. Germany - Government and society | Britannica

    The structure and authority of Germany’s government are derived from the country’s constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), which went into force on May 23, 1949, after formal consent to the establishment of the Federal Republic (then known as West Germany) had been given by the military governments of the Western occupying powers (France, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and upon the assent of the parliaments of the Länder (states) to form the Bund (federation).

  5. Germany: Facts & Figures (Deutschland Heute)

    Jan 07, 2018 · Government: Federal republic with a parliamentary democracy. Germany's constitution ( das Grundgesetz, Basic Law) of May 23, 1949 became reunified Germany's constitution on October 3, 1990 (now a national holiday, Tag der Deutschen Einheit, German Unity Day). Legislature: There are two federal legislative bodies.

  6. A Brief History of Germany - Local Histories
    • Ancient Germany
    • Germany in The Middle Ages
    • Germany in The 16th Century
    • Germany in The 17th Century
    • Germany in The 18th Century
    • Germany in The 19th Century
    • The Unification of Germany
    • Germany in The Early 20th Century
    • Late 20th Century Germany
    • 21st Century Germany

    About 55 BC Julius Caesar conquered the Roman province of Gaul. He made the Rhine the frontier of the new province. It was a natural defensive barrier. Later the Romans also chose the Danube as a frontier. They also created a ditch and earth bank with a wooden palisade on top from the Rhine to the Danube. In 9 AD the people who lived beyond the Rhine inflicted a crushing defeat on the Roman army in a battle at the Teutoburg Forest. The Romans lost about 20,000 men and their leader committed suicide. The battle ensured that the Romans never conquered Germany beyond the Rhine. However, the Romans occupied southern and western Germany. They founded a number of towns which still survive (Augsburg, Cologne, Mainz, Regensburg, and Trier). In the late 5th century a Germanic people called the Franks carved out an empire in what is now France. (They gave the country its name). In 496 Clovis, the leader of the Franks became a Christian and his people followed. In 771 Charlemagne became king o...

    Then in 911 Conrad, Duke of Franconia was elected king of Germany. He died in 918 and was replaced by Duke Henry of Saxony. In 933 Henry defeated the Magyars at the battle of Riade. Henry also fought the Slavs. When he died in 936 his son Otto became king of Germany. He is known as Otto the Great. In 955 Otto utterly defeated the Magyars at the battle of Lechfeld, ending the threat to Germany forever. In 962 the Pope crowned Otto emperor. He died in 973. The Christian thinker Augustine claimed that God created the Roman Empire to bring law and order to mankind. The idea was that there should be one Church with the pope at its head and one secular empire. Otto and the following emperors claimed they were the successors to the ancient Roman Empire. So their Germanic empire was called the Roman Empire. In 1157 it was called the Holy Roman Empire. Not surprisingly other European nations were not enthusiastic about the idea and in any case, the Holy Roman Empire was never a single united...

    In the Middle Ages divisions between nations were vague. In the 16th century, they became more clearly defined. One sign of this came in 1512 when the empire's title changed to the 'Holy Roman Empire of the German nation'. Then in 1517 the great Christian scholar Martin Luther started the Reformation when he wrote his theses in Wittenberg. In 1521 the heads of the various German states met in an Imperial Diet at Worms. Martin Luther was called to account and he stood by his views. The Reformation split Germany, with some states accepting his teachings and others rejecting them. In 1531 the Protestant princes formed the alliance of Schmalkalden to defend the Reformation by force if necessary. The emperor fought a war with them in 1546-47. Although he was victorious he could not turn the clock back and Protestantism could not be eradicated. Then in 1555, the Diet of Augsburg met. The peace of Augsburg declared that princes could decide the religion of their state. Anyone who disagreed...

    In the early 17th century the uneasy peace between Protestants and Catholics broke down. The Protestants formed a military alliance in 1608. In response, the Catholics formed the Catholic League in 1609. At that time Bohemia (the modern Czech Republic) was part of the Holy Roman Empire. Protestant nobles in Bohemia had gained certain privileges. When Ferdinand II became King of Bohemia in 1617 he tried to undo them. In protest on 23 May 1618 Protestants threw royal officials out of a window in Prague. This event became known as the defenestration of Prague.The Bohemians rebelled and appealed to German Protestants to help them. However, the emperor led a force of Catholics and defeated the Protestants at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620. Nevertheless, a long series of wars between Catholic and Protestant states began. Other European powers became involved. The Swedes joined the Protestants in 1630 under their king Gustavus Adolphus (although he was killed at the battle of Lutzen...

    The main development in Germany during the 18th century was the rise of Prussia. In the 17th century, the Hohenzollern family ruled both Brandenburg and East Prussia. In 1701 the ruler of both was Elector Frederick III. In that year he crowned himself King of Prussia. Soon the whole realm was called Prussia. However, at first, Prussia was an economically backward area. It only rose to greatness under Frederick II 'The Great', who became king in 1740. Frederick had a very large army and he was a capable general, which allowed him to fight successful wars. In 1740 Prussia invaded Silesia (an Austrian possession). On 10 April 1741, the Prussians defeated the Austrians at the battle of Mollwitz. At first, the battle went well for the Austrians. Their cavalry defeated the Prussian cavalry and Frederick fled from the battle. However, the Prussian infantry stood and fought. They overcame both the Austrian cavalry and the Austrian infantry. As a result, Prussia won the battle. Austria made...

    However Austria was defeated and was forced to make peace in 1801. France defeated Austria again in 1805. As a result, some German states allied themselves with Napoleon. In July 1806 Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine, which was made up of 16 German states. The Holy Roman Empire officially ceased to exist on 6 August 1806. Then in September 1806, Prussia went to war with France. However, Napoleon crushed the Prussians at Jena on 14 October 1806. However, in 1812 the French were utterly defeated in Russia. In 1813 Prussia joined Russia in the war against the French. Austria also joined and in October 1813 the combined armies defeated the French at the battle of Leipzig. After Napoleon's final defeat in 1815 the Congress of Vienna met to decide the fate of Europe. A German Confederation was formed to replace the old Holy Roman Empire. It consisted of 38 states. An assembly called the Bundestag made up of delegates from the states was formed. Prussia was the biggest winne...

    Then, in 1863 the Danish king tried to annex the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Both Prussia and Austria fought a short war against Denmark in 1864. As a result, Prussia and Austria were given joint administration of the two duchies. Disagreements with Austria over the duchies gave Prussia a pretext to start a war in 1866. It was over within a short period. On 3 July 1866 Prussia won a great victory over the Austrians at Koniggratz. Afterward, a peace treaty created the North German Federation dominated by Prussia. Austria was expelled from German affairs. Bismarck, the German chancellor, then quarreled with France over the issue of who was to succeed to the Spanish throne. The French declared war on 19 July 1870. However, the French were utterly defeated at the battle of Sedan on 2 September 1870 and they made peace in February 1871. Meanwhile the southern German states agreed to become part of a new German Empire with the Prussian king as emperor. William I was proclaimed empe...

    Bismarck always pursued friendly relations with Britain but under his successors it was different. From 1898 under Admiral Tirpitz Germany began expanding its navy. Britain, the largest naval power, was alarmed. Furthermore, Europe became divided into two armed camps, with Germany and Austria-Hungary one side and Britain, France and Russia on the other. The spark that ignited war came on 28 June 1914 when the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. In August 1914 the German army overran Belgium and marched on Paris. However, they were defeated at the battle of the Marne in September. Both sides began a 'race for the sea'. Both sides reached it at the same time. They then dug trenches and years of deadlock followed. In the east the Germany was more successful. They crushed the Russians at the battle of Tannenberg. Russia gradually weakened and finally made peace by the treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918. Meanwhile, in 1917 Germany introduced unrestricted su...

    Following the surrender Germany was divided into four zones, American, British, French and Russian. Berlin, although it was within the Russian area, was also divided into zones. Nazi war criminals were brought to trial at Nuremberg in November 1945. Soon the Russians and the western powers drifted apart and it became clear that Germany was not going to be reunited. The Russians stripped East Germany of its resources but the Americans gave aid to West Germany and the rest of Western Europe. This aid was called the Marshall plan and it was paid from 1948 to 1952. Meanwhile, in 1948 the three western powers introduced a new currency into their zones. The Russians responded by blocking all land routes to West Berlin (which was occupied by the western powers). The western allies flew in supplies for the next 11 months until the Russians relented. In the west a new state called the Federal Republic of Germany was formed on 23 May 1949. At first, the new state had to cope with high unemplo...

    Today Germany is a wealthy country with a high standard of living. In 2005 Angela Merkel became the first woman Chancellor of Germany. The population of Germany is 80 million. A Timeline of Germany A brief history of Berlin A brief history of the Netherlands A brief history of Denmark A brief history of Austria A brief history of France A brief history of Poland Home Last revised 2019

  7. Germany - Germany from 1871 to 1918 | Britannica

    At its birth Germany occupied an area of 208,825 square miles (540,854 square km) and had a population of more than 41 million, which was to grow to 67 million by 1914. The religious makeup was 63 percent Protestant, 36 percent Roman Catholic, and 1 percent Jewish.

  8. Weimar Republic - Wikipedia

    The Weimar Republic was severely affected by the Great Depression. The economic stagnation led to increased demands on Germany to repay the debts owed to the United States. As the Weimar Republic was very fragile in all its existence, the depression was devastating, and played a major role in the Nazi takeover.

  9. Chancellor of Germany - Wikipedia

    The Chancellor of Germany, officially the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Germany (German: Bundeskanzler der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is the head of government and chief executive of Germany. The chancellor is elected by the Bundestag.

  10. Germany - Ethnic groups | Britannica

    Germany - Germany - Ethnic groups: The Germans, in their various changes of territory, inevitably intermingled with other peoples. In the south and west they overran Celtic peoples, and there must at least have been sufficient communication for them to adopt the names of physical features such as rivers and hills; the names Rhine, Danube, and Neckar, for example, are thought to be of Celtic ...

  11. German Army - Wikipedia

    The German Army (German: Deutsches Heer) is the land component of the armed forces of Germany. The present-day German Army was founded in 1955 as part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr together with the Marine (German Navy) and the Luftwaffe (German Air Force). As of April 2020, the German Army had a strength of 64,036 soldiers.