Germany: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Germany.



Location-In the heart of North Central Europe. Before the division into East and West in 1945, Germany shared borders with Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Russia.

How Created-Native tribes wandered largely at will between 400 and 800 A.D., until Charlemagne unified several tribes with his own Franks. This federation eventually came to be known as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the First Reich. For the next thousand years, Germanic peoples were organized in kingdoms and duchies loosely controlled by an Emperor, most notably those from the Hapsburg dynasty. Between 1740 and 1790 the state of Prussia grew phenomenally under King Frederick II. When Napoleon dissolved the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the 2 German-speaking states of Prussia and Austria vied for control of the remaining states. Under the skillful leadership of its Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, Prussia decisively won the allegiance of member German states when it defeated France in the war of 1870-1871. The Second German Reich was proclaimed in 1871 with the Germanic competitor state of Austria excluded from the union. The Second Reich lasted until 1918, when Germany was defeated in W.W.I. Hitler founded the Third Reich in 1933, claiming it too would last 1,000 years, but it collapsed in 1945.

When Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, the victorious W.W. II Allies occupied Germany according to plans largely determined at the February, 1945, conference at Yalta and reaffirmed at the Potsdam meeting the following July.

The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was proclaimed in May, 1949, from the lands occupied by France, Britain, and the U.S. Full independence was granted by the Allies in 1955.

In retaliation to the establishment of West Germany, the Soviet Union allowed its sector of Germany to call itself the German Democratic Republic in October, 1949. Five years later, in 1954, the Soviet Union issued a proclamation constituting East Germany a sovereign republic.

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