History of Germany

The iconic personalities that are associated with German History are Adolf Hitler and the great German priest Martin Luther, who fought for the freedom of his countrymen.

The region where present day Germany (German: Deutschlandkarte) is located was inhabited by Germanic tribes since the Nordic Bronze age. By 843, the Holy Roman Empire was formed from the eastern portion of Carolingian Empire. This region stretched from the Eider River to the Mediterranean coast.
Under the reign of Salian emperors (1024-1125), Italy and Burgundy were absorbed by the Holy Roman Empire. In 1517, Martin Luther, with his 95 These, initiated the Protestant Reformation by challenging the Roman Catholic Church. It led to Thirty Years' War( 1618-1648) and damaged the land and states of Germany.

German Confederation
With the fall of Napoleon I of France, the German Confederation was founded in 1814. Inspired by the French Revolution and other revolutionary ideas, the Revolution of 1848 began in the German states. In 1864, the prime minister of Prussia, Otto Von Bismarck waged a successful war on Denmark. The Prussian War of 1866 allowed him to create North German Federation. The Berlin Conference in 1884 allowed Germany to claim many colonies, including German East Africa, German South-West Africa, Togo, and Cameroon.

World War I
The First World War was triggered by the assassination of Austria's crown prince, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914. His assassination led to Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. It resulted in the defeat of Germany, one of the Central Powers. The German Revolution began in 1918 and in June 1919, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles.

Third Reich
The German Communist Party and Nazi Party had gained controlled of the majority of the parliament of Germany by 1932. Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. He was provided unrestricted legislative powers through the Enabling Act. Soon he established a centralized totalitarian state and by 1935-36, Germany reacquired control of Saar and Rhineland. On September 1, 1939, Germany launched an attack on Poland and it was occupied by Germany and Soviet Red Army. World War II began when the UK and France declared war on Germany. The Third Reich regime killed many dissidents and minorities during the Holocaust.

After the war, the territories of Germany and Berlin were divided by the Allies into four military zones. The western regions were controlled by France, UK, and US and formed the Federal Republic of Germany. They were informally known as West Germany. The eastern regions were controlled by Soviet Union and was known as East Germany. The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 to stop Germans from escaping to West Germany. It became a symbol of Cold War. By 1970s the mounting tensions were reduced by Chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik.

Modern History
The Two Plus Four Treaty was signed on September 12, 1990. It allowed Germany to regain full sovereignty over its four occupied zones. On October 03,1990 German reunified with the accession of the five re-established states. Berlin became the capital of Germany. Today, it is one of the superpowers of the European Union.

Last Updated on: November 18th, 2017