The History of Germany

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Holy Roman Empire

962 - 1618

After conquering the majority of northern Italy, Otto I, otherwise known as Otto the Great, was named king of the Roman empire. Under his rule, this empire would eventually become the Holy Roman Empire (HRE). The foundation for this empire would be centered within Germany. For this reason, the HRE is considered the first of three reichs throughout Germany's history.

Thirty Years' War

1618 - 1648

The Thirty Years' War was a war between the Catholics and other Christain denominations. From 1618 to 1648, This war harshly affected the Holy Roman Empire. The damages rivaled those of a civil war. The extensive internal conflict made it extremely difficult for the HRE to thrive as it once did. In essence, many people turned on their own people. This war caused the decline and failure of the first German reich.

Napolean and French Rule

1806

In 1807, Napolean and his army controlled most of Germany. He was the one who officially declared the abolition of Germany's first reich. After Napolean's defeat, Germany was still divided

Beginning of Second Reich

1871

Germany is finally united as a country by Prussian Otto Van Bismarck. Germany becomes an empire, yet again, but an elected national parliament is established. Kaiser Wilhelm I takes power, while Bismarck rules as Chancellor.

Second Reich

1871 - 1914

During this time, Bismarck led Germany's military and expanded the country's borders. When Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power, Bismarck resigned. This happened right around the time of the beginning of WWI. Wilhelm II left office, leaving the country in shambles during the war.

World War I

June 28, 1914 - November 11, 1918

WWI caused havoc and chaos all throughout Europe. The unstable German government caused problems for the country during the war.

Weimar Republic

November 1918 - 1930

After the failure and decline of the second Reich, German leaders desperately attempted to bring political stability to the country. The Weimar Republic was formed as a parliamentary system in 1918. However, the Weimar Republic was built without a stable constitution to support it. Germany fell into poverty and people demanded change.

Signing of the Treaty of Versailles

November 11, 1918

The signing of this treaty ended the war between Germany and the Allied Powers. Germany was forced to pay for damages of the war. This treaty was one of the main reasons that German citizens rejected the Weimar Republic and started to agree with Adolf Hitler's rising popularity

Third Reich

1933 - May 8, 1945

After people rejected the failing system that was the Weimar Republic, they supported a new political up-comer, Adolf Hitler, and his Nazi party. Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933 and soon after eliminated all other political competition and named himself Fuhrer. The third Reich ended with the end of WWII

World War II

September 1, 1939 - May 8, 1945

The war began with Germany's invasion of Poland. The Allied Powers rose to help the invaded country. Years of deadly war and the Jewish Holocaust resulted in an extremely large amount of deaths. The war ended with German's unconditional surrender in May, but the Japanese did not surrender until after the nuclear bombings.

East and West Germany are Seperated

1945 - 1990

After WWII, Germany was divided by the Allied Powers: Russia, United States, Britain, and France. Western Germany became the Federal Republic of Germany and was under democratic rule. Eastern Germany was controlled solely by Russia and became the German Democratic Republic, ironically, a communist state.

Construction of Berlin Wall

August 13, 1961

Although Berlin was located on the eastern side of Germany, it followed the laws of western Germany. A wall was constructed to separate the two halves of the city. Eastern Berlin remained under communist rule. The governmental system of Western Germany is still in place today.

Final Portion of Berlin Wall Demolished: Unity Day

October 3, 1990

The final pieces of the Berlin Wall were demolished. This marked the reunification of Eastern and Western Germany. Eastern Germany adopted Western Germany's democratic policies. At this point, Eastern Germany was extremely underdeveloped and indigent compared to its Western counterpart.