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GERMANY
 
   
   
 

Germany Identity Card

Country name:
~ conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
~ conventional short form: Germany
~ local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
~ local short form: Deutschland
 
Area: 357,021 sq km
Coastline: 2,389 km
Highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
Population: 82,431,390
Density: 230/km2
Population growth rate: 0%
Language: German
Religions: Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, other 28.3%
Government type: federal republic
Capital: Berlin
GDP - per capita: $28,700
Inflation rate: 1.6%
Currency (code): euro (EUR)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: D
ISO CODE Alpha2: DE
ISO CODE Alpha3: DEU
ISO NUMERIC CODE: 276
Calling code: +49
Internet country code: .de
Time Zone: + 1.0 H

 
 
 
 

Germany is famous through out the world for more than one reason. For many centuries it has provided the World with great philosophers, artists, poets and musicians. At one time, its capital Berlin was considered as the cultural centre of Europe. Though this statement is not undisputable, but one cannot deny the fact that geographically its position is quite significant. Over the years Deutschland acted as a gateway between East and West Europe.
Germany went through major turmoil in past centuries. It suffered losses due to wars that resulted out of religious differences, social discriminations and false idealism. The thirty-year war between 1618 and 1648, World War I between 1914 and 1918, World War II between 1939 and 1945 to name a few.
But though it underwent many ups and downs, today it has become the third largest economy in the world. This happened due to sheer determination and perseverance of German people. In fact, now Germany is termed as the largest exporter in the World and they are maintaining their own set high standards.


Brandenburger Tor by night, Berlin

Geography

Location of Germany is quite significant since it lies between Scandinavia in the north and the Mediterranean in the south. Germany can also be termed as an important hub in between the nations of the central and Eastern Europe and the Atlantic West.
Deutschland is spread over a vast region, which stretches from the high mountains of the Alps in the south to the shores of the North Sea in the northwest and the Baltic Sea in the northeast. Among these boundaries lies the forest of central Germany. Some very famous rivers of Europe, Rhine, Danube and Elbe to name a few, flow through Germany.
Germany has the largest number of neighbours than any other European Nation. It is surrounded by Denmark in the north, Poland and the Czech Republic in the east, Austria and Switzerland in the south, France and Luxembourg in the southwest and Belgium and the Netherlands in the northwest, respectively.


Neuschwanstein Castle

Climate

Germany is situated in proximity to the cool/temperate climatic zone of the globe. Towards the northwest and the north the climate is oceanic featuring light rainfall through out the year. Winters are comparatively meek and summers are somewhat cool. Occasional sultry westerly winds breezes past the country. Average temperatures of Hamburg in between January and July vary from 0.3°C to 17.1°C.
In the eastern part of Germany the climate shows typical continental characteristics. Winters can be very chilly for long periods, whereas summers are very warm. Prolonged dry periods are often recorded. Average temperatures of Berlin in between January and July vary from 0.9°C to18.6°C.
On the contrary, central and southern part of the country experiences an intermediary climate, which ranges from somewhat oceanic to continental. Average temperatures of Munich in between January and July vary from -2.2°C to 17.6°C.


Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge at night

History

Germany became a modern nation state way back in 1871. But history took its course in Germany much before this time. The Celts are believed to have been the first inhabitants of this country. Then came the German tribes at the end of the 2nd century B.C. as they fought against the Romans led by Julius Caesar. Historical events took a concrete shape when Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800. During this time through the Treaty of Verdun (843), and Treaty of Mersen (870), Germany continued to expand its territory that was maintained throughout the Middle Ages.
By the 14th century, Albert of Hapsburg became emperor, and for the next several centuries the Hapsburg line ruled the Holy Roman Empire and Germany as well. With passage of time, the Reformation led by Martin Luther in the sixteenth century, changed relations between state and church. It ensued with a difference of Catholic and Protestant beleifs. The dispute rolled over to the succession to the Bohemian throne that brought on the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). The war left Germany devastated and divided into hundreds of small principalities. But, gradually, Prussia emerged into a state of considerable strength under Frederick the Great and successfully fought over Austria.
The French Revolution and Germany's military humiliation by Napoleon weakened the country’s stand for one more time. After the defeat of Napoléon at Waterloo (1815), the struggle between Austria and Prussia for supremacy in Germany reached its climax with defeat of Austria in the Seven Weeks' War. Then came the days of the architect of this new German unity, Otto von Bismarck. A conservative and militaristic Prussian prime minister known as the Iron Chancellor, Bismarck changed the confederation of German states into a powerful empire. He successfully waged war on Denmark and Austria and, finally, proclaimed the empire on France with the famous Versailles Treaty. Germany's overseas territories included parts of East Africa, South West Africa (Namibia) and territories in the Pacific.


Linderhof Castle

Germany faced a diplomatic isolation and the disastrous defeat in World War I (1914–1918) that called for a nationwide outrage against the prevailing monarchy. The Social Democrats, led by Friedrich Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann, crushed the Communists and the German Republic known as the Weimar Republic was established. The following years witnessed the emergence of one of histories dreaded periods, the reign of Adolf Hitler. In 1921, Adolf Hitler formed the National Socialist movement, an anti-Jewish political party widely known as the Nazis. He became Germany's Chancellor in 1933 raged series of war and disputes with neighbouring countries. Hitler's Holocaust had killed 6 million Jews and 1938 saw Germany annex Austria.
But when Hitler attacked Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany that led to Second World War in 1939. A devastated Germany surrendered unconditionally to Allied and Soviet military commanders on May 8, 1945. Berlin was divided into zones administered by Britain, France, the USA and the USSR. In 1949 the country separated into the German Democratic Republic, known as the DDR (East Germany), and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). The city of Berlin was divided between the East and the West within the German Democratic Republic.
While West Germany emerged as a liberal parliamentary republic in association with the United States and other European countries, East Germany soon became the richest and most advanced country with a Soviet-style command economy. In 1961 the Berlin Wall was constructed to stop escaping of large number of East Germans to non-communist countries via West Berlin. The Wall divided the city until 1989; the reunification of East and West Germany came into force on 3rd October 1990 following a series of drastic reformation policies.


Frankfurt Skyline

Economy

Germany is termed as the world's third largest economy on the basis of gross domestic products (GDP). Today it is a powerful and technologically advanced country. As a member of the European Coal and Steel Community and a founder member of the European Community, Germany has a strong position in Europe. According to the World Trade Organization, Germany is also the world's top exporter. France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands are its key trading partners. The boom in industrialisation came on basis of its coal and iron resources. Right now, Germany’s foremost concern is its high unemployment rate and fragile domestic demand. But, according to Bert Rürup, head of Germany's Council of Economic Advisers, reunification is responsible for two-third of Germany's growth lag compared to its other EU neighbours.


Reichstag German Parliament in Berlin

Politics

The political framework of Germany is a unique distribution and balance of power between the central authority, that is, Federation and the individual state bodies.
President
President is considered to be the head of the state. He is elected for a term of five years by members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by state parliaments. The President on recommendation of Chancellor appoints cabinet members.
Cabinet
The Chancellor together with the President wields the executive power. He heads the Cabinet members who hold different offices of the government and take care of the foreign and domestic policies of Germany.
Legislature
The parliament comprises of Federal Assembly and the Federal Council. The federal Council members are elected by popular vote under a system combining direct and proportional representation. There is no election held for Federal Assembly members. The representation in the Assembly is determined on basis of the composition of the state-level governments. But the composition of the Federal council can be changed anytime by holding election in any of the 16 states of Germany.
Judiciary
In Germany, this is considered as one of the most powerful tools in the government run system. The Federal Assembly elects half the judges of Judiciary, while the Federal Council elects the other half.

Ettal Abbey
Münster Cathedral
 



 

 

 
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