Germany

Article

July 5, 2022

The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), in short Germany (German: Deutschland), is a country in Western and/or Central Europe. It has a territory of 357,022 km² and is bordered in the north by the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and Denmark, in the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, in the south by Austria and Switzerland and in the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. With 83,222,442 inhabitants (September 30, 2021), Germany has the largest population of all countries in the European Union. The capital and largest city of the country is Berlin. In a sense, German history begins as early as the 1st century BC, when there was already talk of Germania, an area inhabited by mainly Germanic tribes. A German state took longer. The Holy Roman Empire, which existed roughly between 800 and 1800, can be seen as a precursor, but had much less central authority, like its successor, the German Confederation (1815-1866). After that, German unification really got going and in 1871 the German Empire was created, which largely encompassed the current national borders. This state became a republic for the first time with the abolition of the monarchy after the November Revolution of 1918; the so-called Weimar Republic. Under Nazi rule (1933-1945), Germany was a dictatorship, unleashing World War II and carrying out the Holocaust. Germany lost the war and was then divided into the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany or DDR). After the fall of communism, German reunification came about in 1990 and the six East German states joined the Federal Republic. The Federal Republic of Germany is a federation of sixteen federal states, called Bundesländer or Länder (singular Land) in German. It is a federal republic and an important member of the economic, political and military organizations in Europe and the world. The country is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, the UN, NATO and the G8, among others. Germany is also the most important trading partner of the Netherlands and Belgium and was the fourth largest economy by nominal GDP in 2014, the third largest exporter (2011) and the third largest importer (2011) in the world.

Geography

Germany is located in the western half of Central Europe, bordering in the north by the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and Denmark, in the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, in the south by Austria and Switzerland and in the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and The Netherlands. Ancient descriptions call Germany the land between the sea and the Alps. The country can be divided into three main geographic areas: the German Plain to the north, the central German highlands, and to the south, the Alps. The climate is temperate, although there is considerable variation. Nearly two-thirds of the country's forests are coniferous, with the rest being mainly beech forest. Germany has relatively few mineral resources. The farmland is usually very fertile. There are 16 federal states on German territory, officially called Länder in German (singular Land, often in the form Bundesländer). They have many powers and also co-determination at the federal level.

Cardinal points

In the north, in addition to Hamburg and Bremen, which are independent federal states, there are also the federal states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein; the former East German Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is often also included in this category. The North lies on the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and is flowed through by the rivers Ems (Ems), Weser (Weser), Elbe and Oder. The area is mainly flat (North German Plain) to slightly sloping and relatively sparsely populated. The largest city is Hamburg with 1.7 million inhabitants; it is also an important industrial center and has an important port. To a lesser extent, the same applies to Bremen and Kiel. The north is heavily cultivated, despite