West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation on 23 May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War era, NATO-aligned West Germany and Warsaw Pact-aligned East Germany were divided by the Inner German border, after 1961 West Berlin was physically separated from East Berlin as well as from East Germany by the Berlin Wall. This situation ended when East Germany was dissolved and its five states joined the ten states of the Federal Republic of Germany along with the reunified city-state of Berlin. With the reunification of West and East Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, enlarged now to sixteen states and this period is referred to as the Bonn Republic by historians, alluding to the interwar Weimar Republic and the post-reunification Berlin Republic. The Federal Republic of Germany was established from eleven states formed in the three Allied Zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, US and British forces remained in the country throughout the Cold War.
Its population grew from roughly 51 million in 1950 to more than 63 million in 1990, the city of Bonn was its de facto capital city. The fourth Allied occupation zone was held by the Soviet Union, as a result, West Germany had a territory about half the size of the interbellum democratic Weimar Republic. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Western and Eastern blocs, Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin. The Federal Republic of Germany claimed a mandate for all of Germany. It took the line that the GDR was an illegally constituted puppet state, though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not free and fair. For all practical purposes the GDR was a Soviet puppet state, from the West German perspective the GDR was therefore illegitimate. Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, in addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state.
It recognised the GDR as a de facto government within a single German nation that in turn was represented de jure by the West German state alone. From 1973 onward, East Germany recognised the existence of two German countries de jure, and the West as both de facto and de jure foreign country, the Federal Republic and the GDR agreed that neither of them could speak in the name of the other. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for an alignment with NATO rather than neutrality. He not only secured a membership in NATO but was a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union, when the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well. With the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990. Its five post-war states were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin and they formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany
President of Germany
The President of Germany, officially the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, is the head of state of Germany. Germany has a system of government in which the Chancellor is the nations leading political figure. However, the President has a role which, while not an executive post, is more than ceremonial, Presidents have extensive discretion regarding the way they exercise their official duties. The President gives direction to general political and societal debates and has some important reserve powers in case of political instability. Furthermore, all laws must be signed by the President before they can come into effect. The President, by his or her actions and public appearances, represents the state itself, its existence, its legitimacy, the Presidents office involves an integrative role and the control function of upholding the law and the constitution. In order to exercise power, he/she traditionally acts above party politics. The 12th and current officeholder is Frank-Walter Steinmeier who was elected on 12 February 2017, the convention consists of all Bundestag members as well as an equal number of electors elected by the state legislatures in proportion to their respective population.
However it is not required that state electors themselves be members of a legislature, the body is convened and chaired by the President of the German Bundestag. From 1979 to 2009, all these conventions were held on 23 May, in the first two rounds of the election, the Federal Convention attempts to elect a president by an absolute majority of votes cast. If, after two votes, no candidate has received this level of support, in the third. The result of the election is determined by party politics. Usually, the candidate of the majority party or coalition in the Bundestag is considered to be the likely winner, however, if the opposition has turned in a strong showing in state elections, it can potentially have enough support to defeat the governments candidate. For this reason, presidential elections can indicate the result of a general election. According to a long-standing adage in German politics, if you can create a president, you can form a government. The office of president is open to all Germans who are entitled to vote in Bundestag elections and have reached the age of 40, but no one may serve more than two consecutive five-year terms.
As yet, only four Presidents have been elected for a second term, the president must not be a member of the federal government or of a legislature at either the federal or state level. On taking office the President must take the oath, stipulated by Article 56 of the Basic Law, in a joint session of the Bundestag
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 240,832. Kiel lies approximately 90 kilometres north of Hamburg, for instance, the city is known for a variety of international sailing events, including the annual Kiel Week, which is the biggest sailing event in the world. The Olympic sailing competitions of the 1936 and the 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Kiel, Kiel has been one of the traditional homes of the German Navys Baltic fleet, and continues to be a major high-tech shipbuilding centre. Located in Kiel is the GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel at the University of Kiel, Kiel is an important sea transport hub, thanks to its location on the Kiel Fjord and the busiest artificial waterway in the world, Kiel Canal. A number of ferries to Sweden, Russia. Moreover, today Kiel harbour is an important port of call for cruise ships touring the Baltic Sea, Kiel was one of the founding cities of original European Green Capital Award in 2006.
In 2005 Kiels GDP per capita was €35,618, which is well above Germanys national average, within Germany and parts of Europe, the city is known for its leading handball team, THW Kiel. The city is home to the University of Kiel, Kiel Fjord was probably first settled by Normans or Vikings who wanted to colonize the land which they had raided, and for many years they settled in German villages. This is evidenced by the geography and architecture of the fjord, the city of Kiel was founded in 1233 as Holstenstadt tom Kyle by Count Adolf IV of Holstein, and granted Lübeck city rights in 1242 by Adolfs eldest son, John I of Schauenburg. Being a part of Holstein, Kiel belonged to the Holy Roman Empire and was situated only a few south of the Danish border. Kiel, the capital of the county of Holstein, was a member of the Hanseatic League from 1284 until it was expelled in 1518 for harbouring pirates, the University of Kiel was founded on 29 September 1665, by Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp.
A number of important scholars, including Theodor Mommsen, Felix Jacoby, Hans Geiger and Max Planck, from 1773 to 1864, the town belonged to the King of Denmark. However, because the king ruled Holstein as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire only through a personal union, thus Kiel belonged to Germany, but it was ruled by the Danish king. Even though the Empire was abolished in 1806, the Danish king continued to rule Kiel only through his position as Duke of Holstein, when Schleswig and Holstein rebelled against Denmark in 1848, Kiel became the capital of Schleswig-Holstein until the Danish victory in 1850. On 24 March 1865 King William I based Prussias Baltic Sea fleet in Kiel instead of Danzig, the Imperial shipyard Kiel was established in 1867 in the town. When William I of Prussia became Emperor William I of the German Empire in 1871, he designated Kiel, the prestigious Kiel Yacht Club was established in 1887 with Prince Henry of Prussia as its patron. Emperor Wilhelm II became its commodore in 1891, because of its new role as Germanys main naval base, Kiel very quickly increased in size in the following years, from 18,770 in 1864 to about 200,000 in 1910.
Much of the old centre and other surroundings were levelled and redeveloped to provide for the growing city
States of Germany
Germany is a federal republic consisting of sixteen federal states. Since todays Germany was formed from a collection of several states, it has a federal constitution. The remaining 13 states are called Flächenländer, the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 was through the unification of the western states created in the aftermath of World War II. West Berlin, while not part of the Federal Republic, was largely integrated and considered as a de facto state. In 1952, following a referendum, Baden, Württemberg-Baden, in 1957, the Saar Protectorate rejoined the Federal Republic as the Saarland. Federalism is one of the constitutional principles of Germany. After 1945, new states were constituted in all four zones of occupation, in 1949, the states in the three western zones formed the Federal Republic of Germany. This is in contrast to the development in Austria, where the Bund was constituted first. The use of the term Länder dates back to the Weimar Constitution of 1919, before this time, the constituent states of the German Empire were called Staaten.
Today, it is common to use the term Bundesland. However, this term is not used officially, neither by the constitution of 1919 nor by the Basic Law of 1949, three Länder call themselves Freistaaten, Bavaria and Thuringia. He summarizes the arguments for boundary reform in Germany. The German system of dual federalism requires strong Länder that have the administrative and fiscal capacity to implement legislation, too many Länder make coordination among them and with the federation more complicated. But several proposals have failed so far, territorial reform remains a topic in German politics. Federalism has a tradition in German history. The Holy Roman Empire comprised many petty states numbering more than 300 around 1796, the number of territories was greatly reduced during the Napoleonic Wars. After the Congress of Vienna,39 states formed the German Confederation, the new German Empire included 25 states and the imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine. The empire was dominated by Prussia, which controlled 65% of the territory, after the territorial losses of the Treaty of Versailles, the remaining states continued as republics of a new German federation
Christian Democratic Union of Germany
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and liberal-conservative political party in Germany. It is the major party of the centre-right in German politics. The CDU forms the CDU/CSU grouping, known as the Union, the leader of the CDU, Angela Merkel, is the current Chancellor of Germany. The CDU is a member of the Centrist Democrat International, International Democrat Union, immediately following the collapse of the Nazi dictatorship at the end of World War II, the need for a new political order in Germany was paramount. Simultaneous yet unrelated meetings began occurring throughout Germany, each with the intention of planning a Christian-democratic party, the Christlich-Demokratische Union was established in Berlin on 26 June 1945, and in Rheinland and Westfalen in September of the same year. The founding members of the CDU consisted primarily of members of the Centre Party, German Democratic Party, German National Peoples Party. In the Cold War years, after World War II up to the 1960s, a prominent anti-Nazi member was theologian Eugen Gerstenmaier who became Acting Chairman of the Foreign Board.
One of the lessons learned from the failure of the Weimar Republic was that disunity among the parties ultimately allowed for the rise of the Nazi Party. It was therefore crucial to create a party of Christian Democrats – a Christian Democratic Union. The result of meetings was the establishment of an inter-confessional party influenced heavily by the political tradition of liberal conservatism. The latter was more nationalist and sought German reunification, even at the expense of concessions to the Soviet Union, the Western powers appreciated the CDUs moderation, its economic flexibility and its value as an oppositional force to the Communists, which appealed to European voters at the time. Also, Adenauer was trusted by the British, the party was split over issues of rearmament within the Western alliance and German unification as a neutral state. Adenauer staunchly defended his position and outmanoeuvred some of his opponents. He refused to consider the SPD as a party of the coalition until he felt sure that they shared his anti-Communist position, the CDU was the dominant party for the first two decades following the establishment of West Germany in 1949.
Konrad Adenauer remained the leader until 1963, at which point the former minister of economics Ludwig Erhard replaced him. As the Free Democratic Party withdrew from the coalition in 1966 due to disagreements over fiscal and economic policy. Consequently, a coalition with the SPD took over government under CDU Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger. The CDU continued its role as opposition until 1982, when the FDP’s withdrawal from the coalition with the SPD allowed the CDU to regain power, CDU Chairman Helmut Kohl became the new Chancellor of West Germany and his CDU-FDP coalition was confirmed in the 1983 federal election
Carsten Günter Erich Sieling is a German politician of the SPD. He is currently the President of the Senate and Mayor of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen since 15 July 2015, between 1996 and 2001, Sieling served on the board of the Bremen Consumer Association, from 1997, he was the chairman of the board. From 2009 to 2015, Sieling was a member of the Bundestag, during the time of position held, he was his parliamentary group’s rapporteur on consumer protection in financial services. Between 2010 and 2013, he was a member of the Sub-Committee on Municipal Policy, from 2012, he served as deputy chairman of the German-British Parliamentary Friendship Group. Sieling resigned from his seat in parliament to become President of the Senate and Mayor of Bremen in July 2015, as one of the states representatives at the Bundesrat, he serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and on the Committee on Defence. Between October 2015 and October 2016, he chaired the Conference of Ministers-President
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federated states of Germany. It lies in the northeast of the country covering an area of 29,478 square kilometers and has 2.48 million inhabitants, the capital and largest city is Potsdam. Brandenburg surrounds but does not include the capital and city-state Berlin forming a metropolitan area. Brandenburg is one of the states that was re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former East Germany. Governed by the Hohenzollern dynasty from 1415, it contained the future German capital Berlin, after 1618 the Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were combined to form Brandenburg-Prussia, which was ruled by the same branch of the House of Hohenzollern. In 1701 the state was elevated as the Kingdom of Prussia, Brandenburg is situated in territory known in antiquity as Magna Germania, which reached to the Vistula river. By the 7th century, Slavic peoples are believed to have settled in the Brandenburg area, the Slavs expanded from the east, possibly driven from their homelands in present-day Ukraine and perhaps Belarus by the invasions of the Huns and Avars.
They relied heavily on river transport, the two principal Slavic groups in the present-day area of Brandenburg were the Hevelli in the west and the Sprevane in the east. Beginning in the early 10th century, Henry the Fowler and his successors conquered territory up to the Oder River, Slavic settlements such as Brenna and Chośebuz came under imperial control through the installation of margraves. Their main function was to defend and protect the eastern marches, in 948 Emperor Otto I established margraves to exert imperial control over the pagan Slavs west of the Oder River. Otto founded the Bishoprics of Brandenburg and Havelberg, the Northern March was founded as a northeastern border territory of the Holy Roman Empire. However, an uprising of Wends drove imperial forces from the territory of present-day Brandenburg in 983. The region returned to the control of Slavic leaders, the Roman Catholic Church brought bishoprics which, with their walled towns, afforded protection from attacks for the townspeople.
With the monks and bishops, the history of the town of Brandenburg an der Havel, in 1134, in the wake of a German crusade against the Wends, the German magnate, Albert the Bear, was granted the Northern March by the Emperor Lothar III. He formally inherited the town of Brandenburg and the lands of the Hevelli from their last Wendish ruler, after crushing a force of Sprevane who occupied the town of Brandenburg in the 1150s, Albert proclaimed himself ruler of the new Margraviate of Brandenburg. Albert, and his descendants the Ascanians, made progress in conquering, Christianizing. Within this region and German residents intermarried, during the 13th century, the Ascanians began acquiring territory east of the Oder, known as the Neumark. In 1320, the Brandenburg Ascanian line came to an end, under the Luxembourgs, the Margrave of Brandenburg gained the status of a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire
Hamburg, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It is the second smallest German state by area and its population is over 1.7 million people, and the wider Hamburg Metropolitan Region covers more than 5.1 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the river Elbe, the official long name reflects Hamburgs history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, a city-state, and one of the 16 states of Germany. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a sovereign state. Prior to the changes in 1919, the civic republic was ruled by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Though repeatedly destroyed by the Great Fire of Hamburg, the floods and military conflicts including WW2 bombing raids, the city managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe. On the river Elbe, Hamburg is a port and a global service, media and industrial hub, with headquarters and facilities of Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Beiersdorf.
The radio and television broadcaster NDR, Europes largest printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg has been an important financial centre for centuries, and is the seat of Germanys oldest stock exchange and the worlds second oldest bank, Berenberg Bank. The city is a fast expanding tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. It ranked 16th in the world for livability in 2015, the ensemble Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2015. Hamburg is a major European science and education hub with several universities and institutes and its creative industries and major cultural venues include the renowned Elbphilharmonie and Laeisz concert halls, various art venues, music producers and artists. It is regarded as a haven for artists, gave birth to movements like Hamburger Schule. Hamburg is known for theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Paulis Reeperbahn is among the best known European entertainment districts, Hamburg is on the southern point of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the north-east.
It is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Alster, the city centre is around the Binnenalster and Außenalster, both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes. The island of Neuwerk and two neighbouring islands Scharhörn and Nigehörn, in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are part of Hamburg. The neighbourhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land region, neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburgs highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres AMSL. Hamburg has a climate, influenced by its proximity to the coast
The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is the smallest of Germanys 16 states. A more informal name, but used in official contexts, is Land Bremen. The state consists of two enclaves with two cities in the North of Germany, surrounded by the state of Lower Saxony. The state of Bremen consists of two separated enclaves and these enclaves contain Bremen, officially the City which is the state capital and located in both enclaves, and the city of Bremerhaven. Both are located on the River Weser, Bremerhaven is further downstream than the parts of Bremen. Both enclaves are completely surrounded by the neighbouring State of Lower Saxony, the two cities are the only administrative subdivisions the state has. The highest point in the state is in Friedehorst Park, at the unwinding of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 the Free Imperial City of Bremen was not mediatised but became a sovereign state officially titled Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. Its currency was the Bremen thaler, in 1811 the First French Empire annexed the city-state.
Upon the first, albeit only preliminary, defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte, the Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Bremens—as well as Frankfurts, and Lübecks—independence after pressuring by Bremens emissary, and burgomaster, Johann Smidt. Bremen became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederation, in 1827 the state of Bremen bought the tract of land from the Kingdom of Hanover, where future Bremerhaven would be established. Bremen, which in 1935 had become a city at the de facto abolition of statehood of all component German states within the Third Reich, was reestablished as a state in 1947. Being—at that time—actually located in the British Zone of Occupation the Control Commission for Germany - British Element, in 1949 the city-state joined the West German Federal Republic of Germany. The legislature of the state of Bremen is the Bürgerschaft, elected by the citizens in the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven, the executive is constituted by the Senate of Bremen, elected by the Bürgerschaft.
The Senate is chaired by the President of the senate, who is one of the mayors of the city of Bremen and is elected directly by the Bürgerschaft. The Senate selects of its members as a mayor who serves as deputy of the president. In contrast to the Federal Chancellor of Germany or other German states, the President of the Senate has no authority to override senators on policy, since 1945, the Senate has continuously been dominated by the Social Democratic Party. Bremerhaven, on the hand, has a municipal assembly distinct from the state legislature and an administration under a distinct head mayor. Dr. Henning Scherf remained Mayor and Senate President, in an SPD-CDU grand coalition, as promised he resigned after half of the legislative period
Bundesrat of Germany
The German Bundesrat is a legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder of Germany at the national level. The Bundesrat meets at the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin and its second seat is located in the former West German capital of Bonn. For its similar function, it is described as an upper house of parliament along the lines of the US Senate. Bundesrath was the name of similar bodies in the North German Confederation and its predecessor in the Weimar Republic was the Reichsrat. The political makeup of the Bundesrat is affected by changes in power in the states of Germany, each state delegation in the Bundesrat is essentially a representation of the state government and reflects the political makeup of the ruling majority or plurality of each state legislature. The German Bundesrat was first founded, together with the North German Confederation and it was continued under the same name and with the same functions by the German Empire, in 1871. Under the Weimar Constitution,1919, it was replaced by the Reichsrat, whilst appointed by state governments just as today, the delegates of the original Bundesrat—as those of the Reichsrat—were usually high-ranking civil servants, not cabinet members.
The original Bundesrat was very powerful, every bill needed its consent and it could also, with the Emperors agreement, dissolve the Reichstag. The Reichsrat of the Weimar Republic had considerably less influence, since it could only veto bills—and even be overruled by the Reichstag, overruling the Reichsrat needed a majority of two-thirds in the Reichstag, which consisted of many parties differing in opinion. So, in most cases, bills vetoed by the Reichsrat failed due to the lack of unity among the Reichstags constituent parties. The Bundesrat met in the building as the Reichstag and Bundestag from 1871 until 2000. The composition of the Bundesrat, 1871–1919, was as follows, Bundesrat members are not elected—either by popular vote or by the state parliaments—but are delegated by the respective state government. Normally, a state consists of the Minister President and other cabinet ministers. The state cabinet may appoint as many delegates as the state has votes, in any case, the state has to cast its votes en bloc, i. e. without vote splitting.
As state elections are not coordinated across Germany and can occur at any time, the number of votes a state is allocated is based on a form of degressive proportionality according to its population. This way, smaller states have more votes than a proportional to the population would grant. The allocation of votes is regulated by the German constitution, all of a states votes are cast en bloc—either for or against or in abstention of a proposal. Each state is allocated at least three votes, and a maximum of six, states with more than 2 million inhabitants have 4 votes,6 million inhabitants have 5 votes,7 million inhabitants have 6 votes