A diplomatic mission or foreign mission is a group of people from one state or an organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state. In practice, a diplomatic mission denotes the resident mission, namely the embassy, the main office of a country's diplomatic representatives to another country but not the receiving state's capital city. Consulates, on the other hand, are smaller diplomatic missions which are located outside the capital of the receiving state; as well as being a diplomatic mission to the country in which it is situated, it may be a non-resident permanent mission to one or more other countries. There are thus non-resident embassies. A permanent diplomatic mission is known as an embassy, the head of the mission is known as an ambassador or high commissioner; the term "embassy" is used as a section of a building in which the work of the diplomatic mission is carried out, but speaking, it is the diplomatic delegation itself, the embassy, while the office space and the diplomatic work done is called the chancery.
Therefore, the embassy operates in the chancery. The members of a diplomatic mission can reside within or outside the building that holds the mission's chancery, their private residences enjoy the same rights as the premises of the mission as regards inviolability and protection. All missions to the United Nations are known as permanent missions, while EU member states' missions to the European Union are known as permanent representations, the head of such a mission is both a permanent representative and an ambassador. European Union missions abroad are known as EU delegations; some countries have more particular naming for their missions and staff: a Vatican mission is headed by a nuncio and known as an apostolic nunciature. Under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's missions used the name "people's bureau", headed by a secretary. Missions between Commonwealth countries are known as high commissions, their heads are high commissioners. Speaking and high commissioners are regarded as equivalent in status and function and embassies and high commissions are both deemed to be diplomatic missions.
In the past a diplomatic mission headed by a lower-ranking official was known as a legation. Since the ranks of envoy and minister resident are obsolete, the designation of legation is no longer used today. A consulate is similar to, but not the same as a diplomatic office, but with focus on dealing with individual persons and businesses, as defined by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. A consulate or consulate general is a representative of the embassy in locales outside of the capital city. For instance, the United Kingdom has its Embassy of the United Kingdom in Washington, D. C. but maintains seven consulates-general and four consulates elsewhere in the US. The person in charge of a consulate or consulate-general is known as a consul or consul-general, respectively. Similar services may be provided at the embassy in what is called a consular section. In cases of dispute, it is common for a country to recall its head of mission as a sign of its displeasure; this is less drastic than cutting diplomatic relations and the mission will still continue operating more or less but it will now be headed by a chargé d'affaires who may have limited powers.
A chargé d'affaires ad interim heads the mission during the interim between the end of one chief of mission's term and the beginning of another. Contrary to popular belief, most diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and – in those cases – are not sovereign territory of the represented state. Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats themselves still retain full diplomatic immunity, the host country may not enter the premises of the mission without permission of the represented country to put out a fire. International rules designate an attack on an embassy as an attack on the country it represents; the term "extraterritoriality" is applied to diplomatic missions, but only in this broader sense. As the host country may not enter the representing country's embassy without permission, embassies are sometimes used by refugees escaping from either the host country or a third country.
For example, North Korean nationals, who would be arrested and deported from China upon discovery, have sought sanctuary at various third-country embassies in China. Once inside the embassy, diplomatic channels can be used to solve the issue and send the refugees to another country. See the list of people who took refuge in a diplomatic mission for a list of some notable cases. Notable violations of embassy extraterritoriality include repeated invasions of the British Embassy, the Iran hostage crisis, the Japanese embassy hostage crisis at the ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru; the Vienna Convention states:The functions of a diplomatic mission consist, inter alia, in representing the sending State in the receiving State.
The Élysée Treaty was a treaty of friendship between France and West Germany, signed by President Charles de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on 22 January 1963 at the Élysée Palace in Paris. With the signing of this treaty and France established a new foundation for relations that ended centuries of rivalry. Franco-German relations were long dominated by the idea of French–German enmity, which asserted that there was a natural rivalry between the two nations. Germany started World War II by invading Poland. France declared war on Germany which prompted the Nazi Germany invasion and occupation of France. Afterwards, France participated in the Allied occupation of Germany; the post-war West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer made rapprochement between the historic rivals one of his priorities. The treaty called for regular consultations between France and West Germany on all important questions concerning defense and youth issues, it requires regular summits between high-level officials, which implies that the Heads of State and Government have to meet at least twice a year and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs every three months, to ensure close collaboration between the two states.
The first meeting between the two heads of state took place at the private home of General de Gaulle at Colombey-les-Deux-Églises in September 1958. Since French and German heads of state have kept up the strong relationship considered as the engine of European integration. Additionally, an interministerial commission was established to coordinate and overlook the Franco-German collaboration, it consisted of high-ranked officials of every involved ministry. Just two months after the signing of the friendship treaty, a new controversy between France and Germany occurred. President de Gaulle intended the treaty to make West Germany distance itself and separate itself from its American protector, he saw West Germany as vassalized by Washington. The treaty was notable in that it made no mention of the US, Britain, NATO, or the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. However, after US President John F. Kennedy expressed his displeasure about this to the West German ambassador to the United States, the Bundestag ratified the treaty with a preamble which called on France and West Germany to pursue tight cooperation with the US, for Britain's eventual admission to the EEC, for the achievement of a free trade accord in the framework of the GATT and for the West's military integration in NATO under US leadership.
This emptied the Treaty of any sense and put end to General de Gaulle's hopes of building the EEC into a counterweight to the US and the USSR. "The Germans are behaving like pigs. They are putting themselves at the Americans' service. They're betraying the spirit of the Franco-German Treaty, and they're betraying Europe." In 1965, the General told his closest aides behind closed doors: "The Germans had been my greatest hope. Among the direct consequences of the Treaty are the creation of the Franco-German Youth Office, the creation of Franco-German high schools, the twinning between numerous French and German towns and regions. Another outcome of the Treaty was the Franco-German military brigade, established in 1987 and is still intact. In January 2003, the Assemblée Nationale and the Deutsche Bundestag met in Versailles to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Treaty. A symbolic place to meet, considering the history of humiliation both countries had to face at the palace in 1871 and in 1919. New forms of bilateral coordination between the two countries were created in the course of the 40th anniversary celebration, such as the Franco-German Ministerial Council, which meets twice a year.
The celebration led to the creation for the first time of a common Franco-German History Coursebook to be used in both countries and foster a shared vision of history. The Franco-German University enables students to attain international double degrees from both countries. Additionally, a so-called Élysée-Fond was established to promote Franco-German culture projects in third countries. Double citizenships for French and German citizens in the opposite country are now easier to obtain, or in some cases possible. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron, along with lawmakers from both countries, called for a "new Élysée Treaty" in January 2018 on the occasion of its 55th anniversary, the so-called Aachen Treaty as signed on the 22 January 2019. France–Germany relations Schuman Declaration History of Europe Original text in French: Traité de l'Élysée.
East Germany the German Democratic Republic, was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state", the territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line; the Soviet zone did not include it. The German Democratic Republic was established in the Soviet zone, while the Federal Republic was established in the three western zones. East Germany was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. Soviet occupation authorities began transferring administrative responsibility to German communist leaders in 1948, the GDR began to function as a state on 7 October 1949. However, Soviet forces remained in the country throughout the Cold War; until 1989, the GDR was governed by the Socialist Unity Party, though other parties nominally participated in its alliance organisation, the National Front of Democratic Germany.
The SED made the teaching of Marxism -- the Russian language compulsory in schools. The economy was centrally planned and state-owned. Prices of housing, basic goods and services were set by central government planners rather than rising and falling through supply and demand. Although the GDR had to pay substantial war reparations to the USSR, it became the most successful economy in the Eastern Bloc. Emigration to the West was a significant problem – as many of the emigrants were well-educated young people, it further weakened the state economically; the government fortified its western borders and, in 1961, built the Berlin Wall. Many people attempting to flee were killed by border guards or booby traps, such as landmines. Several others were imprisoned for many years. In 1989, numerous social and political forces in the GDR and abroad led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the establishment of a government committed to liberalisation; the following year, open elections were held, international negotiations led to the signing of the Final Settlement treaty on the status and borders of Germany.
The GDR dissolved itself, Germany was reunified on 3 October 1990, becoming a sovereign state again. Several of the GDR's leaders, notably its last communist leader Egon Krenz, were prosecuted in reunified Germany for crimes committed during the Cold War. Geographically, the German Democratic Republic bordered the Baltic Sea to the north. Internally, the GDR bordered the Soviet sector of Allied-occupied Berlin, known as East Berlin, administered as the state's de facto capital, it bordered the three sectors occupied by the United States, United Kingdom and France known collectively as West Berlin. The three sectors occupied by the Western nations were sealed off from the rest of the GDR by the Berlin Wall from its construction in 1961 until it was brought down in 1989; the official name was Deutsche Demokratische Republik abbreviated to DDR. Both terms were used in East Germany, with increasing usage of the abbreviated form since East Germany considered West Germans and West Berliners to be foreigners following the promulgation of its second constitution in 1968.
West Germans, the western media and statesmen avoided the official name and its abbreviation, instead using terms like Ostzone, Sowjetische Besatzungszone, sogenannte DDR. The centre of political power in East Berlin was referred to as Pankow. Over time, the abbreviation DDR was increasingly used colloquially by West Germans and West German media; the term Westdeutschland, when used by West Germans, was always a reference to the geographic region of Western Germany and not to the area within the boundaries of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, this use was not always consistent. Before World War II, Ostdeutschland was used to describe all the territories east of the Elbe, as reflected in the works of sociologist Max Weber and political theorist Carl Schmitt. Explaining the internal impact of the DDR regime from the perspective of German history in the long term, historian Gerhard A. Ritter has argued that the East German state was defined by two dominant forces – Soviet Communism on the one hand, German traditions filtered through the interwar experiences of German Communists on the other.
It always was constrained by the powerful example of the prosperous West, to which East Germans compared their nation. The changes wrought by the Communists were most apparent in ending capitalism and transforming industry and agriculture, in the militarization of society, in the political thrust of the educational system and the media. On the other hand, there was little change made in the independent domains of the sciences, the engineering professions, the Protestant churches, in many bourgeois lifestyles. Social policy, says Ritter, became a critical legitimization tool in the last decades and mixed socialist and traditional elements about equally. At the Yalta Conference during World War II, the Allies (the U. S. the UK and
West Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, its capital was the city of Bonn. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the 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 an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Empire. It took the line. Though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not fair. From the West German perspective, the GDR was therefore illegitimate.
Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state. While not part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the Allied Control Council, West Berlin politically-aligned itself with West Germany and was represented in its federal institutions; the foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full 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.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification. 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, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land. They formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany; the reunion did not result in a brand-new country. The expanded Federal Republic retained West Germany's political culture and continued its existing memberships in international organisations, as well as its Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like UN, NATO, OECD and the European Union; the official name of West Germany, adopted in 1949 and unchanged since is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In East Germany, the terms Westdeutschland or westdeutsche Bundesrepublik were preferred during the 1950s and 1960s.
This changed once under its 1968 constitution, when the idea of a single German nation was abandoned by East Germany, as a result West Germans and West Berliners were considered foreigners. In the early 1970s, starting in the East German Neues Deutschland, the initialism "BRD" for the "Federal Republic of Germany" began to prevail in East German usage. In 1973, official East German sources adopted it as a standard expression and other Eastern Bloc nations soon followed suit. In reaction to this move, in 1965 the West German Federal Minister of All-German Affairs Erich Mende issued the Directives for the appellation of Germany, recommending avoiding the initialism. On 31 May 1974, the heads of West German federal and state governments recommended always using the full name in official publications. From on West German sources avoided the abbreviated form, with the exception of left-leaning organizations which embraced it. In November 1979 the federal government informed the Bundestag that the West German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF had agreed to refuse to use the initialism.
The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code of West Germany was "DE", which has remained the country code of Germany after reunification. ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are the most used country codes, the "DE" code is notably used as country identifier extending the postal code and as the Internet's country code top-level domain.de. Accordingly the less used ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country code of West Germany was "DEU", which has remained the country code of reunified Germany; the now deleted codes for East Germany, on the other hand, was "DD" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and "DDR" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-3. The colloquial term "West Germany" or its equivalent was used in many languages. "Westdeutschland" was a widespread colloquial form used in German-speaking countries without political overtones. On 4–11 February 1945 leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union held the Yalta Conference where future arrangements as regards post-war Europe and strategy against Japan in the Pacific were negotiated.
The conference agreed that post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones: a French Zone in the far west.
The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants, it is famously known as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1770. Beethoven spent his childhood and teenage years in Bonn; because of a political compromise following German reunification, the German federal government maintains a substantial presence in Bonn, the city is considered a second, capital of the country. Bonn is the secondary seat of the President, the Chancellor, the Bundesrat and the primary seat of six federal government ministries and twenty federal authorities; the unique title of Federal City reflects its important political status within Germany. As the city of Weimar in eastern Germany has given its name to Germany's interwar period democracy, the Weimar Republic, so too has Bonn given its name to the historical name of the Bonn Republic for the Cold War era Federal Republic of Germany.
Founded in the 1st century BC as a Roman settlement, Bonn is one of Germany's oldest cities. From 1597 to 1794, Bonn was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne. From 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the capital of West Germany, Germany's present constitution, the Basic Law, was declared in the city in 1949. Berlin was re-affirmed by the Bundestag in Bonn as the capital of Germany, though due to the country's division a seat of government was maintained there by the German Democratic Republic, only in the eastern half. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government – but no longer capital – of reunited Germany; the headquarters of Deutsche Post DHL and Deutsche Telekom, both DAX-listed corporations, are in Bonn. The city is home to the University of Bonn and a total of 20 United Nations institutions, including headquarters for Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention Climate Change, the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the UN Volunteers programme.
Situated in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area with over 11 million inhabitants, Bonn lies within the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, close to the border with Rhineland-Palatinate. Spanning an area of more 141.2 km2 on both sides of the river Rhine three quarters of the city lie on the river's left bank. To the south and to the west, Bonn is bordering the Eifel region which encompasses the Rhineland Nature Park. To the north, Bonn borders the Cologne Lowland. Natural borders are constituted by the river Sieg to the north-east and by the Siebengebirge to the east; the largest extension of the city in north-south dimensions is 15 km and 12.5 km in west-east dimensions. The city borders have a total length of 61 km; the geographical centre of Bonn is the Bundeskanzlerplatz in Bonn-Gronau. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into five governmental districts, Bonn is part of the governmental district of Cologne. Within this governmental district, the city of Bonn is an urban district in its own right.
The urban district of Bonn is again divided into four administrative municipal districts. These are Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Bonn-Beuel and Bonn-Hardtberg. In 1969, the independent towns of Bad Godesberg and Beuel as well as several villages were incorporated into Bonn, resulting in a city more than twice as large as before. Bonn has an oceanic climate. In the south of the Cologne lowland in the Rhine valley, Bonn is in one of Germany's warmest regions; the history of the city dates back to Roman times. In about 12 BC, the Roman army appears to have stationed a small unit in what is presently the historical centre of the city. Earlier, the army had resettled members of a Germanic tribal group allied with Rome, the Ubii, in Bonn; the Latin name for that settlement, "Bonna", may stem from the original population of this and many other settlements in the area, the Eburoni. The Eburoni were members of a large tribal coalition wiped out during the final phase of Caesar's War in Gaul. After several decades, the army gave up the small camp linked to the Ubii-settlement.
During the 1st century AD, the army chose a site to the north of the emerging town in what is now the section of Bonn-Castell to build a large military installation dubbed Castra Bonnensis, i.e. "Fort Bonn". Built from wood, the fort was rebuilt in stone. With additions and new construction, the fort remained in use by the army into the waning days of the Western Roman Empire the mid-5th century; the structures themselves remained standing well into the Middle Ages, when they were called the Bonnburg. They were used by Frankish kings. Much of the building materials seem to have been re-used in the construction of Bonn's 13th-century city wall; the Sterntor in the city center is a reconstruction using the last remnants of the medieval city wall. To date, Bonn's Roman fort remains the largest fort of its type known from the ancient world, i.e. a fort built to accommodate a full-strength Imperial Legion and its auxiliaries. The fort covered an area of 250,000 square metres. Between its walls it contained a dense grid of streets and a multitude of buildings, ranging from spacious headquarters and large officers' quarters to barracks, stables and a military jail.
Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century. In its purest form, it is a style principally derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles, the work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. In form, neoclassical architecture emphasizes the wall rather than chiaroscuro and maintains separate identities to each of its parts; the style is manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, in its architectural formulae as an outgrowth of some classicising features of the Late Baroque architectural tradition. Neoclassical architecture is still designed today, but may be labelled New Classical Architecture for contemporary buildings. In Central and Eastern Europe, the style is referred to as Classicism, while the newer revival styles of the 19th century until today are called neoclassical. Intellectually, neoclassicism was symptomatic of a desire to return to the perceived "purity" of the arts of Rome, to the more vague perception of Ancient Greek arts and, to a lesser extent, 16th-century Renaissance Classicism, a source for academic Late Baroque architecture.
Many early 19th-century neoclassical architects were influenced by the drawings and projects of Étienne-Louis Boullée and Claude Nicolas Ledoux. The many graphite drawings of Boullée and his students depict spare geometrical architecture that emulates the eternality of the universe. There are Edmund Burke's conception of the sublime. Ledoux addressed the concept of architectural character, maintaining that a building should communicate its function to the viewer: taken such ideas give rise to "architecture parlante". A return to more classical architectural forms as a reaction to the Rococo style can be detected in some European architecture of the earlier 18th century, most vividly represented in the Palladian architecture of Georgian Britain and Ireland; the baroque style had never been to the English taste. Four influential books were published in the first quarter of the 18th century which highlighted the simplicity and purity of classical architecture: Vitruvius Britannicus, Palladio's Four Books of Architecture, De Re Aedificatoria and The Designs of Inigo Jones... with Some Additional Designs.
The most popular was the four-volume Vitruvius Britannicus by Colen Campbell. The book contained architectural prints of famous British buildings, inspired by the great architects from Vitruvius to Palladio. At first the book featured the work of Inigo Jones, but the tomes contained drawings and plans by Campbell and other 18th-century architects. Palladian architecture became well established in 18th-century Britain. At the forefront of the new school of design was the aristocratic "architect earl", Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington; this House was a reinterpretation of Palladio's Villa Capra, but purified of 16th century elements and ornament. This severe lack of ornamentation was to be a feature of the Palladianism. In 1734 William Kent and Lord Burlington designed one of England's finest examples of Palladian architecture with Holkham Hall in Norfolk; the main block of this house followed Palladio's dictates quite but Palladio's low detached, wings of farm buildings were elevated in significance.
This classicising vein was detectable, to a lesser degree, in the Late Baroque architecture in Paris, such as in Perrault's east range of the Louvre. This shift was visible in Rome at the redesigned façade for S. Giovanni in Laterano. By the mid 18th century, the movement broadened to incorporate a greater range of Classical influences, including those from Ancient Greece. An early centre of neoclassicism was Italy Naples, where by the 1730s, court architects such as Luigi Vanvitelli and Ferdinando Fuga were recovering classical and Mannierist forms in their Baroque architecture. Following their lead, Giovanni Antonio Medrano began to build the first neoclassical structures in Italy in the 1730s. In the same period, Alessandro Pompei introduced neoclassicism to the Venetian Republic, building one of the first lapidariums in Europe in Verona, in the Doric style. During the same period, neoclassical elements were introduced to Tuscany by architect Jean Nicolas Jadot de Ville-Issey, the court architect of Francis Stephen of Lorraine.
On Jadot's lead, an original neoclassical style was developed by Gaspare Paoletti, transforming Florence into the most important centre of neoclassicism in the peninsula. In the second half of the century, Neoclassicism flourished in Turin and Trieste. In the latter two cities, just as in Tuscany, the sober neoclassical style was linked to the reformism of the ruling Habsburg enlightened monarchs; the Rococo style remained much popular in Italy until the Napoleonic regimes, which brought a new archaeological classicism, embraced as a political statement by young, urban Italians with republican leanings. The shift to neoclassical architecture is conventionally dated to the 1750s, it first gained influence in France. In France, the movement was propelled by a generation of French art students trained in Rome, was influenced by the writings of
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat