Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers; as of 2014 about one in three people living in Tübingen is a student. North of the city lies the Schönbuch, a densely wooded nature park; the Swabian Alb mountains rise about 13 km to the southeast of Tübingen. The Ammer and Steinlach rivers discharge into the Neckar river, which flows right through the town, just south of the medieval old town in an easterly direction. Large parts of the city are hilly, with the Schlossberg and the Österberg in the city centre and the Schnarrenberg and Herrlesberg, among others, rising adjacent to the inner city; the highest point is at about 500 m above sea level near Bebenhausen in the Schönbuch forest, while the lowest point is 305 m in the town's eastern Neckar valley. Nearby the Botanical Gardens of the city's university, in a small forest called Elysium, lies the geographical centre of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Tübingen is the capital of an eponymous district and an eponymous administrative region, before 1973 called Südwürttemberg-Hohenzollern. Tübingen is, with nearby Reutlingen, one of the two centre cities of the Neckar-Alb region. Administratively, it is not part of the Stuttgart Region, bordering it to the west. However, the city and northern parts of its district can be regarded as belonging to that region in a wider regional and cultural context; the area was first settled in the 12th millennium BC. The Romans left some traces here in AD 85. Tübingen itself dates from the 7th century, when the region was populated by the Alamanni; some argue that the Battle of Solicinium was fought at Spitzberg, a mountain in Tübingen, in AD 367, although there is no evidence for this. Tübingen first appears in official records in 1191, the local castle, Hohentübingen, has records going back to 1078 when it was besieged by Henry IV, king of Germany, its name transcribed in Medieval Latin as Tuingia and Twingia.
From 1146, Count Hugo V was promoted to count palatine, as Hugo I, establishing Tübingen as the capital of a County Palatine of Tübingen. By 1231, Tübingen was a civitas indicating recognition of a court system. In 1262, an Augustinian monastery was established by Pope Alexander IV in Tübingen, in 1272, a Franciscan monastery followed; the latter existed until Duke Ulrich of Würtemmberg disestablished it in 1535 in course of the Protestant Reformation, which the Duchy of Württemberg followed. In 1300, a Latin school was founded. In 1342, the county palatine was sold to Ulrich III, Count of Württemberg and incorporated into the County of Württemberg. Between 1470 and 1483, St. George's Collegiate Church was built; the collegiate church offices provided the opportunity for what soon afterwards became the most significant event in Tübingen's history: the founding of the Eberhard Karls University by Duke Eberhard im Bart of Württemberg in 1477, thus making it one of the oldest universities in Central Europe.
It became soon renowned as one of the most influential places of learning in the Holy Roman Empire for theology. Today, the university is still the biggest source of income for the residents of the city and one of the biggest universities in Germany with more than 22,000 students. Between 1622 and 1625, the Catholic League occupied Lutheran Württemberg in the course of the Thirty Years' War. In the summer of 1631, the city was raided. In 1635/36 the city was hit by the Plague. In 1638, Swedish troops conquered Tübingen. Towards the end of the war, French troops occupied the city from 1647 until 1649. In 1789, parts of the old town burned down, but were rebuilt in the original style. In 1798 the Allgemeine Zeitung, a leading newspaper in early 19th-century Germany, was founded in Tübingen by Johann Friedrich Cotta. From 1807 until 1843, the poet Friedrich Hölderlin lived in Tübingen in a tower overlooking the Neckar. In the Nazi era, the Tübingen Synagogue was burned in the Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938.
The Second World War left the city unscathed because of the peace initiative of a local doctor, Theodor Dobler. It became part of the French occupational zone. From 1946 to 1952, Tübingen was the capital of the newly formed state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern, before the state of Baden-Württemberg was created by merging Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern; the French troops had a garrison stationed in the south of the city until the end of the Cold War in the 1990s. In the 1960s, Tübingen was one of the centres of the German student movement and the Protests of 1968 and has since shaped left and green political views; some radicalized Tübingen students supported the leftist Rote Armee Fraktion terrorist group, with active member Gudrun Ensslin, a local and a Tübingen student from 1960 to 1963, joining the group in 1968. Although noticing such things today is impossible, as as the 1950s, Tübingen was a socioeconomically divided city, with poor local farmers and tradesmen living along the Stadtgraben and students and academics residing around the Alte Aula and the Burse, the old university buildings.
There, hanging on the Cottahaus, a sign commemorates Goethe's stay of a few weeks while visiting his publisher. The Ge
The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar; the official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself; the Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was known as Germany. Germany became a de facto republic on 9 November 1918 when Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated the German and Prussian thrones with no agreement made on a succession by his son Crown Prince Wilhelm, became a de jure republic in February 1919 when the position of President of Germany was created. A national assembly was convened in Weimar, where a new constitution for Germany was written and adopted on 11 August 1919. In its fourteen years, the Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism as well as contentious relationships with the victors of the First World War.
Resentment in Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles was strong on the political right where there was great anger towards those who had signed the Treaty and submitted to fulfill the terms of it. The Weimar Republic fulfilled most of the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles although it never met its disarmament requirements and paid only a small portion of the war reparations. Under the Locarno Treaties, Germany accepted the western borders of the country by abandoning irredentist claims on France and Belgium, but continued to dispute the eastern borders and sought to persuade German-speaking Austria to join Germany as one of Germany's states. From 1930 onwards President Hindenburg used emergency powers to back Chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz von Papen and General Kurt von Schleicher; the Great Depression, exacerbated by Brüning's policy of deflation, led to a surge in unemployment. In 1933, Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor with the Nazi Party being part of a coalition government.
The Nazis held two out of the remaining ten cabinet seats. Von Papen as Vice Chancellor was intended to be the "éminence grise" who would keep Hitler under control, using his close personal connection to Hindenburg. Within months, the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency: it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties. Hitler's seizure of power was permissive of government by decree without legislative participation; these events brought the republic to an end – as democracy collapsed, the founding of a single-party state began the dictatorship of the Nazi era. The Weimar Republic is so called because the assembly that adopted its constitution met at Weimar, from 6 February 1919 to 11 August 1919, but this name only became mainstream after 1933. Between 1919 and 1933 there was no single name for the new state that gained widespread acceptance, why the old name Deutsches Reich remained though hardly anyone used it during the Weimar period.
To the right of the spectrum the politically engaged rejected the new democratic model and cringed to see the honour of the traditional word Reich associated with it. The Catholic Centre party, Zentrum favoured the term Deutscher Volksstaat while on the moderate left the Chancellor's SPD preferred Deutsche Republik. By 1925, Deutsche Republik was used by most Germans, but for the anti-democratic right the word Republik was, along with the relocation of the seat of power to Weimar, a painful reminder of a government structure, imposed by foreign statesmen, along with the expulsion of Kaiser Wilhelm in the wake of massive national humiliation; the first recorded mention of the term Republik von Weimar came during a speech delivered by Adolf Hitler at a National Socialist German Worker's Party rally in Munich on 24 February 1929—it was a few weeks that the term Weimarer Republik was first used in a newspaper article. Only during the 1930s did the term become mainstream, both within and outside Germany.
According to historian Richard J. Evans: The continued use of the term'German Empire', Deutsches Reich, by the Weimar Republic....conjured up an image among educated Germans that resonated far beyond the institutional structures Bismarck created: the successor to the Roman Empire. After the introduction of the republic, the flag and coat of arms of Germany were altered to reflect the political changes; the Weimar Republic without the symbols of the former Monarchy. This left the black eagle with one head, facing to the right, with open wings but closed feathers, with a red beak and claws and white highlighting. By reason of a decision of the Reich's Government I hereby announce, that the Imperial coat of arms on a gold-yellow shield shows the one headed black eagle, the head turned to the right, the wings open but with closed feathering, beak and claws in red color. If the Reich's Eagle is shown without a frame, the same charg
Gymnasium, in the German education system, is the most advanced of the three types of German secondary schools, the others being Realschule and Hauptschule. Gymnasium emphasizes academic learning, comparable to the British grammar school system or with prep schools in the United States. A student attending Gymnasium is called a Gymnasiast. In 2009/10 there were 3,094 gymnasia in Germany, with c. 2,475,000 students, resulting in an average student number of 800 students per school. Gymnasia are public, state-funded schools, but a number of parochial and private gymnasia exist. In 2009/10, 11.1 percent of gymnasium students attended a private gymnasium. These charge tuition fees, though many offer scholarships. Tuition fees are lower than in comparable European countries; some gymnasia are boarding schools. Students are admitted at 10 years of age and are required to have completed four years of grundschule. In some states of Germany, permission to apply for gymnasium is nominally dependent on a letter of recommendation written by a teacher or a certain GPA, although when parents petition, an examination can be used to decide the outcome.
Traditionally, a pupil attended gymnasium for nine years in western Germany. However, since 2004, there has been a strong political movement to reduce the time spent at the gymnasium to eight years throughout Germany, nowadays most pupils throughout Germany attend the gymnasium for 8 years, dispensing with the traditional ninth year or oberprima, equivalent to the first year of higher education. Final year students take the abitur final exam; the gymnasium arose out of the humanistic movement of the sixteenth century. The first general school system to incorporate the gymnasium emerged in Saxony in 1528, with the study of Greek and Latin added to the curriculum later. Hebrew was taught in some gymnasia; the integration of philosophy and chemistry into the curriculum set the gymnasium apart from other schools. Due to the rise of German nationalism in the 1900s, the Gymnasium's focus on humanism came under attack, causing it to lose prestige. One of the harshest critics was Friedrich Lange, who assaulted the school's "excessive humanism and "aesthetic idealism.
He argued that they are not aligned with the aims of patriotism and the idea of Germanhood and that the country's history could provide the education and insights offered by the models of classical antiquity. After the Second World War, German education was reformed with the introduction of new system, content and ethos; the Gymnasium was retained, along with general schools. In Prussia, the Realgymnasium offered instead a nine-year course including Latin, but not Greek. Prussian Progymnasien and Realprogymnasien provided six- or seven-year courses, the Oberschulen offered nine-year courses with neither Greek nor Latin; the early twentieth century saw an increase in the number of Lyzeum schools for girls, which offered a six-year course. The rising prominence of girls' gymnasia was due to the ascendancy of the German feminist movement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, corresponding to the rising demand for women's university education. Co-educational gymnasia have become widespread since the 1970s, today, single-sex gymnasia are rare in Germany.
When primary school ended with the fourth grade and pupils left German basic secondary schools at the end of the ninth or tenth grade, the gymnasium used special terms for its grade levels: The introduction of French and English as elective languages in the early twentieth century brought about the greatest change to German secondary education since the introduction of the Realschulen in the eighteenth century. Today, German gymnasia teach English, French, or Latin as a compulsory primary foreign language, while the compulsory second foreign language may be English, Latin, Ancient Greek, Spanish or Russian; the German State of Berlin, where secondary education begins in the seventh year of schooling, has some specialised gymnasia beginning with the fifth year which teach Latin or French as a primary foreign language. Teaching English as a subject has a long history at the Gymnasium and this is demonstrated by the time-honoured practices and subject matter that are unique to the gymnasia and could be baffling to outsiders.
It is offered in the last three years at school. Although some specialist gymnasia have English or French as the language of instruction, most lessons in a typical gymnasium are conducted in High German; this is true in regions where High German is not the prevailing dialect. Curricula differ from school to school, but include German, informatics/computer science, chemistry, geography, music, philosophy, civics / citizenship, social sciences, several foreign languages. For younger students nearly the entire curriculum of a gymnasium is compulsory. S. high school. Academic standards are high as the gymnasium caters for the upper 25-35% of the ability range. Schools concentrate not only on academic subjects
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London; the city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, contiguous with its capital, Potsdam; the two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions. Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers and lakes; the city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics and science, its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a complex public transportation network; the metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras and entertainment venues, is host to many sporting events. Its Zoological Garden is one of the most popular worldwide. With the world's oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an popular location for international film productions; the city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the River Saale, that once constituted, together with the River Elbe, the eastern border of the Frankish Realm. While the Frankish Realm was inhabited by Germanic tribes like the Franks and the Saxons, the regions east of the border rivers were inhabited by Slavic tribes; this is why most of the villages in northeastern Germany bear Slavic-derived names. Typical Germanised place name suffixes of Slavic origin are -ow, -itz, -vitz, -witz, -itzsch and -in, prefixes are Windisch and Wendisch.
The name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city, it is therefore a canting arm. Of Berlin's twelve boroughs, five bear a Slavic-derived name: Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Spandau. Of its ninety-six neighborhoods, twenty-two bear a Slavic-derived name: Altglienicke, Alt-Treptow, Buch, Gatow, Kladow, Köpenick, Lankwitz, Lübars, Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg, Schmöckwitz, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Steglitz and Zehlendorf; the neighborhood of Moabit bears a French-derived name, Französisch Buchholz is named after the Huguenots. The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from 1192, remnants of a house foundation dated to 1174, found in excavations in Berlin Mitte; the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, profited from the staple right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, their internal administrations still being separated. In 1415, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his successors established Berlin-Cölln as capital of the margraviate, subsequent members of the Hohenzol
Hermann Müller (politician)
Hermann Müller was a German Social Democratic politician who served as Foreign Minister, twice as Chancellor of Germany in the Weimar Republic. In his capacity as Foreign Minister, he was one of the German signatories of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Hermann Müller was born on 18 May 1876 in Mannheim as the son of Georg Jakob Müller, a producer of sparkling wine and wine dealer from Güdingen near Saarbrücken, his wife Karoline from Frankfurt am Main. Müller attended the Realgymnasium at Mannheim and after his father moved to Niederlößnitz in 1888 at Dresden. After his father died in 1892, Müller had to leave school due to financial difficulties and began an apprenticeship at Frankfurt, he worked in 1893 joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Hermann Müller, a Social Democrat influenced by his father-an advocate of Ludwig Feuerbach's views-is the only German chancellor, not a member of any religion. From 1899 to 1906, Müller worked as an editor at the Socialist newspaper Görlitzer Volkswacht.
He was member of a party functionary. August Bebel nominated him in 1905 and 1906 for membership of the board of the national SPD. At that time, Müller changed from a left-wing Social Democrat to a "centrist", who argued against both the "revisionists" and against the radical left around Rosa Luxemburg. Together with Friedrich Ebert Müller succeeded in 1909 in creating the Parteiausschuss, to deal with internal arguments in between the party conventions. Known for his calm, industriousness and rationality, Müller lacked charisma. In 1909, he tried but failed to prevent Otto Braun's election to the board, laying the foundation for a long-running animosity between the two; as a result of his foreign language skills, Müller was the representative of the SPD at the Second International and at the conventions of socialist parties in other countries in western Europe. In late July 1914, Müller was sent to Paris to negotiate with the French socialists over a common stance towards the respective countries' war loan proposals.
No agreement was reached and before Müller was able to report back, the SPD had decided to support the first war loans in the Reichstag. During World War I, Müller supported the Burgfrieden, he was used by the SPD leadership to deal with arguments with the party's left wing and as an in-house censor for the party newspaper Vorwärts to avoid an outright ban by the military authorities. Müller was close to the group around Eduard David and supported both the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Russia and the entry of the SPD into the government of Max von Baden in October 1918. First elected in a by-election in 1916, Müller was a member of the Reichstag until 1918. In the German Revolution of 1918-19, Müller was a member of the Greater Berlin executive council where he represented the position of the SPD leadership, arguing in favour of elections to the Weimar National Assembly, he published a book on his experience during the revolution. In January 1919, Müller was elected to the National Assembly. In February 1919, Ebert became president of Germany and appointed Philipp Scheidemann as Ministerpräsident.
These two had been the joint chairmen of the SPD and now replacements had to be found. Müller and Otto Wels were elected with 291 out of 376 votes, respectively. Wels focused on internal leadership and organization, whilst Müller was the external representative of the party. In 1919 and 1920–28, Müller was leader of the parliamentary fraction in the National Assembly and the Reichstag, he was nominated as the chairman of the Reichstags' Committee on Foreign Affairs. After 1920, he was a candidate for the Reichstag for Franconia and changed his name to Müller-Franken, to distinguish himself from other members named Müller. After Scheidemann resigned in June 1919, Müller was offered to become his successor as head of government but declined. Under the new Ministerpräsident and Chancellor Gustav Bauer, Müller became Reichsaußenminister on 21 June 1919. In this capacity, he went to Versailles and with Colonial Minister Johannes Bell signed the peace treaty for Germany on 29 June 1919. After the resignation of the Cabinet Bauer, which followed on the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch in March 1920, Müller accepted Ebert's offer of becoming chancellor and formed a new government.
Under his leadership, the government suppressed the left-wing uprisings like that in the Ruhr area and urged the disarmament of paramilitary Einwohnerwehren demanded by the Allies. The newly created second Sozialisierungskommission admitted some members from the left-wing USPD because Müller felt that only that way would the workers be willing to accept the commission's decisions. In social policy, Müller's time as chancellor saw the passage of a number of progressive social reforms. A comprehensive war-disability system was established in May 1920, while the Law on the Employment of the Severely Disabled of April 1920 stipulated that all public and private employers with more than 20 employees were obligated to hire Germans disabled by accident or war and with at least a 50% reduction in their ability to work; the Basic School Law introduced a common four-year course in primary schools for all German children. Benefits for the unemployed were improved, with the maximum benefit for single males over the age of 21 increased from 5 to 8 marks in May 1920.
In May 1920, maximum scales that
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end. The Treaty ended the state of war between the Allied Powers, it was signed on 28 June 1919 in Versailles five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which had directly led to World War I. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I signed separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of Allied negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty; the treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919. Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required "Germany accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage" during the war; this article, Article 231 became known as the War Guilt clause. The treaty required Germany to disarm, make ample territorial concessions, pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers.
In 1921 the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion marks. At the time economists, notably John Maynard Keynes, predicted that the treaty was too harsh—a "Carthaginian peace"—and said the reparations figure was excessive and counter-productive, views that, since have been the subject of ongoing debate by historians and economists from several countries. On the other hand, prominent figures on the Allied side such as French Marshal Ferdinand Foch criticized the treaty for treating Germany too leniently; the result of these competing and sometimes conflicting goals among the victors was a compromise that left no one content: Germany was neither pacified nor conciliated, nor was it permanently weakened. The problems that arose from the treaty would lead to the Locarno Treaties, which improved relations between Germany and the other European powers, the re-negotiation of the reparation system resulting in the Dawes Plan, the Young Plan, the indefinite postponement of reparations at the Lausanne Conference of 1932.
Although it is referred to as the "Versailles Conference", only the actual signing of the treaty took place at the historic palace. Most of the negotiations were in Paris, with the "Big Four" meetings taking place at the Quai d'Orsay. On 28 June 1914 the Bosnian-Serbs assassinated the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary in the name of Serbian nationalism; this caused a escalating July Crisis resulting in Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, followed by the entry of most European powers into First World War. Two alliances faced off, the Triple Entente. Other countries entered as fighting ranged across Europe, as well as the Middle East and Asia. In 1917, two revolutions occurred within the Russian Empire; the new Bolshevik government under Vladimir Lenin in March 1918 signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, favourable to Germany. Sensing victory before American armies could be ready, Germany now shifted forced to the Western Front and tried to overwhelm the Allies, it failed. Instead the Allies won decisively on the battlefield and forced an armistice in November 1918 that resembled a surrender.
On 6 April 1917, the United States entered the war against the Central Powers. The motives were twofold: German submarine warfare against merchant ships trading with France and Britain, which led to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the loss of 128 American lives; the American war aim was to detach the war from nationalistic disputes and ambitions after the Bolshevik disclosure of secret treaties between the Allies. The existence of these treaties tended to discredit Allied claims that Germany was the sole power with aggressive ambitions. On 8 January 1918, President Woodrow Wilson issued the Fourteen Points, it outlined a policy of free trade, open agreements, democracy. While the term was not used self-determination was assumed, it called for a negotiated end to the war, international disarmament, the withdrawal of the Central Powers from occupied territories, the creation of a Polish state, the redrawing of Europe's borders along ethnic lines, the formation of a League of Nations to guarantee the political independence and territorial integrity of all states.
It called for a democratic peace uncompromised by territorial annexations. The Fourteen Points were based on the research of the Inquiry, a team of about 150 advisors led by foreign-policy advisor Edward M. House, into the topics to arise in the expected peace conference. After the Central Powers launched Operation Faustschlag on the Eastern Front, the new Soviet Government of Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany on 3 March 1918; this treaty ended the war between Russia and the Central powers and annexed 1,300,000 square miles of territory and 62 million people. This loss equated to a third of the Russian population, a quarter of its territory, around a third of the country's arable land, three-quarters of its coal and iron, a third of its factories, a quarter of its railroads. During the autumn of 1918, the Central Powers began to collapse. Desertion rates within the German army began to increase, civilian strikes drastically reduced
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party is a lay Catholic political party in Germany influential during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. In English it is called the Catholic Centre Party. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which Chancellor Otto von Bismarck launched in Prussia to reduce the power of the Catholic Church, it soon won a quarter of the seats in the Reichstag, its middle position on most issues allowed it to play a decisive role in the formation of majorities. In the early days of the Weimar Republic, the Centre Party was the second-largest party in the Reichstag. After the Reichstag Fire in early 1933, the Centre Party was one of the ones who voted for the Enabling Act, which granted dictatorial powers to Adolf Hitler. By this vote, the Centre Party destroyed itself, as the Nazi Party became the only permitted party in the country shortly thereafter. After World War II, the party was refounded, but could not rise again to its former importance, as most of its members joined the new Christian Democratic Union.
The Centre Party was represented in the German parliament until 1957. It exists as a marginal party based in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia; the Centre Party belongs to the political spectrum of "Political Catholicism" that, emerging in the early 19th century after the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, had changed the political face of Germany. Many Catholics found themselves in Protestant dominated states; the first major conflict between the Roman Catholic Church and a Protestant state was the "Colonian Church conflict", when the Prussian government interfered in the question of mixed marriages and the religious affiliation of children resulting from these. This led to serious aggressions against the Catholic population of the Rhineland and Westphalia and culminated in the arrest of the Archbishop of Cologne. At that time, one of the founding fathers of Political Catholicism was journalist Joseph Görres, who called upon Catholics to "stand united" for their common goals, "religious liberty and political and civil equality of the denominations".
The conflict relaxed with Frederick William IV's accession to the throne. The Revolution of 1848 brought new opportunities for German Catholics. In October, the bishops had their first meeting in 40 years in Würzburg and the local "Catholic Federations" assembled in Mainz to found the "Catholic Federation of Germany". In the National Assembly, convened to draw up a German constitution, a "Catholic club" was formed; this was not yet a comprehensive party, but a loose union aimed at protecting the Church's liberties in a future Germany, supported by many petitions from the " Pius federations for religious liberty". The demise of the National Assembly proved to be a major setback for Political Catholicism. In Prussia, the revised constitution of 1850 granted liberties, which in parts exceeded those of the Frankfurt draft constitution, yet two years the minister for culture, von Raumer, issued decrees directed against the Jesuits. In reaction this led to a doubling of Catholic representatives in the subsequent elections and the formation of a Catholic club in the Prussian Diet.
In 1858, when the "New Era" governments of Wilhelm I adopted more lenient policies, the club renamed itself "Fraction of the Centre" in order to open itself up to include non-Catholics. This name stemmed from the fact that in the Prussian Diet the Catholic representatives were seated in the centre, between the Conservatives on the right and the Liberals on the left. Faced with military and constitutional issues, where there was no definite Church position, the group soon disintegrated and disappeared from parliament after 1867. Growing anti-Catholic sentiment and policies, including plans for dissolving all monasteries in Prussia, made it clear that a reorganisation of the group was urgently needed in order to protect Catholic minority rights, enshrined in the 1850 constitution, to bring them over to the emerging nation state. In June 1870 Peter Reichensberger called on Catholics to unite and, in October, representatives of Catholic federations and the Catholic gentry met at Soest and drew up an election programme.
The main points were: Preservation of the Church's autonomy and rights, as accepted by the constitution. Defense against any attack on the independence of Church bodies, on the development of religious life and on the practice of Christian charity. Effectual implementation of parity for recognised denominations. Rejection of any attempt to de-Christianise marriage. Preservation or founding of denominational schools. There were more general demands such as for a more federal, decentralised state, a limitation of state expenditure, a just distribution of taxes, the financial strengthening of the middle classes and the legal "removal of such evil states, that threaten the worker with moral or bodily ruin". With such a manifesto, the number of Catholic representatives in the Prussian Diet rose considerably. In December 1870, they formed a new "Centre" faction called the "Constitution Party" to emphasise its adherence to constitutional liberties. Three months early in 1871, the Catholic representatives to the new national parliament, the Reichstag formed a "Centre" faction.
The party not only defended the Church's liberties, but supported representative government and minority rights in general, in particular those of German Poles and Hannoverians. The Centre's main leader was the Hannoverian advocate Ludwig Windthorst and other major figures included Karl Friedrich von Savigny, Hermann von Mallinckrodt, Burghard Freiherr von Schorlemer-Alst, the brothers August Reichensperger and Peter Reichensperger, Ge