Germany History and Economy

As a country that is a member of European Union defined by, Germany, officially Federal Republic of Germany (in German Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is a country of Central Europe which is part of the European Union (EU). It limits the north with the North Sea, Denmark and the Baltic Sea ; to the east with Poland and the Czech Republic ; to the south with Austria and Switzerland, and to the west with France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The territory of Germany covers 357,021 km ² and has a temperate climate. With more than 82 million residents, it represents the largest population among the member states of the European Union and is home to the third largest group of international emigrants, the income per Hab / USD is 1,29,500. The words German and Germany come from Latin and were used in ancient times by the Romans to refer to the Alamanni – it is not the same as Germans – the Germanic people closest to the territory of the Roman Empire. Hence it was used to name the entire country. In addition to German, the use of the Germanic name is also widespread, derived from the name by which the Romans referred to the non-Roman tribes of central Europe, whose territory they called Germania.

From the 10th century on, the German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire that lasted until 1806. During the 16th century, the northern regions of the country became the center of the Protestant Reformation. As a modern nation-state, the country was unified in the midst of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. After World War II, it was divided into two separate states along the Allied occupation lines in 1949 but the two states were reunified again in 1990. He was a founding member of the European Community (1957), which became the European Union in 1993.

It is part of the Schengen zone and adopted the common European currency, the Euro, in 1999. The change from the German mark to the new common currency took place on December 31, 2001, starting to be used as a means of payment from January 1, 2002.

German Federal Republic

In 1949, the Allied High Commission (the Western Tripartite Zone) ratified and promulgated the Basic Law, which made the future Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) a federal state (11 and later ten Länder) and independent, but still occupied by the allied powers, which also retained important powers in military and diplomatic matters.

Elections for the first Bundestag took place in August 1949. The three major parties emerged, which from now on were to take over the essentials of German political life: the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Liberal Party (FDP).

The first elected president of the republic (September 1949), Theodor Heuss, appointed Konrad Adenauer, leader of the CDU, to the post of Chancellor The federal republic, proclaimed sovereign state in 1955, concentrated two-thirds of the German population and received economic support of the United States in its strategy against the USSR. In 1982, the Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl became Chancellor.

The new Christian-Liberal coalition won the federal elections of March 1983 and January 1987. Kohl remained Chancellor while Richard von Weizsaecker (CDU) acceded to the Presidency of the Republic (elected in 1984 and reelected in 1989). From 1989, the FRG had to face the problems posed by the result of the annexation of the GDR.

German Democratic Republic

In October 1949 the German Democratic Republic was formed, whose first president was Wilhelm Pieck. Led by the Unified Socialist Party, the GDR was born in the eastern part of the country -the most economically backward-. Under the dual leadership of Otto Grotewohl, head of government from 1949 until his death in 1964, and Walter Ulbricht, president of the council of state from 1960, the GDR gradually overcame the enormous economic difficulties arising from the war, from the division of Germany and the subversion from the FRG, which motivated, in 1961, the construction of the Berlin Wall.

The priority given to heavy industry and the production of capital goods placed the GDR, since 1963, at the head of the socialist states in industrial production per capita. In 1976, Erich Honecker succeeded Willi Stoph as president of the Council of State. Serious errors in the leadership of the country and the bureaucratic confrontation with complex international situations produced a series of popular demonstrations that were stimulated from abroad. The main leaders of the country – among them Honecker and Stoph – resigned and the GDR ended up absorbed by the FRG.


Due to the development of its economy, it is considered in general terms as the fourth world power and the first in Europe, which is why it is known as the Locomotive of Europe. In 2006, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded 3 trillion US dollars. Its industrial assets are diverse; The main types of manufactured products are means of transport, electrical and electronic equipment, machinery, chemicals, synthetic materials, and processed foods. It is a source of wealth and that is reflected in the growing economy of central Europe. With extensive road infrastructure and an excellent standard of living, it is one of the most developed nations in the world.

In the words of former Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Germany is ” world export champion”, given the favorable movement in the country’s foreign trade since 2004, which has given the Germans an export surplus. France is Germany ‘s most important trading partner and vice versa. In 2005, France, with 10.2%, was once again the main destination of German exports and the origin of 8.7% of imports. In 2006, more than 14% of French exports went to Germany and about 17% of total French imports came from Germany.

The countries of the European Union are the main buyers of German products (United Kingdom 7.8% and Italy 6.9% in 2005). Germany’s main trading partner outside Europe is the United States, a country to which in 2005 it made 8.8% of its exports and from which it received 6.6% of its imports.

The Deutsche Bundesbank (Central Bank) and the European Central Bank (ECB) are headquartered in the city of Frankfurt am Main. In 2006, the construction of the European Central Bank building began.

Germany History and Economy