The story of Germany, a key player in international geopolitical and economic affairs, is crucial to our understanding of global history and the contemporary world. Boasting the world's third-largest economy, Germany's growing financial might is increasingly matched by its diplomatic importance. The country maintains a key position in European affairs and supports a multitude of global partnerships.
While Germany has a history that stretches back to antiquity, it was first unified as a nation-state only in 1871, making it, in a sense, even younger than the United States. Located in the heart of Europe, Germany has experienced centuries of immigration, confrontation, and negotiation, and its borders, and what it means to be German, have evolved throughout the region's long and troubled history. After centuries of division, the German people are now unified by a shared set of civic values.
Covering the past 2,000 years of tragedies and triumphs, A Brief History of Germany provides a comprehensive and thorough account of the events, people, and customs and traditions that have shaped Germany from ancient times to the present.
Formation of a distinctive German language and culture during the Germanic migrations and the confrontation with Rome
Consolidation of medieval principalities in the wake of the collapse of Carolingian authority and the construction of the Holy Roman Empire
Tumultuous events of the Reformation and the devastation of the Thirty Years' War
Unification of Germany
Rise of Prussian imperialism in the 19th century
The two world wars, the rise of Nazism, and the Holocaust
Experience of a divided Germany during the cold war
The country's eventual reunification as the Federal Republic of Germany
Basic facts, a chronology, a bibliography, and a list of suggested reading make up the appendixes.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
List of Maps ix
List of Abbreviations x
1 Prehistoric Germany 1
2 Germania: Barbarian Germany 14
3 Medieval Germany 31
4 Reformation Germany 47
5 Confessional Germany and the Thirty Years' War 73
6 Absolutism and Enlightenment 89
7 Napoleonic Germany and the Revolution of 1848 105
8 Unification and Empire 126
9 The Great War and Weimar Germany 148
10 Nazism and World War II 180
11 The Cold War: Division and Reunification 197
12 Contemporary Germany 226
1 Basic Facts about Germany 245
2 A Brief Chronology of German History 249
3 Bibliography 257
4 Suggested Reading 262