Germany by 38wPld



Affluent Economy (despite the
 disequilibria between the Eastern and
 the Western parts of the country)
Unstable territorial limits
Divided between 1945 and 1990.
  Difficult but successful unification
 First Reich: Charlemagne (800 AD)
 Religious divisions (Protestant Reformation
  1517- Southern Germany remains Catholic,
  while the North shifts to Protestantism).
 Different regional versions of spoken
 The ―Thirty Years’ War‖ (1618-1648)
  destroyed an emerging middle class
 1648: the Treaty of Westphalia divides
  Germany into 360 political entities
  From Napoleon to Bismark (1806-1871)
• Bonaparte’s occupation forced the creation of a
  confederation (30 states governed by the same
  codified laws)
• France’s defeat (1815)
• Congress of Vienna  Confederacy of 41 states
  Privileged concessions to Prussia (land)
     Hohenzollern monarchy + Junkers
        Elimination of trade barriers: Industrial
    development (iron and steel)—Working Class
                  Industrial Feudal Society
     1848 Wave of anti-monarchical revolutionary
    movements throughout Europe—Failed Democratic
    Revolution in Germany
             Second Reich
   (1871, after the Franco-Prussian war)
 Chancellor Otto von Bismark (divided
  executive: Chancellor/Kaiser or emperor)
 Weak liberal and democratic traditions
  (neutralization of the Reichstag, Bundesrat
  controlled by Junkers)
 Oppositional groups:
  SPD (Social Democratic Party), 1875. Oldest
  social- democratic party in the world.
 Non-German minorities and small ethnic
 German Catholics (turned into the Christian
  Democratic Party later on)
    Problems associated with the
    Late unification of Germany.
•   Difficulties to developing a modern state
•   Nationalism and militarism
•   Authoritarian culture
•   Expansionism (Colonization in Africa) and
    engagement in wars, until WWI in 1914
     – Dramatic defeat - The Versailles Treaty
       blamed Germany for the war, took out its
       colonies, and imposed the country
       impossible reparations
     – See Maps
      1919 The Weimar Republic
 The Kaiser was removed
 Modern Democratic Republic
 Weak parliamentary democracy with popular
  election of the president
   The president could dismiss the chancellor,
    dissolve the parliament and had emergency powers
 No effective mechanisms to enforce people’s
 Lack of democratic traditions, lack of
  legitimacy (imposed by the victorious allies),
  catastrophic economic situation (1920s
  1920s – Growth of Nazism
1924- The Nazis, a very small party
  Increasing political instability
1929 Depression
1932. The Nazis win a third of the
  German vote, and President
  Hindenburg names Hitler as
  chancellor on January 1933
             The Third Reich
 After the burning of the Reichstag in February and a
  Nazi electoral victory in March,
 The Nazi Party establishes a legislative majority and
  passes legislation for Hitler to rule by decree for 40
  years Third Reich
 Expansionism (Saar, Czech lands, Poland)
 1939 Britain and France declared war
 Summer 1940 - Germany ruled over almost all of
 1941 – Final Solution: Death Camps (six million Jews
  and a similar amount of ―inconvenient Christians‖
  (Gipsies, Poles, others) plus leftists and homosexuals
  were annihilated.
 1945- The Allies win the war
            A Divided Germany
 February 1945, Postdam: the Allies divide
  Germany (and Berlin) into four military
  occupation zones
  Denazification and Democratization
 Britain, France, and the U.S. combine their
  zones and create the Federal Republic of
  Germany (FRG) in May 1949.
   Self-governed since 1949. Chancellor
    Adenauer (1949-1963) (CDU). ―German
 The Soviets create the German Democratic
  Republic (GDR) in October 1949.
         • Modern Germany resulted from foreign
                   Basic Law
•   Created in 1949 as a temporal document
    – In 1990, it became the German Constitution
    – Amended several times
    Three Principles:
    1. Germany is a Federal Republic
    2. Germany is a State based on the rule of law
       (―militant democracy‖)
    3. Germany guarantees the social welfare of
       its citizens (individuals in community…
       Social welfare is seen as naturally provided
       by the State)
              Basic Law
• Political Freedom requires the
  acceptance of political obligation
  (neither activities nor associations can
  be directed against the constitutional
   Strengthening Institutions
• Incorporation of many checks and
  balances within the political system
• Diffusion of power within a federal
• The primacy of the rule of law means
  that the decisions of parliamentary
  majorities are subject to review by the
  Federal Constitutional
Federal Republic of        German Democratic
   Germany                    Republic
1. 1949-1969: Adenauer & 1. 1949-1961-Socialism (the
   other Christian            Berlin Wall)
   Democratic leaders/     2. 1961-1970 (greater
   Economic                   material benefits/GDR
   ―miracle‖/Parliamentary    becomes a socialist
   System/Social Welfare      State)
   Constitution + economic 3. 1971-1985 (starts
   growth =stability &        opening and relies
   success                    increasingly on the West)
2. 1969-1982:Social        4. 1985-1989—liberalization
   Democrats (Willy Brandt    and attempts to
3. 1982-1990: CDU/ the        reunification
   Green Party
     Problems of Reunification
• October 3, 1990 (Dissolution of the GDR and
  unification of Germany)
• Imbalance (all of the FRG institutions prevail)
• Difficult economic integration of a former
  socialized economy into the market
• Economic and social problems
  – Westeners felt they had to pay for the integration
  – Easteners did not feel their situation improved
    (many lost their property/jobs)
• Xenophobia and resurrection of neo-nazism
  (problem ―solved‖ in 1992/3)
 Enlarging the ―Social Market
       Economy‖ (195)
• Christian & Neo-Liberal synthesis
• Attempt to balance the inequalities
  resulting from the market
• Comprehensive Welfare System
  – Protection of the population through
    guaranteeing standards
     • Still, there are large disparities (between
       Westeners and Easteners, gender, class)
  German Strong Federalism
16 Länder: education, police, mass
 media (imbalance)
Different versions of spoken German
 in the regions
Federal legislative powers
State level organized Administration
 and Justice system
Head of State: the President (five years, two-term limit),
 chosen by a Special Federal Convention (members of the
 Federal Assembly + delegates sent by state parliaments).
 Ceremonial (since July 2004, Horst Koehler)

Head of Government: the Chancellor, elected by the
  Bundestag for four years—Powerful. Selects all cabinet
  members (approx 20, head committees in the
  Bundestag) (Gerhard Schroeder since 1998)
  (Constructive vote of no confidence: the Bundestag may dismiss a
  chancellor only if a successor is designated)
  -The Chancellor’s Office (Chief of Staff… competes with
  the cabinet)
        Bicameral legislature:
 Bundestag: ―the parliament of a parliamentary
  system of government.‖ 656 members (now
  669… 603?) 4-year term. Largest parliament
  among democracies. (Fraktionen, or
  parliamentary parties mirror the Committee
  system 23 standing committees)
 Bundesrat (upper house): elected indirectly,
  represents the interest of the Länder. Gvts. of
  the Länder (regions) send members to choose
  representatives. Increasing power.
            Multi-Party System.
 ―Two-Plus‖ or ―Two and one-half‖ party system:
  German governments almost always consist of one
  large party in coalition with one small party

Traditional Parties:
  – Christian Democratic Union (& Christian Social
  – Social Democratic Party
  – Free Democratic Party
  (72.1% in 1949, 98% in 1980, 90.4% in 1987)

New Parties:
    The Greens (1983)
    Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)
     Last election for the Federal
     Assembly (September 2002)

•   SPD 38.5% (251 seats)
•   CDU/CSU 38.5% (248 seats)
•   Alliance '90/Greens 8.6% (55 seats)
•   FDP 7.4% (47 seats)
•   PDS 4% (2 seats)
     The German electoral system
 Mixed system, combination of single-member
  districts and proportional representation (5%
  threshold unevenly implemented)
 Goals: Plurality + Stability
 Two Ballots: Voters vote for
  – An individual candidate and
  – A party list
 For the Bundestag: ½ through SMD (328), ½
  through PR. PR votes determine % of seats.
  The number of seats that each party receives is
  determined by the percentage of votes they win in
  an election
 Corrective mechanism: candidates directly
  elected automatically win their seats.
             The Judiciary
-Rechstaat or ―law state.‖
-Uniformed and integrated Judiciary (more
  than 20,000 judges) as strong as the
  American Court system. In both the U.S.
  and Germany the Supreme Court reviews
  the constitutionality of laws
   Federal Constitutional Court
2 Chambers or Senates (8 justices each,
  chosen for one 12-year term).
Roman Law (codified)
                New Problems
•   Aging population
•   High (structural) unemployment
•   Unfinished unification
•   Multiethnic and multi-religious (Catholics,
    Lutherans, & now also Muslim) society (arrival
    of immigrants since the 1950s), many of them
    – Until 1993: generous policy of political asylum. Its
      limitation generated the ―Asylum controversy‖
    – ChallengeAssimilation of immigrants
• Redefinition of Germany’s international role
  after the consolidation of the EU
       State Administration
• Decentralized Federalism (5 levels)
• 5 Levels
  – National
  – Land
  – Administrative Districts
  – Counties
  – Independent cities

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