History of Germany Essay

1416 Words 6 Pages
Germany, a country rich in culture and heritage, yet plagued by the fallout of World War I and World War II, has progressed to become the centerpiece of the European Union and the world’s third richest economy. The first German Empire dates back to the Roman Empire starting in the 8th century AD. During the Middle Ages the German Empire fended off many attacks against their soil from the Hungarians and the Slavs. Fighting and power struggles continued until the 1400’s, when the modern world gradually came into existence with intellectual, economic and political changes.

During the late 1490’s and early 1500’s, Maximilian I put into motion his plan to reform the German Empire by creating an Imperial Supreme Court (Reichskammergericht),
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Using the assassination of Austrian archduke Frances Ferdinand and his wife as a catalyst for the invasion of Yugoslavia, Germany formed an alliance with Austria and fuse for World War I was lit.

On August 3rd, 1914, after Russia refused to demobilize its forces that were protecting Yugoslavia, Germany declared war on France, saying that they had infringed upon Germany’s territory. Germany proceeded West, taking over Belgium and mobilizing its forces on Frances eastern border. England entered the war because of the invasion of Belgium and eventually other nations followed as their interests were attacked. On November 11, 1918, the War was officially over with the signing of an armistice.
During the course of the following year the Treaty of Versailles was drafted and presented to the German people on May 7, 1919. The Germans thought the treaty was too harsh and called for too many concessions on both the geographic and economic front. A war-torn Germany already had a disadvantaged post-war economy, and the Treaty of Versailles made things worse. By 1922, the German Mark was only worth 1/100th of its value in 1914 (K. Joseph & G. Owen).

In 1923, in order to attempt to stabilize the declining economy, the basis of the Mark was changed to gold instead of industrial assets. Germany also received a loan from America of $800 million that was to be used towards rebuilding
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