Timeline and History Overview
- 500 - Germanic tribes move into northern Germany.
- 113 - Germanic tribes begin to fight against the Roman Empire.
- 57 - Much of the region is conquered by Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire during the Gallic Wars.
- 476 - German Goth Odoacer becomes King of Italy signaling an end to the Western Roman Empire.
- 509 - The King of the Franks, Chlothar I, took control of much of Germany.
- 800 - Charlemagne is crowned the Holy Roman Emperor. He is considered the father of the German monarchy.
- 843 - The Treaty of Verdun divides the Frankish empire into three separate regions including East Francia, which would later become the Kingdom of Germany.
- 936 - Otto I is crowned King of Germany. The Holy Roman Empire is centered in Germany.
- 1190 - The Teutonic Knights are formed.
- 1250 - Emperor Frederick II dies and Germany becomes a number of independent territories.
- 1358 - The Hanseatic League, a powerful group of merchant guilds, is established.
- 1410 - The Teutonic Knights are defeated by the Polish at the Battle of Grunwald.
- 1455 - Johannes Gutenberg first prints the Gutenberg Bible. His printing press will change the history of Europe.
- 1517 - Martin Luther publishes his 95 Thesis which marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
- 1524 - German peasants revolt against the aristocracy.
- 1618 - The Thirty Years' War begins. It is fought largely in Germany.
- 1648 - The Thirty Years' War comes to an end with the Treaty of Westphalia and Treaty of Munster.
- 1701 - Frederick I becomes the king of Prussia.
- 1740 - Frederick the Great becomes king. He expands the German Empire and supports the sciences, arts, and industry.
- 1756 - The Seven Years' War begins. Germany allies with Britain against France, Austria, and Russia. Germany and Britain win.
- 1756 - Famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born.
- 1806 - The French Empire under Napoleon conquers much of Germany.
- 1808 - Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is first performed.
- 1812 - German writers the Brothers Grimm publish their first collection of folk tales.
- 1813 - Napoleon is defeated at the Battle of Leipzig in Germany.
- 1848 - German philosopher Karl Marx publishes The Communist Manifesto which would be the basis for Marxism and communism.
- 1862 - Otto von Bismarck is elected Prime Minister of Prussia.
- 1871 - Germany defeats France in the Franco-Prussian War. The German states are unified and the national parliament, called the Reichstag, is established.
- 1882 - The Triple Alliance is formed between Germany, Austria, and Italy.
- 1914 - World War I begins. Germany is part of the Central Powers with Austria and the Ottoman Empire. Germany invades France and Russia.
- 1918 - World War I ends and Germany is defeated.
- 1919 - The Treaty of Versailles is signed forcing Germany to pay reparations and give up territory.
- 1933 - Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
- 1934 - Hitler declares himself Fuhrer.
- 1939 - World War II begins when Germany invades Poland. Germany is part of the Axis alliance including Germany, Italy, and Japan.
- 1940 - Germany conquers much of Europe.
- 1941 - Germany declares war against the United States after Pearl Harbor.
- 1945 - World War II in Europe ends when the German army surrenders to the Allies.
- 1948 - The Berlin Blockade occurs.
- 1949 - Germany is split into East and West Germany.
- 1961 - The Berlin Wall is built.
- 1973 - East and West Germany both join the United Nations.
- 1989 - The Berlin Wall is torn down.
- 1990 - Germany is reunified into a single country.
- 1991 - Berlin is named the capital of the new unified country.
- 2002 - The Euro replaces the Deutsche Mark as the official currency.
- 2005 - Angela Merkel is elected as the first woman Chancellor of Germany.
President Reagan at the Berlin Wall
The area that is now Germany was inhabited by Germanic speaking tribes for many centuries. They first became part of the Frankish Empire under the rule of Charlemagne, who is considered the father of the German monarchy. Much of Germany also became part of the Holy Roman Empire. From 1700 to 1918 the Kingdom of Prussia was established in Germany. In 1914 World War I broke out. Germany was on the losing side of the war and is estimated to have lost 2 million soldiers.
East Germany was a communist state under control of the Soviet Union, while West Germany was a free market state. The Berlin Wall was built between the two countries to prevent people from escaping from East Germany to the West. It became a central point and focus of the Cold War. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism, the wall was torn down in 1989. On October 3, 1990 East and West Germany were reunited into one country.
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