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Germany's Timeline

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AD 9

Germanic warriors decisively defeated Roman forces at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.

486

The Frankish king Clovis overran the Roman province of Gaul. Clovis introduced features of Roman life into western Germany.

843

The Treaty of Verdun divided Charlemagne’s empire into three kingdoms. The German kingdom soon divided into five duchies.

962

Otto I was crowned Holy Roman emperor in Aachen.

1075

A dispute between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII marked the beginning of a series of civil wars contesting church power.

1300s

The Hanseatic League was the supreme commercial and military power in northern Germany.

1517

Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation.

1555

The Peace of Augsburg recognized the right of princes to choose Lutheranism or Catholicism for their lands.

1648

The Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years’ War.

1740

Frederick the Great became king of Prussia and began building Prussia into a great power.

1806

The Holy Roman Empire came to an end with the establishment of the Confederation of the Rhine.

1815

The German Confederation was formed at the Congress of Vienna.

1848

Revolutions swept across Germany. The first German national assembly met at Frankfurt in the hopes of creating a more united country.

1871

Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck realized his dream of a united Germany as the German Empire was founded.

1918-1919

Germany was forced to accept harsh terms under the Treaty of Versailles that brought an end to World War I. The Weimar Republic was founded.

1933

Adolf Hitler and the Nazis assumed power.

1939

Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II.

1945

Allied armies occupied Germany and divided it into four zones of occupation. Nazi war criminals were tried at Nuremberg.

1949

Germany was divided into East Germany and West Germany. Berlin, in East Germany, was also divided between the two countries.

1955

East Germany became a Communist state, while West Germany became a parliamentary republic.

1961

The East German government built the Berlin Wall.

1989

The Communist government in East Germany collapsed, and the Berlin Wall was dismantled. Thousands of East Germans emigrated to West Germany.

1990

Germany was formally reunified under the government of the former West Germany.

1994

In a close election, Chancellor Helmut Kohl was returned to power for a fourth consecutive term.