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Gott mit uns
"God with us"
Germany on the eve of World War I
States of the German Empire (Prussia shown in blue).
Whitaker's data for 1890
62.8% Protestant (Lutheran, Reformed, Prussian United)
Federal constitutional monarchy
(until October 1918)
Federal Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
(October 1918 to November 1918)
|•||1871–1890||Otto von Bismarck (first)|
|•||1918||Friedrich Ebert (last)|
|Historical era||New Imperialism/First World War|
|•||Unification||18 January 1871|
|•||Constitution adopted||16 April 1871|
|•||First World War||28 July 1914|
|•||German Revolution||3 November 1918|
|•||Armistice declared||11 November 1918|
|•||Abdication of Wilhelm II||28 November 1918|
|•||Treaty of Versailles||28 June 1919|
|•||1910||540,857.54 km² (208,826 sq mi)|
|Density||120 /km² (310.9 /sq mi)|
South German gulden, Bremen thaler,
(until 1873, together)
German gold mark,
|Today part of||
|Area and population not including colonial possessions
Area source: Population source:
The German Empire (German: Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich) was the historical German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in November 1918, when Germany became a federal republic (the Weimar Republic).
The German Empire consisted of 26 constituent territories, with most being ruled by royal families. This included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies (six before 1876), seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, and one imperial territory. Although the Kingdom of Prussia contained most of the Empire's population and territory, it played a lesser role. As Dwyer (2005) points out, Prussia's "political and cultural influence had diminished considerably" by the 1890s.
After 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron (and later steel), chemicals, and railways. In 1871 it had a population of 41 million people, and by 1913 this had increased to 68 million. A heavily rural collection of states in 1815, the united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, technological, and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country.
|German and a foreign language||252,918||0.45|
|Other foreign languages||14,535||0.03|
|Imperial citizens on 1 December 1900||56,367,187||100|
|Elsaß-Lothringen||France||Départements of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin (both within Alsace region), and département of Moselle (northeastern part of the Lorraine region)|
|Eupen-Malmedy||Belgium||Two towns of Eupen and Malmedy and the municipalities of Amel, Büllingen, Burg-Reuland, Bütgenbach, Kelmis, Lontzen, Raeren, Waimes and St. Vith (all are parts of the province of Liège in Wallonia region on the Belgian-German border)|
|Duivelsberg/Wylerberg||Netherlands||Duivelsberg/Wylerberg, an uninhabited hill (as well as some nearby slivers of land) annexed by the Netherlands after WWII|
|Nordschleswig||Denmark||South Jutland County (excluding towns of Taps, Hejle and Vejstrup), and the towns of Hviding, Roager and Spandet|
|Hultschiner Ländchen||Czech Republic||Hlučín Region, on the Czech-Polish border in Silesia, from which most of Germans were deported following WWII|
|Schlesien, Ostbrandenburg, Ermland, Masuren, Westpreußen, Provinz Posen, southern Ostpreußen, central and eastern parts of Pommern||Poland||Northern and western parts of the country, including Pomerania, Silesia, Lubusz Land, Warmia and Masuria, from all of which Germans were deported following WWII|
|Memelland||Lithuania||Klaipėda Region from which Germans were deported following WWII|
|Northern Ostpreußen||Russia||Kaliningrad Oblast exclave on the Baltic, from which Germans were deported following WWII|
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