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Chancellor of Germany (German Reich)

Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
Bundeskanzler(in) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Bundesadler Bundesorgane.svg
Angela Merkel Juli 2010 - 3zu4.jpg
Angela Merkel

since 22 November 2005
Executive Branch of the
German Federal Government
  • Madam Chancellor
  • Mrs. Chancellor
  • Excellency (in international correspondence)
Member of German Federal Cabinet
European Council
Appointer President of Germany
Term length 4 years
Inaugural holder Otto von Bismarck
  • 1 July 1867
  • 21 March 1871
  • 24 May 1949
First holder Konrad Adenauer
Salary €220,000 p.a.
Website bundeskanzlerin.de

The Chancellor of Germany is the head of government of Germany. The official title in German is Bundeskanzler() (literally, Federal Chancellor), sometimes shortened to Kanzler(). The term, dating from the early Middle Ages, is derived from the Latin term cancellarius.

In German politics, the Chancellor is equivalent to that of a prime minister in many other countries. German has two equivalent translations of prime minister, Premierminister and Ministerpräsident. While Premierminister usually refers to heads of governments of foreign countries (e.g., the United Kingdom), Ministerpräsident may also refer to the heads of government of most German states.

The current Chancellor is Angela Merkel, who is serving her third term in office. She is the first female chancellor, thus being known in German as Bundeskanzlerin (that particular word was never used officially before Merkel, but it is a grammatically regular formation of a noun denoting a female chancellor).

The modern office of Chancellor evolved from the position created for Otto von Bismarck in the North German Confederation in 1867; the Confederation evolved into a German nation-state with the 1871 Unification of Germany. The role of the Chancellor has varied greatly throughout Germany's modern history. Today, the Chancellor is the country's effective leader.

The office of Chancellor has a long history, stemming back to the Holy Roman Empire, when the office of German archchancellor was usually held by Archbishops of Mainz. The title was, at times, used in several states of German-speaking Europe. The modern office of Chancellor was established with the North German Confederation, of which Otto von Bismarck became Chancellor in 1867. After the Unification of Germany in 1871, the office became known in German as Reichskanzler (lit. "Chancellor of the Realm"), although it continued to be referred to as Chancellor in English. With Germany's constitution of 1949, the title Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor) was revived in German.


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