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Germany is a federation of 16 states and one of the world's industrialized countries. It is located in the center of Europe and is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland and to the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. With over 80 million inhabitants, Germany is Europe's largest country. It is the dominant superpower in the European Union.
As a nation occurs Germany first at remarkable coat of the German Empire 18 January 1871 in the Palace of Versailles, where the Prussian army has its headquarters after France lost the Franco-Prussian war. This was largely the result of Otto von Bismarck's endeavors. The concept of Germany, however, already used since medieval times for the German-Roman Empire, founded by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, where Charlemagne's empire was divided. The German-Roman Empire was imidlerlertid a rather loose federation of a number as well as sovereign king and fystendømmer, and some have been compared with the EU. The country's complicated history are treated in the article history of Germany and under the following main eras.
The country's head of state is the Federal President, who is elected by indirect election for a period of 5 years. The German president's role is non-political and ceremonial art, while the Federal Chancellor holds the central position. The president has the power to dissolve parliament before the end of the election period. To trap a German government required "constructive vote of no confidence." This means that a new candidate be proposed before the government can go. Richard von Weizsäcker was elected in 1984 and reelected in 1989. He was followed by Roman Herzog. The current conservative President Horst Köhler was elected in May 2004 and took office on 1 July of that year. He succeeded Social Democrat Johannes Rau. Angela Merkel becomes the country's chancellor in 2005.
The climate is temperate with a distinctly coastal climate in northern Germany. Hamburg has a mean temperature in the coldest month of 0.4 ° C and in the warmest of 16.6 ° C. The corresponding temperatures in Munich respectively -1.7 ° C and 17.3 ° C. The average rainfall per year in Hamburg are 744 mm and 948 mm in Munich.
Germany has a population of 83,251,851 inhabitants. The population is composed of several nations, most of which have their origins in the ancient Germanic tribes. Frisians in the northwest, nedersakserne west of the Elbe and Franks, Alemanni and Bavaria in southern parts of Germany. Many are related to Slavic, especially Polish, origin, and there is a significant Italian and Hungarian elements.
In 1990 lived well 62 million in the eleven old states in the western part of Germany, well 18 million in the five new in that part formerly constituted DDR. There are, however, significant regional differences in population density. Larger population centers are in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Rhine-Main area around Frankfurt, in the northern part of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Saxony.
The official language is German. Minority as Low German (Low German), Frisian, Danish and Sorbian are officially recognized, but not equated with the national language.
This konfesjonskartet reflect the situation around 1890. The red end of the spectrum = highest percentage of Protestants, blue = Catholics. This pattern has been fairly stable since the 1650s, and they usually have razor sharp followed the policy limits. However, the contours have been considerably weakened after World War II because of the large population movements and general urbanization.
Before World War II was about. two-thirds of the German population Protestants and the last third of Catholics. Going to a degree away from the big cities, one can say that the population confessional tilhøringhet has followed the policy limits, because it was the local princes who ruled what religion people were having. The vast majority joined by what was decided, only slightly led the political control of population movements. Today belongs to ca. two-thirds of the German population officially a Christian church, almost evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics (with a small majority of the former).
Protestants predominate in the north, while the Catholics have their center in the southern states and in western areas. Here it must be inserted that German Protestants not all Lutherans, but that there are also regional rural churches with a reformed ("Calvinist" character). In Württemberg there are also some Methodists, otherwise it occurred or acquired groups of Protestant Evangelicals touch or North American origin.
A large number of Germans leaving their communities because they thus can save a lot of tax. In many cases these Norwegians quit still consider themselves Christians. Since religion statistics relate to formal membership, thus the statistics are of the same degree of precision as before people became aware of this tax benefit.
Germany has just under 200,000 Jews, and the capital Berlin has the fastest growing Jewish population in the world. More Jews immigrating to Germany for time than Israel.
It should also ca. three million Muslims in Germany, mostly of Turkish origin. In some cities, such as Offenbach in Hesse, or districts, as Kreuzberg in Berlin, is the Turkish concentration very strong.
Germany, together with the U.S. and Japan, the three largest industrial countries in the world. The social market economy is the basis for economic policy. Germany's economy is larger than Britain and France combined, and Germany's economic power does a majority of the Eastern European countries fully dependent on German goodwill. Germany is the main trading partner for most European countries, including Norway.
Among the most prominent industrial branches electronics industry, arms industry, automobile industry, machine industry and chemical industry. Bokindustrien is the largest in the world.
Hardly any country has contributed so much to the world heritage of the German states. Germany is often called das Land der Dichter und Denker. Famous Germans includes composers such as JS Bach, Brahms and Beethoven, philosophers like Immanuel Kant, GWF Hegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and JG Fichte, theologians such as Hildegard von Bingen and Martin Luther, astronomers Nicolaus Copernicus, scientists like Einstein, Born and Max Planck, writers like Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Günter Grass, painters such as Albrecht Dürer and Franz Marc and poets like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and Heinrich Heine.
Berlin is often called the European City of Culture. Besides prestigious traditional institutions Staatsoper unter den Linden and the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin is Berlin a hotbed of creative young artists, both in music or visual art, theater and film. One of the world's major film festivals annually finds place in Berlin.