Some important events

  • Charles the Great (or Charlemagne or Carolus Magnus) (742-814) expands the Frankish Kingdom. It incorporates much of Western and Central Europe.
  • 800: Charlemagne is crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III and thus holds the title of the ancient Roman Emperors (the Western Roman Empire had stopped to exist in 476).
  • The Franks were a West Germanic tribal confederation. Later wards, by historical evolution, they split up into different nations/identities. Charlemagne is considered the founding father of both the German and French monarchies.
  • 843: The Carolingian Empire is divided into three kingdoms by Charlemagne’s grandsons (Treaty of Verdun): Lothair receives the central provinces, Charles the Bald the western part and Louis the German the eastern part.
  • 962: The German King Otto is crowned Roman Emperor by the Pope. This is the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation).
  • arround 1450: Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press starts to be widely used.
  • 1517: Martin Luther (1483-1546)publishes his 95 Thesis.
  • 1522: Publication of Luther’s bible translation.
  • 1618-1648: Thirty Year’s War. With the Treaty of Westphalia, the German Empire is divided into a puzzle of mostly tiny states.
  • 1683: While the Turks besiege Vienna, Louis XIV (le roi soleil) not only refuses to join the ‘Holy Alliance’ but also annexes Alsace, Lorraine, and Straßburg, taking advantage of the absence of German defense forces in the south-western part of the Empire.
  • 1688-1697: During the Palatine Succession War, by orders of the French war minister Louvois (brûlez le Palatinat!), general Ezéchiel de Mélac pillages and devastates cities and regions in South Western Germany. His name becomes an antonomasia for exceptional brutality.
  • 1806: After defeating Prussia, Napoleon incorporates parts of Germany in his Empire. 16 German states are organized in the Confederation of the Rhine as client states of the French Empire.
  • 1813 to 1815: Wars of Liberation from.
  • 1840: French prime minister Adolphe Thiers’ claim that the Rhine should be France’s eastern border causes heavy tensions between Germany and France.
  • 1870: France declares war on Prussia. The context is a conflict about the succession on the Spanish throne (cf. the Ems Despatch).
  • 1871: Foundation of the German Empire (Deutsches Reich). The Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV becomes Emperor Wilhelm I.
  • 1914-1918: First World War.
  • 1939-1945: Second World War.
  • 1949: Foundation of the GFR (under supervision of the western Allies) and the GDR (under supervision of the USSR)
  • 1989: Collapse of the GDR (one year later also of the USSR) and reunification.
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