Timeline of German history

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This is a timeline that covers the history of the German peoples from ancient times to the present.

Charlemagne, by Albrecht Dürer, the coat of arms above him show the German eagle and the French Fleur-de-lis.


Germanic warriors storm the field at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9AD

*500 BC, the Germanic tribes appear in northern Germany, see the Nordic Bronze Age.[1]


Expansion of the Frankish Empire:
Blue = realm of Pippin III in 758,
Red = expansion under Charlemagne until 814,
Yellow = marches and dependencies




Frederick the Great during the Seven Years' War, painting by Richard Knötel.


The main theme of this era is the rise of German nationalism in the face of Napoleon's conquests, followed by the Unification of Germany under the auspices of Prussia. Austria is left out. Prosperity grows, based first on agriculture and end of serfdom, and after 1850 based on industry and railroads.

Chancellor Bismarck (left), War Minister von Roon, and Army Chief of Staff Moltke led Prussia in the 1860s
  • 1859-73 - Albrecht von Roon as Prussia's war minister; reforms the army
  • 1863 - Social Democratic Party of Germany (Socialist)formed
  • 1863 - Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria convenes congress of German princes at Frankfort; Prussia boycotts it and nothing results. Prussia seeks unified "Little Germany" (excluding Austria).
  • 1864 - Danish-Prussian War; Prussia and Austria defeat Denmark over control of Schleswig-Holstein, and then feud over who will be in charge
  • 1866 - Austro-Prussian War over control of Schleswig-Holstein; Italy and some small states support Prussia; Bavaria, Würtemberg, Saxony, Hanover, Baden, the two Hesses support Austria. Prussia invades Hanover, Hesse and Saxony; Prussia defeats Austria at Battle of Königgrätz, where Prussian tactics, technology (needle guns, railways) prove superior. Prussia expands from 19 million population to 23.5 as it absorbs Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Hesse, Nassau, the city of Frankfort; it also controls Saxony.[14]
The North German Confederation (red). The southern German states that joined in 1870 to form the German Empire are in orange. Alsace-Lorraine is in a paler orange
  • 1867-1870 - North German Confederation formed after German Confederation collapsed. It handles diplomatic and military affairs, as well as railways, for its members. Prussia has 24 million people and the other states 5 million; In the legislature Prussia had 17 of the 43 votes.


Between Berlin and Rome (1875) portrays Kulturkampf as chess game; in the end the Catholics prevail
The Triple Alliance of 1882-1914, shown in red. Italy stays neutral in 1914, then joins Allies in 1915; Turkey joins Germany and Austria


1939 - 1945 World War II[edit]

Further information: Timeline of World War II
  • 1939 -August Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact sets peaceful relations with USSR; agreement on splitting control of Poland and other countries in East Europe
  • 1939 - Sept. Invasion and quick conquest of Poland
  • 1941 Konrad Zuse builds his first computer, Z3
  • 1942 Wannsee Conference plans Holocaust
    • 1942-1945 Holocaust systematic killing of about 6 million Jews

1945 - 2014[edit]

Since 1990[edit]

See also[edit]

Cities in Germany


  1. ^ Malcolm Todd, The Early Germans(2004)
  2. ^ Julius Caesar, The Gallic Wars: Julius Caesar's Account of the Roman Conquest of the Gauls ed. by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn (2012)
  3. ^ James, Edward (1991). The Franks. 
  4. ^ Uta-Renate Blumenthal, The Investiture Controversy: Church and Monarchy from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century (1991)
  5. ^ Henry Kamen, "The Economic and Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War," Past and Present (1968) 39#1 pp 44–61 in JSTOR
  6. ^ Theodore K. Rabb, "The Effects of the Thirty Years' Wr on the German Economy," Journal of Modern History (1962) 34#1 pp. 40-51 in JSTOR
  7. ^ E. J. Aiton, Leibniz: A Biography (1985)
  8. ^ Peter Paret, "Frederick the Great:A Singular Life, Variably Reflected," Historically Speaking (Jan. 2012) 13#1 online
  9. ^ Guy Stanton Ford, Stein and the era of reform in Prussia, 1807-1815 (1922 online)
  10. ^ G. Barraclough, The Origins of Modern Germany (1947) p 408
  11. ^ Sam A. Mustafa (2011). Germany in the Modern World: A New History. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 95. ISBN 9780742568020. 
  12. ^ G. Barraclough, The Origins of Modern Germany (1947) p 409
  13. ^ Martin Gilbert (2004). The First World War. Macmillan. p. 32. ISBN 9780805076172. 
  14. ^ Dennis E. Showalter, The Wars of German Unification (2004)
  15. ^ Jonathan Steinberg, Bismarck: A Life (2011)
  16. ^ Rebecca Ayako Bennette, Fighting for the Soul of Germany: The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion After Unification (2012)
  17. ^ W. N. Medlicott, Bismarck, Gladstone, and the Concert of Europe (1969)
  18. ^ Elizabeth Trueland (2003). International Co-operation and Conflict 1890s-1920s. Heinemann. p. 15. ISBN 9780435326906. 
  19. ^ A.N. Wilson, Hitler (2012)
  20. ^ James Stuart Olson; Robert Shadle (1991). Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism. Greenwood. p. 279. ISBN 9780313262579. 
  21. ^ D. M. Giangreco and Robert E. Griffin, Airbridge to Berlin: The Berlin Crisis of 1948, Its Origins and Aftermath (1988)
  22. ^ Bolgherini, Silvia, ed. (2010). Germany After the Grand Coalition: Governance and Politics in a Turbulent Environment. Palgrave Macmillan.  |first2= missing |last2= in Editors list (help)

Further reading[edit]

  • Biesinger, Joseph A. Germany: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present (2006)
  • Bithell, Jethro, ed. Germany: A Companion to German Studies (5th ed. 1955), 578pp; essays on German literature, music, philosophy, art and, especially, history. online edition
  • Buse, Dieter K. ed. Modern Germany: An Encyclopedia of History, People, and Culture 1871–1990 (2 vol 1998)
  • Clark, Christopher. Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947 (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Craig, Goordon. Germany, 1866-1945(1978), 845pp online
  • Detwiler, Donald S. Germany: A Short History (3rd ed. 1999) 341pp; online edition
  • Fulbrook, Mary. A Concise History of Germany (2004)
  • Heilprin, Louis (1885). "Germany". Historical Reference Book...Chronological Dictionary of Universal History. New York: D. Appleton and Company – via Hathi Trust. 
  • Holborn, Hajo. A History of Modern Germany (1959–64); vol 1: The Reformation; vol 2: 1648–1840; vol 3: 1840–1945
  • Kirk, Tim. Cassell's Dictionary of Modern German History (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Koch, H. W. History of Prussia (1987)
  • Little, Charles E. (1900), "Germany", Cyclopedia of Classified Dates, New York: Funk & Wagnalls 
  • Maehl, William Harvey. Germany in Western Civilization (1979), 833pp; focus on politics and diplomacy
  • Overall, W., ed. (1870). "Germany". Dictionary of Chronology. London: William Tegg. 
  • Raff, Diether. History of Germany from the Medieval Empire to the Present (1988) 507pp
  • Reinhardt, Kurt F. Germany: 2000 Years (2 vols., 1961), stress on cultural topics
  • Sagarra, Eda. A Social History of Germany 1648–1914 (1977, 2002 edition)
  • Schulze, Hagen, and Deborah Lucas Schneider. Germany: A New History (2001)
  • Scheck, Raffael. Germany, 1871-1945: A Concise History (2008), 264pp online
  • Sheehan, James J. German History, 1770-1866 (Oxford History of Modern Europe) (1993) excerpt and text search
  • Taylor, A.J.P. The Course of German History: A Survey of the Development of German History since 1815. (2001). 280pp; online edition; excerpt and twext search
  • Townsend, George Henry (1867), "Germany", A Manual of Dates (2nd ed.), London: Frederick Warne & Co. 
  • Vincent, Benjamin (1910), "Germany", Haydn's Dictionary of Dates (25th ed.), London: Ward, Lock & Co. 
  • Watson, Peter. The German Genius (2010). 992 pp covers many thinkers, writers, scientists etc. since 1750
  • Williams, ed. (1908). "Chronological Summary of the History of the Germanic Empires". Germanic Empires. Historians' History of the World 15. London: Hooper & Jackson. 

External links[edit]