Talk:History of Germany/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

(1) I think it should be Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (singular) (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation), but i don´t know if this is correct in english.

(2) Should we write ß and umlaute (ö instead of oe ...) in german words?


As much as I believe that most foreign words should be written with a full set of diacritics uncertainty about how a system will interpret these makes me hesitant on a couple of fronts. Will the other guy's computer show the same character as mine? How will these special characters be alphabetized?

I've been merrily including umlauts aplenty: has anyone out there had trouble viewing them? (Here they are, just as examples: ä,ö,ü, which should look like a,o,u with two dots above each) User:David Parker

  • OK, I've typically used alt+0228 for ä (the "&-uml" format seems terribly awkward), and I can be just as merry as you with that. Perhaps I was overreacting to the Wiki-rule that words should be in English, and I still have concerns. I don't know if the system is capable of distinguishing that Godel and Gödel are meant to be the same thing by different people. Many English speaking people have a horrible time knowing what to do with diacritics. This says nothing about how to handle languages with characters outside of ISO 8859-1. User:Eclecticology

2002-04-28 In my opinion, please use umlauts heavily. The Latin-1 character set (which this wiki defaults to) has support for all those characters, and I can see no problems arising with that. Godel and Gödel are two completely different things in German. Now, for those who -- unlike me -- have no German keyboard, the alt-keys work, or the following HTML circuventions:

  • ä -> ä
  • ö -> ö
  • ü -> ü
  • ß (sharp s) -> ß
  • Ä -> Ä
  • Ö -> Ö
  • Ü -> Ü

As you can see, these are case sensitive; there is no capital sharp-s in German. -- djmutex

Update: Also see the Umlaut page for a detailed reference. Djmutex 15:30 20 May 2003 (UTC)

No historians believe that the Magna Germania recorded by Tacitus was a govermental confederation. No one.

Agreed. How does one ask Larry for a rollback? This is a mess.

Ok -- and let me make this PERFECTLY CLEAR. The Carolingians NEVER tried to unite the existing German tribes/peoples. They didn't care. They were Germanic rulers who kept their power by providing lands and plunder to their warriors. To do this, they had to expand their territory. Now, they may well have wanted to create a great Empire -- maybe -- but really, they were just reinforcing Carolingian clout and it had NOTHING to do with some romanticized idea of "us Germans against the world". Culturally, the Carolingians were much more interested in emulating Roman/Christian ideas of imperium. None of the Carolingians ever demonstrated that they thought the Carolingian kingdoms needed only one ruler. Who got to be Emperor was a fairly minor detail....stop the insanity at once!!! I will be back to clean up the Germanic tribes through the establishment of the HRE under Otto. So there! JHK

the new introduction is wonderful! We need much the same sort of thing for France (hint, hint!) --MichaelTinkler

I agree with M. Tinkler's note . I really like the introduction . H. Jonat

Referring to post-reunification Germany as "the new country" isn't really correct -- West Germany (but not East Germany) and post-reunification Germany are legally one and the same entity, and the former West Germany is dominant within Germany. East and West Germany didn't merge -- the West absorbed the East. -- SJK

The article as it sounds looks like a history of modern Germany to me: perhaps it should be called that? Why can't we reserve the history of Germany for, well...the history of Germany? You say the history of Germany is very complex and vague; well, why not say precisely that in the article? --Larry Sanger

This, as with most other articles outlining a country's history needs a chronological flow. I've been working on the Library of Congress Classification articles, and Class D in that system may give a basis for organizing some of this. For German history by period LC begins with a breakdown into three periods with the years 481 and 1519 as the dividing lines. Each period can then be logically broken down again at appropriate historical events. I'll consider reorganizing the text and inserting headings when I've finished with the LC outline.--User:Eclecticology

What the article really needs is filling out somewhat, notably the slight gap (yes, I noticed it too!) between 962 and 1806: but please note the references to other entries which should eventually carry part of the coverage - Holy Roman Empire and the various states: at the moment we certainly have a shortfall in that neither the Germany nor HRE article carries the history of the period, though some of the narrower states are coming along gradually. The Germany article certainly shouldn't end up containing everything that was going on in the area during this period - much of that belongs in the Empire, states or lesser regions.

What it definitely doesn't want is chopping into minute chronological subdivisions - I can think of nothing more guaranteed to disrupt the historical flow, especially in a country so diverse and constitutionally diffuse. If you want a chronology, then by all means start a chronology - I'll be happy to contribute (I like dates: I just cant't imagine anything worse than writing "1519-1618: In 1519 this happened. In 1525 that happened" and then calling it a history). What most of Wilkipedia's "history" articles need is to free themselves from the tyranny of dreary redundant narrative which makes so many lifted articles unreadable - that can all be included in the framework of a chronology proper.

And I wouldn't rely on the LoC as a leading authority in this matter: the importance of 481 to most of Germany is what, precisely? And what of the 10th century? Or the Black Death or the economic revival around 1470? All they've done with 1519 is to take the Imperial succession closest to 1517, so that the prehistory of the Reformation, the Peasant War etc. are cut off from the events themselves: that's not history, it's chronological subdivision - fine in a library history classification but worse than useless in writing history. User:David Parker

  • In 481 Clovis I became the first Merovingian king. I agree with your views. I was really suggesting nothing more than a series of headings where people could fill in the details. Mediaeval period could then begin with a sub-heading "Merovingian kings". Showing these headings may encourage people to fill in the details, and discourage unnecessary sub-pages. As an analogy, pie-crusts alone are not very appealing to the taste until they have received a filling, but some cooks hesitate to make pies because they can't get the crust right; I'm merely suggesting to make a supply of pie crusts available for these cooks.--User:Eclecticology
I accept that such headings may sometimes serve as an invitation to enter text, but I'm still concerned that they reinforce a particular approach. My point about 481 is that Childeric I's death was an event of very limited relevance to most Germans at the time (though the 5th century as a whole is obviously of great importance}. If we think in terms of long overlaps a broad periodisation need not be unhelpful, but I wouldn't have "Merovingians" as a section in Germany - it's already an article. I think it's such links that we ought to be making more use of, so that an article headed "History of Germany" can offer a broad outline of the development of the country as a whole. User:David Parker
I think that the headings are unnecessary. In fact, there are very good reasons that they should not be included until more is written. Try looking at history of Poland which is terrible. It needs tons of editing. Anyhow, putting headings in first requires knowing what the headings should be -- and I'm not at all sure that the Merovingians should be included. in fact, I'm not sure that any of the history before Henry the Fowler should be included in a "history of Germany' except as an overview of what had happened before. THis is one of the major reasons I've not done any serious copyediting or writing on this particular article. As a medievalist who specializes in the Carolingian east, I would say that even under Ludwig der Deutsch, there is little to support an idea of a German nation. I vote with David on this. User:JHK

I removed this:

Industrialization of Germany

Roughly between the Congress of Vienna and the Franco-Prussian War, Britain reaped the benefits of being the world’s sole modern, industrial nation. Following the defeat of Napoleon, Britain was the ‘workshop of the world’, meaning that its finished goods were no longer produced so efficiently and cheaply that they could often undersell comparable, locally manufactured goods in almost any other market. If political conditions in a particular overseas markets were stable enough, Britain could its economy through free trade alone without having to resort to formal rule or mercantilism. Britain was even supplying half the needs in manufactured goods of such nations as Germany, France, Belgium, and the United States.
As ther newly industrial powers, such as France, Germany, and the United States, rose, however, Britain's comparative advantage in trade of any finished good began diminishing, and it began to face far stiffer competition. Britain’s share of world trade fell from one-forth in 1880, one-sixth in 1913, and one-eight in 1948. Britain was no longer supplying half the needs in manufactured goods of such nations as Germany, France, Belgium, and the United States.

Age of Aggressive National Rivalry, New Imperialism

Following the lead of Britain under Disraeli, even the once hesitantly imperialistic Bismarck was eventually brought to realize the value of colonies for securing (in his words) “new markets for German industry, the expansion of trade, and a new field for German, activity, civilization, and capital”. Examples of strategic competition following the passing of the scene of Bismarck, the era’s premier diplomat, that would intensify the drive to consolidate existing spheres of influence and grab new colonies, include the Moroccan Crisis of 1905, the Tangier Crisis resulting from Kaiser Wilhelm’s recognition of Moroccan independence, an the second Moroccan Crisis, in which Germany sent its navy to Morocco, thereby testing the precarious Anglo-French Entente. The Entente Cordiale, in fact, was a gentleman’s agreement between Britain and France to curtail further German expansion. The Entente Cordiale and the Franco-Russian alliances were also made because of a common interest.
The absolutist Central Powers, led by a newly unified, dynamically industrializing Germany, with its expanding navy—doubling in size between the Franco-Prussian War and the Great War—were a strategic threat to the markets of these relatively declining empires that would one day consist of the Great War Allies. British policymakers feared the prospect of another German military victory over France, which could have reasonably resulted in a German take-over of France’s formal colonies, a sort of reversal of the actual outcome of the Great War, after which Britain occupied the vast majority of German and Ottoman colonies as “protectorates”. This prospect was especially frightening considering that French colonies tended to be closely situated to Britain’s; Nigeria, for instance, was surrounded by French territory, India was near French Indochina, and so forth.

The first paragraph has nothing to do with Germany but talks about Britain's strength. The next two paragraphs contain some valuable material but were at the wrong position: they have to moved somewhere else. AxelBoldt 00:31 Dec 24, 2002 (UTC)

There needs to be some more depth in the transitional period between the fall of rome and the founding of the Holy Roman Empire. I'll look into this later. The most probable source is The Barbarian West - Reboot

Lengthy Suggestion. In my years of university, I have spent quite a bit of time on legal history and was thus forced into general German history to quite some extent as well. Thus having a bit of a perspective, I would like to make the following suggestions and request for comments:

The article is very good on modern history, but appears to be somewhat indecisive about what to do with earlier times. As noted in the epilogue at the bottom of the article, there are several other in-depth articles covering specific aspects of German history... but some is included in this article anyway, leading to duplication. The epilogue does point to the important article, but this should be done from the respective sections in the main text.

  • I would think that a detailed Holy Roman Empire history in this article would be overwhelming for most readers, who are probably mostly looking for the modern times. As Samuel Pufendorf aptly stated, the Empire was monstro simile. I would be willing to work on the Holy Roman Empire article to contain the main lines of how this strange beast developed, with a focus on the process of how the Reich slowly disintegrated into a bunch of largely independent states.

    See my new entry on Reichstag (institution) which hints at what I'd be interested in concerning the institutions. (Note that the bottom of it, under "Collection of Imperial Records", is left from the original Reichstag article, and I didn't quite know what to do with it.) Another focus would have to be made on Feudalism, without which the Empire cannot really be understood.

    So if nobody objects, I'd start reworking the Holy Roman Empire and then the respective section here.
  • There seems to be little about the time between 1806 and 1871. Information about the 1848 revolution appears to be completely missing, although this is certainly one of the more important events... or did I just not find it? Since the period is relatively short, I'd suggest including this in the main "History of Germany" article.
  • There is lots of information here about 1871-1918, while the information about the Weimar Republic is in a separate article. This looks illogical. I'd say move the section into German Empire.
  • The Weimar Republic article needs quite some work, IMO. That period is important for the understanding about how the Nazis could happen... although I'd rather work on the Nazi times first.
  • Several good articles exist on the Nazi times, although with duplication and lacking a bit of focus. Some good information is in this article; other in Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler, and for the military aspects (which I have little interest in anyway), the WW2 article looks very good.

    However, information about the destruction of Weimar in the time of 1933-34 by the Nazis looks little focused. For that, I have already added quite a bit of detail about the context of the Gleichschaltung (see Reichstag fire, Reichstag Fire Decree for examples; the Enablement Act would be next on my list, and I was thinking of making the Gleichschaltung entry sort of a reference item about how the Nazis took power.

In summary, this would be my "to-do list" for history of Germany:

  1. Only very short introductions about the time before 1806 (probably in three sections: Rome, Frankish empire, Holy Roman Empire), and clearly point to at least three articles with the details. The Franks overlap with French history anyway.
  2. There should be some information about the 1806-1871 time here.
  3. For the time from 1871-1918, I suggest moving the present text from here to German Empire, stripping it to introductions as with #1.
  4. Add a short section with an introduction to the Weimar Republic, rework Weimar Republic and clearly link to that.
  5. Same with the Nazism section and Gleichschaltung and Nazi Germany.
  6. Then focus on post-war Germany in the main text, as the present text looks excellent.

Please comment. :-) -- djmutex

Update (2003-04-30): I have rewritten most of Holy Roman Empire for starters. It's become quite lengthy, and it's not yet done, and it's basically about broad lines how and why the Empire disintegrated. Still need to fill in many more dates. -- djmutex

Update: Weimar Republic has been greatly extended, and I moved some information from this page over there. I have integrated the meta-information from the bottom article (where nobody finds it before being entirely confused) as links into the main text, where appropriate. I also restructured some of the headings a bit. Still left to do is moving the 1871--1918 period into German Empire, and more work on Weimar Republic and Holy Roman Empire. -- Djmutex 15:30 20 May 2003 (UTC)