Politics in Germany - University of Mississippi

Politics in Germany - University of Mississippi

Politics in Germany Historical Legacies Federal Republic of Germany Population: 82 million The most populous country in Europe except for Russia 68 million in the former West Germany Area: about 3 times that of Mississippi Britain ~ 2/3 Germany Germany ~ 2/3 France

area (square miles) population (in thousand) 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000

50,000 0 Britain France Germany A World Power Third largest economy in the world

behind U.S. and Japan largest in Europe GDP ($bln) of G7 Countries 1980-2008 Canada 16000 14000 12000 10000

8000 6000 4000 2000 0 France

Germany Italy Japan United Kingdom United States GDP Per Capita of G7 Countries 1980-2008

Canada 50,000.00 45,000.00 40,000.00 35,000.00 30,000.00 25,000.00 20,000.00 15,000.00 10,000.00 5,000.00 0.00

France Germany Italy Japan United Kingdom United States

Historical legacy Late development in creation of the nation and state industrialization democratization consolidation of democracy Remarkable achievement in postwar economic development postwar democratic consolidation

Build the nation state Second German Empire (1871) industrialization devastated by World War I (1914 - 1918) Weimar Republic (1919) first real experience with democracy economic problems war reparations Great Depression (1929) Democracy broke down

Weimar Republic lost popular/elite support Nazi won 33% of popular vote in 1932 institutions of Weimar Republic dismantled The Third Reich (1933 - 1945) Germany in ruins military and civilian deaths industry and transportation

destroyed food scarcity Occupation Germany divided West Germany Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) East Germany German Democratic

Republic (GDR) East Germany, West Germany Both were formed in 1949 Basic Law of FRG (West Germany) Both had economic miracle (1950s - 70s) sustained & unprecedented economic growth East Germany still lagged behind Both were integrated into alliances West: European Community & NATO

East: Warsaw Pact Reunification 1990-10-03 Impact of Soviet politics Gorbachev reforms in 1980s GDR opened the Berlin border November 1989 GDRs first free election March 1990

Unification of the FRG October 1990 German Economy 1980-2008 GDP Growth % 10 8 6 4

2 0 -2 Unemployment % A federal system Federal Republic of Germany federal government (Bund)

16 states (Lander) Other federal systems United States Unitary systems Great Britain France Federalism Usually described as a division of power spatial or territorial division

component units are geographically defined states (e.g., U.S., India, Australia) provinces (e.g., Canada) Lander (e.g., Germany and Austria) cantons (e.g., Switzerland) regions (e.g., Belgium) A federal system Federal Republic is divided into 16 states 10 states (Lander) in the West 6 states (Lander) in the East including Berlin

differences in historical traditions, social structure, dialect, and economy state jurisdiction in education, culture, law enforcement, and regional planning more governmental overlap than U.S. A federal system A parliamentary system central institution of the federal government

bicameral parliament Bundestag (lower house) Bundesrat (upper house) Chancellor chief executive President (mostly ceremonial role) A bicameral parliament Bundestag primary legislative body

669 deputies directly elected Bundesrat represent state governmts at the federal level 69 members (3 - 6 per state) appointed by state government

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