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East Germany Table of Contents

East Germany

Table A. Chronology of Important Events

Date        Events

ca. 500 B.C.-A.D. 100
       Germania. Roman army defeated by Suevian tribe at Battle   
       of the Teutoburg Forest in A.D. 9 and routed from central  
       Germania. Romans subsequently reconquered Germania west of 
       the Rhine and Danube rivers and constructed fortified      

ca. A.D. 100-600
       Collapse of western Roman Empire: last Roman emperor,      
       Romulus Augustus, deposed in 476 by German armies led by   
       Odovacar. Frankish tribes settled Gaul (France); Lombards  
       settled northern Italy; Anglo-Saxons settled Britain.


Merovingian Dynasty (ca. 500-751)
       Merovingian kings ruled the Frankishtribes. Clovis,        
       Frankish king 486-511, ruled over Gaul's mixed Germanic-   
       Roman people. Pepin the Younger, Frankish king 741-68,     
       founded Carolingian Empire in 752.

Carolingian Empire (752-911)
       Frankish rule reached from the Spanish marches into        
       central Germany. The ""Donation of Pepin"" (754-56)        
       established the Papal States. Charles the Great            
       (Charlemagne), Frankish king 768-814, conquered Lombardy   
       in 774. Carolingian Empire, known as First Reich,          
       established 800; Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor    
       (HRE) by pope. Louis I (Louis the Pious) HRE 814-40.       
       Treaty of Verdun (843) divided Carolingian Empire among    
       Charlemagne's three grandsons.Germany, France, and Middle  
       Kingdom delineated and imperial title linked with Middle   
       Kingdom. Louis II (Louis the German) ruled east Frankish   
       tribes 843-76. Charles III (Charles the Fat), German king  
       876-87 and HRE (881). Arnulf of Carinthia, German king     
       887-99 and HRE (896). Barbarian invasions weakened         
       Carolingian rule; German duchies of Franconia, Saxony,     
       Thuringia, Swabia, and Bavaria rose to power. Louis IV,    
       German King 900-911. Conrad I (Conrad of Franconia)        
       elected German king (911-18) following extinction of       
       Carolingian Empire in the east.

Saxon Dynasty (919-1024)
       Frankish and Saxon nobles elected Henry I(Henry the        
       Fowler) German king (919-36). Subordination of duchies.    
       Otto I (Otto the Great), German king 936-73, gained        
       control of the Middle Kingdom, and the Holy Roman Empire   
       of the German Nation began. German empire extended to the  
       Elbe, and in the south to Vienna. Otto II, HRE 973-83.     
       Otto III, HRE 983-1002. Henry II (Henry the Saint), HRE    

Salian Dynasty (1024-1125)
       Conrad II, Duke of Franconia, founded Salian Dynasty;      
       elected HRE (1024-39). Henry III, HRE 1039-56. Henry IV,   
       HRE 1056-1106, challenged Pope Gregory VII. Investiture    
       Controversy and civil war, 1075-1122; German empire        
       weakened and German princes began rise to power. Henry V,  
       HRE 1106-25. The compromise Concordat of Worms (1122)      
       settled papal-imperial struggle. Lothar III, Saxon noble,  
       elected HRE (1125-37).

Hohenstaufen Dynasty (1138-1254)
       Hohenstaufen kings struggled to restore imperial           
       authority. Conrad III elected German king (1138-52).       
       Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa), HRE 1152-90,           
       proclaimed a general peace to restore order and stability. 
       Beginning of Age of Chivalry. Italian expeditions to       
       regain imperial control of Middle Kingdom. Henry VI, HRE   
       1190-97. Civil war, 1198-1214. Frederick II, HRE 1212-50,  
       restored imperial administration in Italy and Sicily, but  
       German princes gained concessions. Imperial statute of     
       1232 established the secular and ecclesiastical princes as 
       virtually independent rulers within their own territories  
       (principalities). Great Interregnum, 1256-73; anarchy and  
       civil war. German princes gained power and vied for        
       imperial title; Habsburgs of Austria provided all German   
       kings and emperors from mid-fifteenth century until        
       dissolution of Holy Roman Empire in 1806.

Early Habsburg Dynasty (1273-1519)
       Rudolf of Habsburg elected German (1273-91); acquired      
       Austria and Styria in 1282 and made Habsburgs the          
       strongest German dynasty. Adolf of Nassau elected German   
       king (1292-98). Albert I (Habsburg) elected German king    
       (1298-1308). Henry VII of Luxemburg, HRE 1308-13, founded  
       dynasty that seriously rivaled Habsburgs from its power    
       base in ohemia. Louis IV (Louis the Bavarian) of House of  
       Wittelsbach, HRE 1314-47. Charles IV of Luxemburg, HRE     
       1355-78, issued Golden Bull of 1356, which granted German  
       princes power to elect emperor and provided basic          
       constitution of Holy Roman Empire. Wenceslas of Bohemia,   
       German king 1378-1400. Rupert of Palatinate, German king   
       (1400-10; Sigismund of Luxemburg, HRE 1400-37, last non-   
       Habsburg emperor until 1742. Habsburgs: Albert II, German  
       king 1438-39; Frederick III, HRE 1440-93; Maximilian I,    
       HRE 1493-1519.

       Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses in Wittenberg  
       in 1517 and challenged papal authority. Charles V HRE      
       1519-56. Publication in 1520 of Luther's three             
       revolutionary pamphlets. Luther banned by church and       
       empire in 1521. Charles V's wars against France in 1521-   
       26, 1526-29, 1536-38, and 1542-44. Vienna threatened by    
       Turks in 1529. Diet of Augsburg, 1530; Protestant          
       ""Augsburg Confession"" presented and Protestant League of 
       Schmalkalden formed by German princes. War of Schmalkalden 
       (1546-47) between Charles V and Protestant princes. Peace  
       of Augsburg, 1555; Catholicism and Lutheranism formally    
       recognized in Germany and each prince given right to       
       decide religion to be practiced in his territory.          
       Ferdinand I, HRE 1556-64. Maximilian II, HRE 1564-76.      
       Rudolf II, HRE 1576-1612. Matthias, HRE 1612-19. Bohemian  
       Revolt, 1618; imperial armies defeated Bohemians at Battle 
       of the White Mountain near Prague in 1620. Thirty Years'   
       War (1618-48); Peace of Prague signed in 1635;             
       continuation of war by France; Peace of Westphalia, 1648.  
       End of Holy Roman Empire as a European power .

RISE OF PRUSSIA (1648-1815)
       Frederick William, the Great Elector of Brandenburg-       
       Prussia (1640-88), of Hohenzollern Dynasty, established    
       absolute rule. Frederick III, elector of Brandenburg-      
       Prussia (1688-1713), assumed title of king in 1701.        
       Frederick William I, Prussian king 1713-40, created        
       Prussian civil and military bureaucracy. Frederick II      
       (Frederick the Great), Prussian king 1740-86; Seven Years' 
       War (1756-63) against Austria demonstrated discipline of   
       Prussian armies. Frederick William II, Prussian king 1786- 
       97. Frederick William III, Prussian king 1797-1840.        
       Privileges of nobility within officer corps cast aside     
       during War of Liberation against France.

       Congress of Vienna (1814-15) after Napoleon's defeat in    
       the War of Liberation (1813-15) established German         
       Confederation of thirty-nine monarchical states. Prince    
       Klemens von Metternich, Austrian chancellor and foreign    
       minister (1809-48) headed confederation. Reversion to old  
       order of social distinctions under Age of Metternich.      
       Struggle between absolutism and liberalism during          
       Vormärz (1815-48). Student unions agitated for      
       democratic reform. Carlsbad Decrees (1819) outlawed        
       radical student organizations. Weimar, Bavaria, Baden, and 
       Württemberg enacted constitutions, 1818-19. ""July         
       Revolution"" in France, 1830, sparked revolutionary        
       movements in Germany; Hesse and Saxony enacted             
       constitutions. Brunswick, Hanover, and Oldenburg enacted   
       constitutions in 1833. Zollverein (Customs Union) created  
       in 1834. March 1848 revolution in Germany.

Frankfurt Assembly (May 1848)
       planned constitutional German nation-state. Frederick      
       William IV, Prussian king 1840-61, refused German crown in 
       1849; Frankfurt Assembly dissolved. German Confederation   
       restored in 1851. Prussia agreed to relinquish plans for a 
       German union under its leadership in Treaty of Olmütz.     
       Wilhelm I, Prussian king 1861-88; Otto von Bismarck,       
       chancellor 1862-90, united Germany. Constitutional         
       struggle, 1862-66; Prussian king vied with German liberals 
       in parliament on issue of budget for military expansion;   
       Schleswig-Holstein War, 1864. Seven Weeks' War (1866)      
       between Austria and Prussia; German Confederation          
       dissolved and Austria excluded from German politics.       
       Austro-Hungarian Empire created in 1867. North German      
       Confederation (1867) headed by Prussia. Franco-Prussian    
       War, 1870-71. Second Reich--Germany united as nation-      

       Wilhelm I, German emperor 1871-88. Bismarck, chancellor    
       1871-90. Antisocialist law enacted 1878. Dual Alliance     
       (1879): Germany, Austria-Hungary. Domestic alliance        
       between aristocrats and industrialists. Comprehensive      
       social legislation program, 1881. Triple Alliance (1882):  
       Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. German colonies       
       established 1884-85 in South-West Africa, Togo, the        
       Cameroons, East Africa, and some Pacific islands.          
       Frederick III, German emperor March 9-June 15, 1888.       
       Wilhelm II, German emperor 1888-1918. Bismarck's fall,     
       1890. Leo von Caprivi, chancellor 1890-94. Prince Chlodwig 
       zu Hohenlohe, chancellor 1894-1900. Naval Bill (1898)      
       began naval race against Britain. Bernhard von Bülow,      
       chancellor 1900-1909. Moroccan crisis, 1905, in which      
       Germany intervened in French and British sphere of         
       influence. Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, chancellor 1909- 
       17. Moroccan crisis, 1911, in which Germany sent gunboat   
       to port of Agadir. New Naval Bill, 1912. Balkan Wars,      
       1912-13, a nationalist rebellion against Ottoman rule.     
       Assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand (June   
       28, 1914) in Sarajevo, Bosnia; Austria's declaration of    
       war on Serbia. World War I (1914-18); Germans defeated.

       November Revolution, 1918; Wilhelm II's abdication. Social 
       Democrats proclaimed republic. German armistice (November  
       11). Suppression of revolt by Spartacus League in January  
       1919. Treaty of Versailles, 1919. Social Democrat          
       Friedrich Ebert elected president (1919-25). Right-wing    
       Kapp Putsch attempted, 1920. Communist revolts in central  
       Germany, Hamburg, and Ruhr district, 1921. Occupation of   
       Ruhr by French and Belgian troops, 1923. Hitler's beer     
       hall putsch attempted in Munich. Gustav Stresemann,        
       chancellor August-November 1923 and foreign minister 1923- 
       29, formulated policy of rapprochement with West. Dawes    
       Plan on reparations, 1924. French-Belgian troops withdrawn 
       from Ruhr, 1925. Paul von Hindenburg, World War I army     
       commander, elected president (1925-34). Locarno treaties,  
       1925, and Treaty of Berlin with Soviet Union, 1926.        
       Germany joined League of Nations, 1926. Young Plan on      
       reparations, 1929; Allied troops withdrawn from Rhineland, 
       1930. Depression Years (1929-33) andcabinet crises.        
       Heinrich Brüning, chancellor 1930-32; government by        
       presidential decree (Article 48 of the Weimar              
       Constitution). Franz von Papen, chancellor May-December    
       1932; Hitler's National Socialists won 230 Reichstag seats 
       in July 1932 elections and emerged as Germany's strongest  
       political party. Kurt von Schleicher, chancellor December  
       1932-January 1933. President Hindenburg appointed Hitler   
       to chancellorship on January 30, 1933.

THIRD REICH (1933-45)
       Reichstag fire, February 1933; Hitler demanded             
       presidential emergency decree. Enabling Act (March 1933)   
       accorded Hitler's cabinet dictatorial powers. Germany      
       declared one-party National Socialist state, July 1933.    
       Death of Hindenburg, August 1934; Hitler combined offices  
       of president and chancellor. German rearmament, 1935.      
       Rhineland remilitarized in 1936 and Berlin-Rome Axis       
       formed. At secret conference (November 1937) Hitler        
       announced intention to begin eastward expansion. Austrian  
       Anschluss (annexation) in March 1938. Czechoslovak         
       Sudetenland annexed, October 1938. Germany occupied Czech- 
       populated provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, March 1939.    
       Poland invaded in September 1939. World War II (1939-45).

       Yalta Conference (February 1945) determined division of    
       Germany into occupation zones. Soviet occupation zone came 
       under political and economic domination of Soviet Union;   
       Communist Party of Germany and Social Democrats merged to  
       form Socialist Unity Party of Germany on April 1946.       
       German Democratic Republic (East Germany) proclaimed       
       October 7, 1949; German Communist, Walter Ulbricht, first  
       secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (1949-   
       71). Stalinization, 1949-55. East Germany joined Comecon   
       (see Glossary) in 1950. Workers' uprising, June 1953. East 
       Germany granted formal sovereignty by Soviet Union, 1954.  
       Joined Warsaw Pact in 1956. Berlin Wall built August 1961. 
       New Economic System--economic reform program, 1963-67.     
       Ulbricht dismissed May 1971; Honecker named new party      
       leader, and détente negotiations begun. Ideological        
       Abgrenzung (demarcation) between East Germany and   
       West Germany. Four Power Agreement on Berlin, 1971. Basic  
       Treaty between East Germany and West Germany (1972)        
       recognized two German states. Admission to United Nations, 
       1973. Tenth Party Congress (1981) confirmed East Germany's 
       commitment to Soviet Union.

Data as of July 1987

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