History – staatsrecht.honikel.de

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The Basic Law was not developed from nothing, but based on previous democratic tendencies.


Early period (- ~450 AD)

smaller groups of person's live together in loose federations (for example Franconia, Alemannen, Saxonia), direct will formation by the people, parts of South Germany belong to the Roman empire

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Frankish Kingdom (~450 - ~950)

Gradual development to the absolute hereditary monarchy, Karl der Große (~800)

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962 - 1806

Roman realm of German nation

The early Middle Ages (~900 - ~1200)

Feoff state with noble ones and emperor at the top, absolute monarchy, formation of a state with different social status: Aristocracy and clerymen, citizens as well as farmers

The high Middle Ages / the late Middle Ages (~1200 - ~1500)

Emperor loses power, the aristocracy wins more independence, city federations for example the Hanse attain great economic importance

Early modern times (~1500 - ~ 1650)

Religion fights, 30 years of war, the individual national princes prevail independently of the emperor, dividing of the realm in more and more, smaller and smaller units (several hundred small territories in the area of the today's Federal Republic)

Modern times (~1650 - ~1800)

Absolutism, formation of larger rule territories, dualism between Prussia and the Habsburger monarchy (Austria)


Federal Constitution of the United States of America, model for later European constitutions


French revolution ("liberty, equality, fraternity"), liberal ideas affect also Germany, in particular in those areas bordering to France


Farmer release in Prussia


During a negotiation at the highest Court of Justice of the US in the case Marbury against Madison the president of the court John Marshall gives a theoretical reason for the requirement of the jurisdiction to check the legislation for agreement with the constitution, an important aspect of the distribution of responsibilities thereby is developed for the first time


Formal dissolution of the German realm as consequence of the wars with Napoleon

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Prussian city order with urban autonomy

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1815 - 1866

German Federation, a confederation of states after the Viennese congress


Constitution in Baden


Constitution in Wuerttemberg


Establishment of the German customs union for the creation of a economy unity


Unrests/revolutions in many German states with the goal to establish democratic structures, Paulskirchenverfassung as the first "modern" constitution for the whole Germany with basic right catalog. However durably converting this constitution was not successful, the parliament is dissolved by the national princes by force


Constitution in Prussia


Prussian - Austrian war, in the consequence Austria withdraws from the German Federation

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1866 - 1870

North German Federation as Federal State under the guidance of Prussia

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In the consequence of the French-German war the states of South Germany join the North German Federation

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1871 - 1918

2. German Empire as Federal State under Prussian guidance, realm constitution considerably determined by the princes, industrial revolution and associated social tensions, start of social legislation, emergence of the BGB (1900)

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1914 - 1918

1. World war leads to the dissolution of the 2nd German Empire, November revolution 1918

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1918 - 1933

Weimar Republic, designated according to the meeting place of the constitution-giving national assembly, with a constitution from the wording similarly to the Basic Law, however with basic rights catalog only in the context of the laws and not above the laws and without protective mechanisms, no support of the democracy in the people, increasing radicalization because of economic problems

1918 - 1923

Inflation, internal unrests and revolts


Establishment of the League of Nations (-1939), the forerunner organization of the UN (since 1945)

1924 - 1928

Economical illusory bloom owing to economic aids in particular from the US

1929 - 1933

Gradual decay of the Weimar Republic, unemployment, bad economic layer, world economic crisis

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1933 - 1945

Time of the Nazis, Hitler dictatorship, Germany central steered unit state, human rights are systematically hurt and ignored, the basic rights are set out of strength

1939 - 1945

2. World war


On 8 May the surrender of the third realm takes place, Germany is divided in four zones of occupation and governed by the victorious states

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Union of the three western zones to an economical unit

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01.09.1948 - 23.05.1949 Parliamentary advice for the production of the Basic Law. The Parliamentary advice consisted of 70 members elected by the parlaments of the Laender. Its chairmann was Konrad Adenauer who later became the first chancellor

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Establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany within the range of the three west zones

The Basic Law (GG) which was enacted upon expiration of the 23.05., is affected intense by the Weimar constitution. The formation of the federal organs finished at 20.09.1949, however special rights of the Allies exist

Establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) within the range of the Soviet zone (07.10.1949)

Establishment of the Council of Europe

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On 9 December the population in the area of today'sBaden-Wuerttemberg (in the countries Wuerttemberg-Baden, Baden and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern) vote for the formation of the southwest state

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On 11 November the national constitution of Baden-Wuerttemberg is adopted by the constitution-giving state meeting

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The Federal Republic joins the NATO

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The Saarland, after the end of the war with special status, is integrated into the Federal Republic

Roman contracts for the establishment of the EEC, a forerunner community of the European union

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Building of the Wall within Berlin and the German domestic border

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The Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic join the UN

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Opening of the German Democratic Republic border on 9 November

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The GDR joins the Federal Republic of Germany according to Article 23 GG - old version - on 3 October. Federal Republic as a sovereign state

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Treaty on the European union (Treaty of Maastricht)

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Introduction of the euro as actual currency

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Enlargement of the EU upon 25 states (May 2004)

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