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GermanyThe English word, Germany is derived from the Latin word Germania, which was the Roman name for the region east of the Rhine River.

In German, the country is called Deutschland, which simply means "German lands" as Deutsch is the word for the Germans and evolved from the word diutisciu, which means "popular," referring to the majority in the region, the non-Latin speakers.

Deutschland

Introduction:

Germany is a country that at times seems like a relaxed party, while at others it may appear to be a bit stiff as the people enjoy their rules, order, and structure. Today the country's culture and lifestyle is heavily influenced by technology and progress, but so much of this present is rooted in the past, beginning with the settlement of the people in what is now Central Europe.

The early Germanic settlers found themselves spread across much of Europe and with this diversity came a great diversity of landscapes. Many people survived by farming, however in the mountains this lifestyle gave way to one based more heavily on raising animals, yet in other areas fishing was the best means of survival. This time of settlement created an adaptable and flexible people who found ways to survive and even thrive in various landscapes, characteristics still present today.

The colors of Germany's flag originated with the Holy Roman Empire. The flag of the Holy Roman Empire included a black double-headed eagle with red claws and red beaks on a yellow background.

Name: Federal Republic of Germany
Independence: October 3, 1990
Capital: Berlin
Currency: Euro
Population: 81,147,265 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: German
Language: German
Religion: Protestant & Roman Catholic

Over time the Germanic people changed greatly. The people divided politically as their language developed in various directions, creating numerous dialects that still exist today. The people also created kingdoms and other empires as many became highly organized, a trait now synonymous with the Germans, but also motivated and hard working as each region sought independence from the others.

During this long period of political division the people also created numerous sub-cultures. Differing dress, foods, and beers all became tied to differing regions and even today many of the German stereotypes represent the roots of only a small part of Germany. For example, lederhosen were only historically worn by the Bavarians and some neighboring Germanic people, never by northern or even southwestern Germanic people. These times of division created a hugely diverse group of people that remains diverse today. Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of this past and present division comes in the form of religion. Although most Germans are Christian, the Protestant Reformation began in Germany and divided the country as much of southern Germany is Catholic, but much of the north is Protestant.

It wasn't until the late 1800s that the people finally unified and the country began to merge culturally. The linguistic dialects have become more standardized and foods have been spread across the country with political unity, but religious division and many cultural aspects remain locally distinct. The way people identify in Germany also began to change as people began to slowly abandon their identities of being "Bavarian," "Saxon," or "Prussian" in favor of being "German," although those other identities have never been completely abandoned.

With a growing pride, came growing division with neighbors and political agendas that helped lead to both World War I and World War II. Since this time many Germans have changed their identity even further, although much of the past culture has remained. Many Germans today first see themselves as "European" or again primarily identify with their local region over being "German," which many see negatively.

Today the Germans remain incredible diverse, yet are united in many ways. They share a language, foods, beers, and a nation, but are also unique from region to region and from person to person. However, the European Union and modern technology have begun to made communication and transportation so accessible that the lifestyle among most of the people today is reliant on technology and business rather than the lands as lifestyles today are vastly different than they were even one hundred years ago.

Learn More About Germany:

The Land:
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The Past:
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The Food:
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The Culture:
Way of Life EthnicityLanguage ReligionDress BehaviorIdentity

Map of Germany:

Map of Germany

Information for Germany was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks