|German East Africa. A former German colony, consisting of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanganyika, under the control of the German East Africa Company, 1884–1890, when it was taken over by Berlin as a state colony. It was the scene of fairly heavy fighting in World War I, during which a German colonial army held off an Allied force ten times its size until just days before the Armistice in Europe. Stripped from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, it was broken into several mandates.|
|German Question. “What and where is Germany?” During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this reduced to two stock formulations in the debates of German nationalists: Gross Deutschland, which included Austria, and Klein Deutschland, which saw a unified Germany led by Prussia but excluding Austria. See also Austrian Empire; Otto von Bismarck;Holy Roman Empire;Germany; Volk.|
|German Southwest Africa. The colonial-era name of Namibia.|
|Germany. Located at the geopolitical heart of Europe, ethnic Germans had proven the bane of the late Roman Empire. Germany, as a political entity, historically has been more often divided than united. For centuries, a fragmented political idea surrounded an essential German cultural unity, represented by a great feudal collage of overlapping vassalage: the Holy Roman Empire. During the early Middle Ages many Germans migrated back east, in the “Drang nach Osten” of settlement, which both displaced other populations in east and central Europe and fended off later migrants from Inner Asia. In 955 C.E. German forces defeated the Magyars, pushing them south into modern Hungary and Austria. Germans played a major role in the Crusades over the next two centuries in the Holy Lands, but also in eastern Europe, where in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the Teutonic Knights pushed into Prussia, Lithuania, and western Russia, conducting a crusade that at times approached a genocidal war of extermination. By the high Middle Ages, control of Germany—at least in the sense of denying it to one’s opponents—became a central issue in the emerging European state system, concerning the Habsburgs as well as the Bourbons, the Austrians, Spanish, French, Dutch, Swedes, and even the English. |
The cause of this shift was progressive weakening of the Holy Roman Empire, which became the central battleground for the wars and rebellions of the Reformation and Counter Reformation. This trend culminated in the Thirty Years’ War, from which Germany emerged still mainly a cultural and geographic expression rather than a political presence or national ideal, and
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Publication information: Book title: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations. Volume: 2. Contributors: Cathal J. Nolan - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 618.
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