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Die Stämme (The Tribes)
► Origin
traced back as far as 2000 B.C. in
► Started moving southward sometime during the 1st
Millenium B.C. (ca. 1000 B.C.)
► Mainly followed rivers and would settle near them.
► Consisted of: Alemanni, Suevi, Franks, Saxons,
Thuringians, Goths (divided into Visigoths and
Ostrogoths), Vandals, Markommani
Die Römer und die Deutsche
12 B.C.-- Rome decided to
conquer Germania between
the Rhine and Elbe Rivers
to establish a new northern
and eastern boundary.
9 A.D.– Germanic prince
Armenius defeated the
Roman forces in the
Teutoberg Forest.
Roman Empire’s boundaries stayed at the Rhine-Danube frontier,
although they did extend slightly into them, along 300 miles of
fortifications called the limes.
“Romanized” areas in the South and West were more “civilized” than
the “barbaric” North and East.
Germanic Culture
► Tribal
culture: basic unit was the clan.
► Nomadic culture; built some walled
► Hunted, some stock farming; no economic
► Land was communally owned and work
divided equally among families
► Cultural life centered on feuds, plunder,
massacring enemies, even human sacrifice
Germanic Culture Continued…
► “Das
Ding”—an assembly of freemen;
elected king/duke (“Herzog”), acted as a
court of justice.
► No written law
► Polytheistic
► Personal loyalty (Treue) took precedence
over bonds of kinship and the tribe.
Karl der Große
(Charlemagne, aka Charles the Great)
Crowned “Emperor ever august of the Romans” by the
pope on Christmas Day, 800 A.D.
Forged an alliance with papacy in Rome
Facilitated educational and religious
Described as tall, dynamic, cruel,
courageous, a victorious warrior; provided a
short-lived period of peace and justice.
Ordered that his empire should be
divided among his three sons.
(Treaty of Verdun, 843)
919 – 1125
Saxon and Salian Dynasties
► 1st
German Empire (Reich) began with election of
Conrad I as the first German king.
► Otto I: 936-973 (Beginning of Saxon Dynasty),
crowned in Rome in 962; gave successive German
rulers the title of “Emperor”, unifying the German
monarchy and Roman Empire
► From 962-1056, papacy was dominated by the
German rulers.
► Lateran decree of 1059 declared that the pope
was to be elected by the College of Cardinals, not
by the emperor. Caused excommunication of
Henry IV (1056-1106).
Hohenstaufen Dynasty
► Emperor
Frederick I (Barbarossa or “Red Beard”)
dealt successfully with the political turmoil of his
► During Barbarossa’s reign, the term “Holy Roman
Empire” first came into use.
► Established Germany as a feudal monarchy.
► Time period considered a “golden age.”
► Under the reign of Frederick II, princes were given
more power in their territories, which ensured six
centuries of division in Germany.
Hapsburg Dynasty
Rulers in Austria
1273 the ruling house was established
► Charles IV (1346-1378) laid the constitutional foundations
of the Holy Roman Empire until it dissolved in 1806.
► From 1438 on, the office of emperor was a hereditary
monarchy in the hands of the Hapsburg family.
► The power of the Emperor became constantly weaker as
the princes of the smaller territories/states demanded
more power.
► The Reich, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation,
continued to protect the smaller states from foreign
threats, and the imperial idea lived on until Napoleon’s
dissolution in 1806.
Cities and Craft Guilds
Cities began as isolated settlements.
No roots in German culture
► In the west and along the Roman frontier, some cities had
roots in Roman history, e.g. Köln, Augsburg, Regensburg.
► Emperors would travel to different places and stay in
wooden structures with earthen ramparts.
► Stone architecture was begun in Charlemagne’s time.
► Feudal lords began to fortify permanent residences,
situating them on hills or mountains—the first fortresses,
or “Burgs.”
► Towns formed around the castles as can be seen in some
German city names: e.g. Augsburg, Regensburg,
Magdeburg, etc.
Cities and Craft Guilds Continued…
German word for city: Stadt; simply meant a marketplace,
a location where some activity takes place. Does not stem
from the Latin civitas, which refers to a group of people
living under the same laws, citizenship.
German cities developed under purely economic lines.
To evolve into modern cities, they needed to be freed from
control of the lord/bishop; they needed to develop city
Tradesmen became very important: handicrafts, industry,
and banking were of great importance.
Later Craft Guilds—made up of tradesmen—took over the
city councils. (14th century)
The Guilds created the models for good government later
imitated by the territorial states.
Origins of Capitalism
Social and psychological atmosphere encouraged materialistic values
and the rise of capitalism
German capitalism was more modern that that of Italy because the
middle class sought to make money and increase production as ends in
themselves—as opposed to doing it to attain power or fame, as was
done by the Italian princes.
Mining (silver) and banking expanded considerably
Silver became the medium of exchange (currency)
The German emperor was dependent on the princes for financial
support and often had to rely on bankers. Some emperors had to go
into hiding or were kept as prisoners in towns because of their
financial problems.
Banking became powerful enough to influence politics.
Although social mobility existed, rank was still valued highly.
Population growth and inflation undermined any possible economic
Middle Ages
Beginnings of Renaissance thinking
First universities established starting in 1348 (University of Prague),
followed by Vienna, Erfurt, Heidelberg (1386), Cologne , and Leipzig
Intellectual life was the province of the middle class; they, however,
had no interest in politics and society.
Contributed to a narrow-minded view, or an interest in utopian ideas
that has impacted even the present day. (Think about what happened
during WWII.)
Major crisis 1: Bubonic Plague. Wiped out 2/5 of the European
population; inspired an obsession with death, encouraged a deep
Major crisis 2: The Great Schism—created a disastrous division in the
church when three claimants contended for the papal throne. This and
other issues in the church led to the postponement of important
religious reforms and led to the Reformation.
► Germany,
A Reference Guide From the
Renaissance to the Present by Joseph A. Biesinger
► Slide 3 map:
► Slide 4 picture:
► Slide 7 picture: