What is Germany?
Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany is a country located on the European continent. This country is a federal parliamentary republic that is divided into 16 federal states and whose capital is called Berlin.
Germany has an area of 357,376 km2, bordered to the north by the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and Denmark, to the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland and to the west by Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
The word”German” and “Germany” derive from the Latin word”German”, which was used by the Romans to designate the people who lived in these lands as the closest people to the Roman Empire.
On the other hand, the term Germanic, which currently refers to the people who live in this country, derives from the Roman expression that referred to people who were not from the Empire but who belonged to the surrounding tribes. Later, around the 10th century, the Romans occupied part of German territory.
Characteristics of Germany
Germany has three major reliefs:
- Plain. It corresponds to the northern part of the country bordering the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
- Plateau. It comprises the middle part of Germany.
- Mountain. The mountainous area is located in the southern part of Germany.
Climate and hydrography
Its most important rivers are the Rhine, the Danube, and the Elbe.
Germany has a temperate oceanic climate with cool summers and wet, cloudy winters. This is due to the fact that most of Germany have damp westerly winds.
To the north and northwest of the country, rainfall is abundant throughout the year.
The average temperatures during winter and autumn are -15º to 0º C, while in summer and spring temperatures range between 6º and 24º C.
Germany’s hydrography is not very abundant, but its most important river is the Rhine, which borders Switzerland and France. Two other rivers with significant flows are the Danube and the Elbe.
Flora and fauna
Most of the animal species found in Germany live in forests. The most common fauna to see in the forests of Germany are the roe deer, red fox, red deer, wild boar, fallow deer, beavers, and otters.
In the area of mountain ranges and mountains, you can see birds such as the eagle, the peregrine falcon, the common buzzard and the common kestrel. Many animals have been exterminated such as bison, wild horses, brown bears, and moose.
The flora is abundant in the forests that currently comprise 29.5% of its total territory. Basically, they are wood and coniferous trees such as Oak, Pine, and Birch.
Economy and currency
Germany is considered the fourth world power and the first in the European Union.
Germany bases a large part of its economy on exports and the countries of the European Union are its main buyers. Its first buyer outside the European Union is the United States.
Because Germany belongs to the European Union, its currency is the Euro which is considered the strongest currency in the world (behind it is the US dollar).
About 61% of the inhabitants of Germany are Christians, mostly concentrated in the south and west of the country. However, there are also other religious beliefs such as Islam (5%), Buddhism and Judaism (with only 0.25% of followers each).
These latter religions are found mostly in the northern and eastern parts of the country. However, the number of agnostics is interesting because it is quite high: 33% of the total population.
Population and language
Germany is the most populous country in the European Union, with a population of just over 79.8 million.
Despite these population rates, the birth rate is low: just 1.4 children per woman. Consequently, its inhabitants are mostly adults (66.1%), fewer elderly (20.6%) and even fewer young people (13.3%).
This, in general, indicates that there is good medical care, a high level of education and a long life expectancy.
The language spoken is German, although the second language spoken is English and the third is French. Other minority native languages are Danish, Sorbian, Romany and Frisian.
Sausage, prezel, and beer are some of its most traditional icons.
Among the outstanding historical personalities are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Nicolas Copernicus who, although not strictly speaking German, did share the culture of intellectual training.
This site was the site of great and important artistic movements such as the Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque.
As for its gastronomy, sausage, prezel, and beer are some of its most traditional icons.
The educational system in Germany has 4 levels: initial level, primary level, secondary level and tertiary or university level.
Beginner level. It is optional and has children between the ages of 3 and 6.
Primary level. It lasts for 4 years and is taught in public schools.
Secondary level. It has different layers. Each child is assessed according to his or her abilities by teacher recommendations. In this way, everyone can attend and prepare themselves according to their characteristics.
University level. Every student who wishes to gain access to a university education must pass an examination called an”Abitur”.
Germany’s health system is very comprehensive. It has five strata or fields of social insurance: pensions, illness, dependency, accidents, and unemployment.
However, it is not obligatory to join this system, every citizen can join a private entity.
Form of government
As a federal democracy, it has legislative, executive and judicial powers.
The government of Germany is a constitutional and federal democracy. It has a system of government that is divided into three branches:
Executive power. The highest authority figure is the head of government, elected for a four-year term.
Legislative power. They are elected by direct elections and represent the federal states through the election of deputies. Both branches (executive and legislative) are relatively autonomous in each state.
The judiciary. It is composed of the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Superior Courts.
Facts about Germany for Kids
- With 81 million people, Germany has the largest population in the European Union.
- In Germany, there is no punishment for a prisoner who tries to escape from prison because it is a basic human instinct to be free…
- Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice.
- The first magazine published in Germany in 1663 was the Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen.
- In Germany, it is illegal to run out of fuel on the roads.
- From 1989 to 2009, about 2,000 schools were closed in Germany due to a shortage of children.
- Germany’s population is in decline. It has fallen by 2 million in the last decade.
- In 2014, Germany officially abolished university tuition, including for international students…
- 60% of the 1,000 most popular YouTube videos are blocked in Germany.
- Every year about 5,500 World War II bombs are discovered and deactivated in Germany, an average of 15 per day.
- In 1917, Germany invited Mexico to join World War I, attacking the U.S. to recover the lost territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
- Fanta originated in Germany as a result of the difficulties in importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
- Chinese ladies were invented in Germany.
- German footballer Mesut Özil donated his €300,000 World Cup win in Brazil to pay for surgeries for 23 children in Brazil.
- It is now a crime to carry out the Nazi salutation in Germany punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment.
- Germany (along with Japan) has the lowest birth rate in the world.
- East and West Germany still look different from each other from space because of the different types of light used on the public highway.
- There is a construction project in Berlin, where they want to unite a Christian church, a mosque and a synagogue, all in one.
A great book I recommend is this.
- Annette Weinke
- Berghahn Books
- Edición Kindle
- Edition no. 1 (12/01/2018)