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User:Tom S. Fox
Article:States of Germany
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{{German Federal States|options=float:right; max-width:300px; margin-left:10px;}}
 
{{German Federal States|options=float:right; max-width:300px; margin-left:10px;}}
[[Germany]] is made up of sixteen {{lang|de|'''''Länder'''''}} (singular {{lang|de|''Land''}}, colloquially called {{lang|de|'''''Bundesland'''''}}, for "[[federated state]]") which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ''Land'' literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are [[constituent country|constituent countries]]. Often referred to in English by German speakers as "[[State (administrative division)|states]]", the term "Land" (with an uppercase 'L') is used in the official English version of the [[Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany|Basic Law]]<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.btg-bestellservice.de/pdf/80201000.pdf |title=Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany |author=[[Christian Tomuschat]], [[David P. Currie]] |publisher=[[Deutscher Bundestag|Deutscher Bundestag Public Relations Division]] |date=April 2010 |accessdate=15 October 2010}}</ref> and in UK parliamentary proceedings.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=1991-02-28a.1145.0&s=%22german+land+of%22#g1203.1 |title=House of Commons debates (Welsh affairs) |author=[[House of Commons of the United Kingdom]] |publisher=[[UK parliament]] |date=28 February 1991 |accessdate=19 April 2011}}</ref> However, it is sometimes translated as "federal states" in other publications.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.bundesregierung.de/nsc_true/Content/DE/__Anlagen/2006-2007/perspektives-for-germany-langfassung,property=publicationFile.pdf/perspektives-for-germany-langfassung |title=Perspectives for Germany: Our Strategy for Sustainable Development |year=2002 |publisher=The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government |date=April 2010 |accessdate=15 October 2010}}</ref>
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[[Germany]] is made up of sixteen {{lang|de|'''''Länder'''''}} (singular {{lang|de|''Land''}}, more commonly called {{lang|de|'''''Bundesland'''''}}, for "[[federated state]]") which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ''Land'' literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are [[constituent country|constituent countries]]. Often referred to in English by German speakers as "[[State (administrative division)|states]]", the term "Land" (with an uppercase 'L') is used in the official English version of the [[Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany|Basic Law]]<ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.btg-bestellservice.de/pdf/80201000.pdf |title=Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany |author=[[Christian Tomuschat]], [[David P. Currie]] |publisher=[[Deutscher Bundestag|Deutscher Bundestag Public Relations Division]] |date=April 2010 |accessdate=15 October 2010}}</ref> and in UK parliamentary proceedings.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=1991-02-28a.1145.0&s=%22german+land+of%22#g1203.1 |title=House of Commons debates (Welsh affairs) |author=[[House of Commons of the United Kingdom]] |publisher=[[UK parliament]] |date=28 February 1991 |accessdate=19 April 2011}}</ref> However, it is sometimes translated as "federal states" in other publications.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.bundesregierung.de/nsc_true/Content/DE/__Anlagen/2006-2007/perspektives-for-germany-langfassung,property=publicationFile.pdf/perspektives-for-germany-langfassung |title=Perspectives for Germany: Our Strategy for Sustainable Development |year=2002 |publisher=The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government |date=April 2010 |accessdate=15 October 2010}}</ref>
   
 
Although the term ''Land'' applies to all states, some are also described as "states" in German. Each of the states of [[Bavaria]], [[Saxony]], and [[Thuringia]] officially describes itself as a "state" (''Staat'') and more specifically as a "free state" (''Freistaat'').
 
Although the term ''Land'' applies to all states, some are also described as "states" in German. Each of the states of [[Bavaria]], [[Saxony]], and [[Thuringia]] officially describes itself as a "state" (''Staat'') and more specifically as a "free state" (''Freistaat'').
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After 1945, new states were constituted in all four [[Allied-occupied Germany|zones of occupation]]. In 1949, the states in the three western zones formed the Federal Republic of Germany. This is in contrast to the post-war development in [[Austria]], where the ''Bund'' (federation) was constituted first, and then the individual states were created as units of a federal state.
 
After 1945, new states were constituted in all four [[Allied-occupied Germany|zones of occupation]]. In 1949, the states in the three western zones formed the Federal Republic of Germany. This is in contrast to the post-war development in [[Austria]], where the ''Bund'' (federation) was constituted first, and then the individual states were created as units of a federal state.
   
The use of the term ''Länder'' dates back to the [[Weimar constitution]] of 1919. Before this time, the constituent states of the [[German Empire]] were called ''Staaten''. Today, it is very common to use the term ''Bundesland''. However, this term is not used officially, neither by the constitution of 1919 nor by the Basic Law of 1949. Three ''Länder'' are called ''Freistaat'' (free state, republic), i.e., Bavaria (since 1919), Saxony (since 1990), and Thuringia (since 1994). There is little continuity between the current states and their predecessors of the [[Weimar Republic]] with the exception of the three free states, and the two city-states of Hamburg and Bremen.
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The use of the term ''Länder'' dates back to the [[Weimar constitution]] of 1919. Before this time, the constituent states of the [[German Empire]] were called ''Staaten''. Today, it is very common to use
 
A new delimitation of the federal territory keeps being debated in Germany though "there are significant differences among the American states and regional governments in other federations without serious calls for territorial changes".<ref>[http://www.germanlawjournal.com/pdfs/Vol06No10/PDF_Vol_06_No_10_1283-1296_SI_Articles_Gunlicks.pdf Gunlicks, Arthur B.: ''German Federalism and Recent Reform Efforts'', in: German Law Journal Vol. 06 No. 10, p. 1287]</ref> However, "the argument the proponents of boundary reform in Germany make is that the German system of dual federalism requires strong Länder that have the administrative and fiscal capacity to implement legislation and pay for it from own source revenues. [...] But in spite of these and other arguments for boundary reforms, action has not been taken ....<ref>[http://www.germanlawjournal.com/pdfs/Vol06No10/PDF_Vol_06_No_10_1283-1296_SI_Articles_Gunlicks.pdf Gunlicks, Arthur B.: ''German Federalism and Recent Reform Efforts'', in: German Law Journal Vol. 06 No. 10, p. 1288]</ref>
 
 
{| style="clear:both" class="sortable wikitable"
 
|- style="background:#bbb"
 
! class="unsortable" style="width:50px" | Coat of arms
 
! State
 
! Joined<br />the FRG
 
! Head of government
 
! Image
 
! Gov't<br />coalition
 
! [[Bundesrat of Germany|Bundes-<br>rat]] <br> votes
 
! Area (km²)
 
! Population <br />(thous.)
 
! Pop.<br />per km²
 
! Capital
 
! [[ISO 3166-2:DE|German<br />abbrev.]]
 
|- style="background:#eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg (lesser).svg|50px]]
 
| [[Baden-Württemberg]]
 
| 1949<ref>In 1949 the states of [[South Baden|Baden]], [[Württemberg-Baden]] and [[Württemberg-Hohenzollern]] joined the federation. These were united in 1952 into Baden-Württemberg.</ref>
 
| [[Winfried Kretschmann]] (Alliance '90/The Greens)
 
|[[File:Winfried Kretschmann.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| [[Alliance '90/The Greens]], [[SPD]]
 
| align="center"| 6
 
| align="right"| 35,752
 
| align="right"| 10,755
 
| align="right"| 301
 
| [[Stuttgart]]
 
| align="center"| BW
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Bayern Wappen.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Bavaria]]<br />(''Bayern'')
 
| 1949
 
| [[Horst Seehofer]] (CSU)
 
|[[File:Seehofer.JPG|70px]]
 
| align="center"| [[Christian Social Union of Bavaria|CSU]], [[Free Democratic Party (Germany)|FDP]]
 
| align="center"| 6
 
| align="right"| 70,552
 
| style="text-align:right" | 12,542
 
| style="text-align:right" | 178
 
| [[Munich]]<br />(''München'')
 
| align="center"| BY
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Berlin.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Berlin]]
 
| 1990<ref>Berlin has only officially been a Bundesland since [[German reunification|reunification]], even though [[West Berlin]] was largely treated as a state of [[West Germany]].</ref>
 
| [[Klaus Wowereit]] (SPD)
 
|[[File:Klaus Wowereit Berlin-Tegel 01.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, [[CDU]]
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 892
 
| style="text-align:right" | 3,469
 
| style="text-align:right" | 3,890
 
| align="center"| – <!-- Do not change, the state of Berlin doesn't officially have a capital! -->
 
| align="center"| BE
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Brandenburg Wappen.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Brandenburg]]
 
| 1990
 
| [[Matthias Platzeck]] (SPD)
 
|[[Image:Matplatzeck.jpg‎|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, [[The Left (Germany)|The&nbsp;Left]]
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 29,479
 
| style="text-align:right" | 2,500
 
| style="text-align:right" | 85
 
| [[Potsdam]]
 
| align="center"| BB
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Bremen Wappen(Mittel).svg|50px]]
 
| [[Bremen (state)|Bremen]]<br />(''Freie Hansestadt Bremen'')
 
| 1949
 
| [[Jens Böhrnsen]] (SPD)
 
|[[File:Portrait Buergermeister Boehrnsen.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, Alliance '90/The Greens
 
| align="center"| 3
 
| align="right"| 419
 
| style="text-align:right" | 661
 
| style="text-align:right" | 1,577
 
| align="center"| – <!-- Do not change, the state of Bremen doesn't officially have a capital! -->
 
| align="center"| HB
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Hamburg.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Hamburg]]
 
| 1949
 
| [[Olaf Scholz]] (SPD)
 
|[[File:Olaf Scholz, August 2009 - by SPD-Schleswig-Holstein.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD
 
| align="center"| 3
 
| align="right"| 755
 
| style="text-align:right" | 1,788
 
| style="text-align:right" | 2,368
 
| align="center"| – <!-- Do not change, the state of Hamburg doesn't officially have a capital! -->
 
| align="center"| HH
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Hesse.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Hesse]]<br />(''Hessen'')
 
| 1949
 
| [[Volker Bouffier]] (CDU)
 
|[[File:Volker bouffier.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| CDU, FDP
 
| align="center"| 5
 
| align="right"| 21,115
 
| style="text-align:right" | 6,066
 
| style="text-align:right" | 287
 
| [[Wiesbaden]]
 
| align="center"| HE
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (great).svg|50px]]
 
| [[Mecklenburg-Vorpommern]]
 
| 1990
 
| [[Erwin Sellering]] (SPD)
 
|[[File:Erwin Sellering cropped.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, CDU
 
| align="center"| 3
 
| align="right"| 23,180
 
| style="text-align:right" | 1,639
 
| style="text-align:right" | 71
 
| [[Schwerin]]
 
| align="center"| MV
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Lower Saxony.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Lower Saxony]]<br />(''Niedersachsen'')
 
| 1949
 
| [[David McAllister (politician)|David McAllister]] (CDU)
 
|[[File:Landtag Niedersachsen DSCF7646.JPG|70px]]
 
| align="center"| CDU, FDP
 
| align="center"| 6
 
| align="right"| 47,609
 
| style="text-align:right" | 7,914
 
| style="text-align:right" | 166
 
| [[Hanover]]<br />(''Hannover'')
 
| align="center"| NI
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg|50px]]
 
| [[North Rhine-Westphalia|North Rhine-<br />Westphalia]]<br />(''Nordrhein-Westfalen'')
 
| 1949
 
| [[Hannelore Kraft]] (SPD)
 
|[[File:Hannelorekraft.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, Alliance '90/The Greens
 
| align="center"| 6
 
| align="right"| 34,085
 
| style="text-align:right" | 17,837
 
| style="text-align:right" | 523
 
| [[Düsseldorf]]
 
| align="center"| NW
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Rhineland-Palatinate]]<br />(''Rheinland-Pfalz'')
 
| 1949
 
| [[Kurt Beck]] (SPD)
 
|[[Image:Kurt Beck.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, Alliance '90/The Greens
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 19,853
 
| style="text-align:right" | 3,999
 
| style="text-align:right" | 202
 
| [[Mainz]]
 
| align="center"| RP
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[File:Wappen des Saarlands.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Saarland]]
 
| 1957
 
| [[Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer]] (CDU)
 
|[[File:AnnegretKrampKarrenbauer.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| CDU, SPD
 
| align="center"| 3
 
| align="right"| 2,569
 
| style="text-align:right" | 1,018
 
| style="text-align:right" | 400
 
| [[Saarbrücken]]
 
| align="center"| SL
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Saxony.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Saxony]]<br />(''Sachsen'')
 
| 1990
 
| [[Stanislaw Tillich]] (CDU)
 
|[[File:Stanislaw Tillich.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| CDU, FDP
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 18,416
 
| style="text-align:right" | 4,143
 
| style="text-align:right" | 227
 
| [[Dresden]]
 
| align="center"| SN
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Wappen Sachsen-Anhalt.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Saxony-Anhalt]]<br />(''Sachsen-Anhalt'')
 
| 1990
 
| [[Reiner Haseloff]] (CDU)
 
|[[File:Reiner Haseloff 1.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| CDU, SPD
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 20,446
 
| style="text-align:right" | 2,331
 
| style="text-align:right" | 116
 
| [[Magdeburg]]
 
| align="center"| ST
 
|- style="background: #eee"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Schleswig-Holstein.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Schleswig-Holstein]]
 
| 1949
 
| [[Torsten Albig]] (SPD)
 
| [[File:Torsten Albig, Mayor of Kiel 20090902-DSCF9617.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| SPD, Alliance '90/The Greens, [[South Schleswig Voter Federation|SSW]]
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 15,799
 
| style="text-align:right" | 2,833
 
| style="text-align:right" | 179
 
| [[Kiel]]
 
| align="center"| SH
 
|- style="background: #ddd"
 
| [[Image:Coat of arms of Thuringia.svg|50px]]
 
| [[Thuringia]]<br />(''Thüringen'')
 
| 1990
 
| [[Christine Lieberknecht]] (CDU)
 
|[[File:CLPortratHoch.jpg|70px]]
 
| align="center"| CDU, SPD
 
| align="center"| 4
 
| align="right"| 16,172
 
| style="text-align:right" | 2,231
 
| style="text-align:right" | 138
 
| [[Erfurt]]
 
| align="center"| TH
 
|}
 
 
== History ==
 
{{See|History of Germany}}
 
 
Federalism has a long tradition in German history. The [[Holy Roman Empire]] comprised [[Kleinstaaterei|numerous petty states]]. The number of territories was greatly reduced during the [[Napoleonic Wars]]. After the [[Congress of Vienna]], 39 states formed the [[German Confederation]]. The Confederation was dissolved after the [[Austro-Prussian War]] and replaced by a [[North German Federation]] under Prussian hegemony; this war left Prussia dominant in Germany, and German nationalism would compel the remaining independent states to ally with Prussia in the [[Franco-Prussian War]] of 1870-1871, and then to accede to the crowning of King Wilhelm of Prussia as [[German Empire|German Emperor]]. The new German Empire included 25 states (three of them, [[Hanseatic League|Hanseatic]] cities) and the imperial territory of [[Alsace-Lorraine]]. The empire was dominated by Prussia, which controlled 65% of the territory and 62% of the population. After the territorial losses of the [[Treaty of Versailles]], the [[Administrative division of Weimar Germany|remaining states]] continued as republics. These states were gradually ''de facto'' abolished under the Nazi regime via the [[Gleichschaltung]] process, as the states administratively were largely superseded by the [[Administrative division of Nazi Germany|Nazi Gau system]].
 
 
[[Image:prussiamap.gif|thumb|left|The Provinces of the [[Kingdom of Prussia]] (green) within the [[German Empire]] (1871-1918)]]
 
 
During the [[Allied Occupation Zones in Germany|Allied occupation of Germany after World War II]], borders were redrawn by the Allied military governments. No single state comprised more than 30% of either population or territory; this was done to prevent any one state from being as dominant within Germany as Prussia had been in the past. Initially, only seven of the pre-War states remained: Baden (in part), Bavaria (reduced in size), Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse (enlarged), Saxony, and Thuringia. The “hyphenated” Länder, such as Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony-Anhalt, owed their existence to the occupation powers and were created out of Prussian provinces and smaller states.
 
 
Upon founding in 1949, [[West Germany]] had eleven states. These were reduced to nine in 1952 when three south-western states ([[South Baden]], [[Württemberg-Hohenzollern]] and [[Württemberg-Baden]]) merged to form [[Baden-Württemberg]]. From 1957, when the French-occupied [[Saarland]] was returned ("little reunification"), the Federal Republic consisted of ten states, which are called the [[Old states of Germany|Old States]] today. West Berlin was under the sovereignty of the Western Allies and neither a Western German state nor part of one. However, it was in many ways integrated with West Germany under a special status.
 
 
[[East Germany]] (GDR) originally consisted of five states (i.e., Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia). In 1952, the Länder were abolished and the GDR was divided into [[Administrative division of the German Democratic Republic|14 administrative districts]] instead. Soviet-controlled East Berlin, despite officially having the same status as West Berlin, was declared the GDR's capital and its 15th district.
 
 
Just prior to the [[German reunification]] on 3 October 1990, East German Länder were simply reconstituted in roughly their earlier configuration as five [[New federal states|new states]]. The former district of [[East Berlin]] joined West Berlin to form the new state of Berlin. Henceforth, the 10 "old states" plus 5 "new states" plus the new state Berlin add up to 16 states of Germany.
 
 
[[Image:Deutsches Reich 1925 b.png|thumb|The states of the [[Weimar Republic]], with the [[Prussia|Free State of Prussia]] (''Freistaat Preußen'') as the largest]]
 
 
Later, the [[Grundgesetz|constitution]] was amended to state that the citizens of the 16 states had successfully achieved the unity of Germany in free self-determination and that the Basic Law thus applied to the entire German people. Article 23, which had allowed “any other parts of Germany” to join, was rephrased. It had been used in 1957 to reintegrate the [[Saar (protectorate)|Saar]] as [[Saarland]] into the Federal Republic, and this was used as a model for German reunification in 1990. The amended article now defines the participation of the Federal Council and the 16 German states in matters concerning the European Union.
 
 
The Länder can conclude treaties with foreign countries in matters within their own sphere of competence and with the consent of the Federal Government (Article 32 of the Basic Law).
 
 
The description [[Free state (government)|free state]] (''Freistaat'') is merely a historic synonym for republic—a description used by most German states after the abolishment of monarchy. Today, ''Freistaat'' is associated emotionally with a more independent status, especially in Bavaria. However, it has no legal meaning. All sixteen states are represented at the federal level in the ''[[Bundesrat (Germany)|Bundesrat]]'' (Federal Council), where their voting power merely depends on the size of their population.
 
 
=== West Germany 1945-1990 ===
 
Article 29 of the [[Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany|Basic Law]] states that the "division of the federal territory into Länder may be revised to ensure that each Land be of a size and capacity to perform its functions effectively". The somewhat complicated provisions regulate that "[r]evisions of the existing division into Länder shall be effected by a federal law, which must be confirmed by referendum".
 
 
A new delimitation of the federal territory has been discussed since the Federal Republic was founded in 1949 and even before. Committees and expert commissions advocated a reduction of the number of the Länder; scientists (Rutz, Miegel, Ottnad etc.) and politicians (Döring, [[Hans Apel|Apel]] and others) made sometimes very far-reaching proposals for redrawing boundaries but hardly anything came of these public discussions. Territorial reform is sometimes propagated by the richer Länder as a means to avoid or limit [[Equalization payments|fiscal transfers]].
 
 
To date the only successful reform was the merger of the states of Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern to the new state of Baden-Württemberg in 1952.
 
 
;Delimitations
 
Article 29 reflects a debate on territorial reform in [[Germany]] that is much older than the Basic Law. The [[Holy Roman Empire]] was a loose [[confederation]] of large and petty principalities under the nominal [[suzerainty]] of the [[Holy Roman Emperor|emperor]]. Approximately 300 states existed at the eve of the [[French Revolution]] in 1789.
 
 
Territorial boundaries were essentially redrawn as a result of military conflicts and interventions from the outside: from the [[Napoleonic Wars]] to the [[Congress of Vienna]], the number of territories decreased from about 300 to 39; in 1866 [[Prussia]] annexed the sovereign states of [[Kingdom of Hanover|Hanover]], [[Nassau (state)|Nassau]], [[Electorate of Hesse|Hesse-Kassel]] and the [[Free City of Frankfurt]]; the last consolidation came about under [[Allied-occupied Germany|Allied occupation]] after 1945.
 
 
The debate on a new delimitation of the German territory started in 1919 as part of discussions about the new constitution. [[Hugo Preuss]], the father of the [[Weimar constitution]], drafted a plan to divide the [[German Reich]] into 14 roughly equal-sized Länder. His proposal was turned down due to opposition of the states and concerns of the government. Article 18 of the constitution enabled a new delimitation of the German territory but set high hurdles: ''Three fifth of the votes handed in, and at least the majority of the population are necessary to decide on the alteration of territory''. In fact, until 1933 there were only four changes of the German map: The 7 [[Thuringia]]n states united in 1920, whereby [[Saxe-Coburg|Coburg]] opted for [[Bavaria]], Pyrmont joined Prussia in 1922, and [[Waldeck (state)|Waldeck]] did so in 1929. Any later plans to break up the dominating Prussia into smaller states failed because political circumstances were not favorable to state reforms.
 
 
After the National Socialists seized power in January 1933, the Länder increasingly lost importance. They became administrative regions of a centralised country. Three changes are to be noted: on January 1, 1934, [[Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin|Mecklenburg-Schwerin]] was united with the neighbouring [[Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|Mecklenburg-Strelitz]]; and, by the [[Greater Hamburg Act]] (Groß-Hamburg-Gesetz), from April 1, 1937, the area of the city-state was extended, while [[Free City of Lübeck|Lübeck]] lost its independence and became part of the Prussian province of [[Province of Schleswig-Holstein|Schleswig-Holstein]].
 
 
[[File:Deutschland Bundeslaender 1957.png|thumb|upright|West Germany (blue) and East Germany (red) and West Berlin (yellow)]]
 
 
Between 1946 and 1947, new Länder were established in all four zones of occupation: [[Bremen (state)|Bremen]], [[Hesse]], [[Württemberg-Baden]], and [[Bavaria]] in the American zone; [[Hamburg]], [[Schleswig-Holstein]], [[Lower Saxony]], and [[North Rhine-Westphalia]] in the British zone; [[Rhineland-Palatinate]], [[South Baden|Baden]], [[Württemberg-Hohenzollern]] and the [[Saarland]]&mdash;which later received a special status&mdash;in the French zone; [[Mecklenburg-Vorpommern|Mecklenburg(-Vorpommern)]], [[Brandenburg]], [[Saxony]], [[Saxony-Anhalt]], and [[Thuringia]] in the Soviet zone.
 
 
In 1948, the military governors of the three Western Allies handed over the so-called Frankfurt Documents to the minister-presidents in the Western occupation zones. Among other things they recommended to revise the boundaries of the West German Länder in a way that none should be too big or too small in comparison to the others.
 
 
As the premiers did not come to an agreement on this question, the [[Parlamentarischer Rat|Parliamentary Council]] was supposed to address this issue. Its provisions are reflected in Article 29. There was a binding provision for a new delimitation of the federal territory: the Federal Territory must be revised ... (paragraph 1). Moreover, in territories or parts of territories whose affiliation with a Land had changed after 8 May 1945 without referendum, people were allowed to petition for a revision of the current status within a year after the promulgation of the Basic Law (paragraph 2). If at least one tenth of those entitled to vote in Bundestag elections were in favour of a revision, the federal government had to include the proposal into its legislation. Then a referendum was required in each territory or part of territory whose affiliation was to be changed (paragraph 3). The proposal should not take effect if within any of the affected territories a majority rejected the change. In this case, the bill had to be introduced again and after passing had to be confirmed by referendum in the Federal Republic as a whole (paragraph 4). The reorganization should be completed within three years after the Basic Law had come into force (paragraph 6).
 
 
In their letter to [[Konrad Adenauer]] the three western military governors approved the Basic Law but suspended Article 29 until a peace treaty was agreed upon. Only the special arrangement for the southwest under Article 118 could enter into force.
 
 
;Foundation of Baden-Württemberg
 
 
In southwestern Germany, territorial revision seemed to be a top priority since the border between the French and American occupation zones was set along the Autobahn Karlsruhe-Stuttgart-Ulm (today the [[A8 motorway (Germany)|A8]]). Article 118 said, "The division of the territory comprising Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern into Länder may be revised, without regard to the provisions of Article 29, by agreement between the Länder concerned. If no agreement is reached, the revision shall be effected by a federal law, which shall provide for an advisory referendum.." Since no agreement was reached, a [[referendum]] was held on 9 December 1951 in four different voting districts, three of which approved the merger ([[South Baden]] refused but was overruled as the result of total votes was decisive). On 25 April 1952, the three former Länder merged into Baden-Württemberg.
 
 
;Petitions
 
 
With the [[London and Paris Conferences|Paris Agreements]] West Germany regained (limited) sovereignty. This triggered the start of the one year period as set in paragraph 2 of Article 29. As a consequence, eight petitions for a referendum were launched, six of which were successful:
 
* Reconstitution of the [[Duchy of Oldenburg|Land Oldenburg]] 12.9%
 
* Reconstitution of the [[Schaumburg-Lippe|Land Schaumburg-Lippe]] 15.3%
 
* Reintegration of [[Koblenz (region)|Koblenz]] and [[Trier (region)|Trier]] into [[North Rhine-Westphalia]] 14.2%
 
* Reintegration of [[Rheinhessen (region)|Rheinhessen]] into [[Hesse]] 25.3%
 
* Reintegration of [[Montabaur (region)|Montabaur]] into Hesse 20.2%
 
* Reconstitution of the Land Baden 15.1%
 
The last petition had originally been rejected by the Federal Minister of the Interior in reference to the referendum of 1951. However, the [[Federal Constitutional Court of Germany]] ruled that the rejection was unlawful: the population of Baden had the right to a new referendum because the one of 1951 had taken place under different rules from the ones provided for by article 29. In particular, the outcome of the 1951 referendum did not reflect the wishes of the majority of Baden's population.
 
 
The two [[Pfalz (region)|Palatine]] petitions (for a reintegration into Bavaria and integration into Baden-Württemberg) failed with 7.6% and 9.3%. Further requests for petitions (Lübeck, Geesthacht, Lindau, Achberg, 62 Hessian communities) had already been rejected as inadmissible by the Federal Minister of the Interior or were withdrawn as in the case of Lindau. The rejection was confirmed by the Federal Constitutional Court in the case of Lübeck.
 
 
;Constitutional amendments
 
 
If a petition was successful paragraph 6 of Article 29 stated that a referendum should be held within three years. Since the deadline passed on 5 May 1958 without anything happening the Hesse state government filed a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court in October 1958. The complaint was dismissed in July 1961 on the grounds that Article 29 had made the new delimitation of the federal territory an exclusive federal matter. At the same time, the Court reaffirmed the requirement for a territorial revision as a binding order to the relevant constitutional bodies.
 
 
The [[Grand coalition (Germany)|grand coalition]] decided to settle the 1956 petitions by setting binding deadlines for the required referendums. The referendums in Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate were due till 31 March 1975, the one in Baden was due till 30 June 1970. The [[quorum]] for a successful vote was set to one-quarter of those entitled to vote in Bundestag elections. Paragraph 4 stated that the vote should be disregarded if it contradicted the objectives of paragraph 1.
 
 
In his investiture address, given on 28 October 1969 in Bonn, Chancellor [[Willy Brandt]] proposed that the government would consider Article 29 of the Basic Law as a binding order. For that purpose, an expert commission was established, named after its chairman, the former Secretary of State Professor Werner Ernst. After two years of work, the experts delivered their report in 1973. It provided an alternative proposal for both northern Germany and central and southwestern Germany. In the north, either a single new state consisting of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony should be created (solution A) or two new states, one in the northeast consisting of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and the northern part of Lower Saxony (from Cuxhaven to Lüchow-Dannenberg) and one in the northwest consisting of Bremen and the rest of Lower Saxony (solution B). In the Center and South West either Rhineland-Palatinate (with the exception of the [[Germersheim (district)|Germersheim district]] but including the [[Rhine-Neckar]] region) should be merged with Hesse and the Saarland (solution C), the district of Germersheim would then become part of Baden-Württemberg.
 
 
The Palatinate (including the region of [[Worms, Germany|Worms]]) coould also be merged with the Saarland and Baden-Württemberg, and the rest of Rhineland-Palatinate would then merge with Hesse (solution D). Both alternatives could be combined (AC, BC, AD, BD).
 
 
At the same time the commission developed criteria for classifying the terms of Article 29 paragraph 1. The capacity to perform functions effectively was considered most important, whereas regional, historical, and cultural ties were considered as hardly verifiable. To fulfill administrative duties adequately, a population of at least five million per Land was considered as necessary.
 
 
After a relatively brief discussion and mostly negative responses from the affected Länder, the proposals were shelved. Public interest was limited or nonexistent.
 
 
The referendum in Baden was held on 7 June 1970: With 81.9% the vast majority of voters decided for Baden to remain part of Baden-Württemberg, only 18.1% were opting for a reconstitution of the old Land Baden. The referendums in Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate, were held on 19 January 1975:
 
 
* Reconstitution of the Land Oldenburg 31%
 
* Reconstitution of the Land Schaumburg-Lippe 39.5%
 
* Reintegration of Koblenz and Trier into North Rhine-Westphalia 13%
 
* Reintegration of Rheinhessen into Hesse 7.1%
 
* Reintegration of Montabaur into Hesse 14.3%
 
 
Hence, the two referendums in Lower Saxony were successful. As a consequence legislature was forced to act and decided that both Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe remain with Lower Saxony. Justification was that a reconstitution of Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe would contradict the objectives of paragraph 1. An appeal against the decision was rejected as inadmissible by the Federal Constitutional Court.
 
 
On 24 August 1976 the binding provision for a new delimitation of the federal territory was altered into a mere discretionary one. Paragraph 1 was rephrased, now putting the capacity to perform functions in the first place. The option for a referendum in the Federal Republic as a whole (paragraph 4) was abolished. Hence a territorial revision was no longer possible against the will of the affected population.
 
 
===Reunited Germany 1990-present ===
 
The debate about a territorial revision started again shortly before the German reunification. While scientists (Rutz and others) and politicians (Gobrecht) suggested introducing only two, three or four Länder in the GDR, legislation reintroduced [[New states of Germany|the five Länder]] that existed until 1952, however, with slightly changed boundaries.
 
 
Article 118a was introduced into the Basic Law and provided the possibility for Berlin and Brandenburg to merge ''without regard to the provisions of Article 29, by agreement between the two Länder with the participation of their inhabitants who are entitled to vote''.
 
 
Article 29 was again modified and provided an option for the Länder to ''revise the division of their existing territory or parts of their territory by agreement without regard to the provisions of paragraphs (2) through (7)''.
 
 
The state treaty between Berlin and Brandenburg was approved in both parliaments with the necessary two-thirds majority, but in the popular referendum of 5 May 1996 about 63 % voted against the fusion.
 
 
== Politics ==
 
{{PoliticsGermany}}
 
 
Germany is a federal, parliamentary, representative democratic republic. The German political system operates under a framework laid out in the 1949 constitutional document known as the Grundgesetz (Basic Law). By calling the document Grundgesetz, rather than Verfassung (constitution), the authors expressed the intention that it would be replaced by a proper constitution once Germany was reunited as one state.
 
 
Amendments to the Grundgesetz generally require a two-thirds majority of both chambers of the parliament; the fundamental principles of the constitution, as expressed in the articles guaranteeing human dignity, the separation of powers, the federal structure, and the rule of law are valid in perpetuity. Despite the original intention, the Grundgesetz remained in effect after the German reunification in 1990, with only minor amendments.
 
 
=== Government ===
 
 
The [[Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany]], the [[Federation|federal]] [[constitution]], stipulates that the structure of each Federal State's government must "conform to the principles of republican, democratic, and social government, based on the rule of law" (Article 28). Most of the states are governed by a [[Cabinet (government)|cabinet]] led by a ''[[Minister-President|Ministerpräsident]]'' (Minister-President), together with a [[unicameral]] [[legislature|legislative body]] known as the ''[[Landtag]]'' (State [[Diet (assembly)|Diet]]). The states are [[parliamentary republic]]s and the relationship between their legislative and executive branches mirrors that of the federal system: the legislatures are popularly elected for four or five years (depending on the state), and the Minister-President is then chosen by a [[majority vote]] among the ''Landtag'''s members. The Minister-President appoints a cabinet to run the state's agencies and to carry out the executive duties of the state's government.
 
 
The governments in [[Berlin]], [[Bremen (state)|Bremen]] and [[Hamburg]] are designated by the term [[Senate#Alternative meanings|Senate]]. In the three [[free state (government)|free state]]s of [[Bavaria]], [[Free State of Saxony|Saxony]] and [[Thuringia]] the government is referred to as the ''State Government'' ''(Staatsregierung)'', and in the other ten states the term ''Land Government'' ''(Landesregierung)'' is used. Before January 1, 2000, Bavaria had a bicameral parliament, with a popularly elected [[Landtag of Bavaria|''Landtag'']], and a [[Senate]] made up of representatives of the state's major social and economic groups. The Senate was abolished following a [[referendum]] in 1998. The states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg are governed slightly differently from the other states. In each of those cities, the executive branch consists of a Senate of approximately eight selected by the state's parliament; the senators carry out duties equivalent to those of the ministers in the larger states. The equivalent of the Minister-President is the ''Senatspräsident'' (President of the Senate) in Bremen, the ''Erster Bürgermeister'' (First Mayor) in Hamburg, and the ''Regierender Bürgermeister'' (Governing Mayor) in Berlin. The parliament for Berlin is called the ''Abgeordnetenhaus'' (House of Representatives), while Bremen and Hamburg both have a ''Bürgerschaft''. The parliaments in the remaining 13 states are referred to as ''Landtag'' (State Parliament).
 
 
== Subdivisions ==
 
[[Image:Administrative divisions of Germany.svg|thumb|right|350px]]
 
The [[city-state]]s of Berlin and Hamburg are subdivided into [[borough]]s. The state of Bremen consists of two [[List of German urban districts|urban districts]], [[Bremen (city)|Bremen]] and [[Bremerhaven]], which are not contiguous. In the other states there are the following subdivisions:
 
 
===Area associations (''Landschaftsverbände'')===
 
The most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia is uniquely divided into two area associations (''[[Landschaftsverband|Landschaftsverbände]]''), one for the [[Rhineland]], and one for [[Westphalia]]-[[Lippe]]. This arrangement was meant to ease the friction caused by uniting the two culturally different regions into a single state after [[World War II]]. The ''Landschaftsverbände'' now have very little power.
 
 
The constitution of [[Mecklenburg-Vorpommern]] at §75 states the right of [[Mecklenburg]] and [[Vorpommern]] to form ''Landschaftsverbände'', although these two constituent parts of the ''Land'' are not represented in the current administrative division.
 
 
===Governmental districts (''Regierungsbezirke'')===
 
The large states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony are divided into governmental districts, or ''[[Regierungsbezirk]]e''.
 
 
In Rhineland-Palatinate, these districts were abolished on January 1, 2000, in Saxony-Anhalt on January 1, 2004 and in Lower Saxony on January 1, 2005.
 
 
===Administrative districts (''Kreise'')===
 
{{Main|Districts of Germany}}
 
[[File:Landkreise, Kreise und kreisfreie Städte in Deutschland.svg|thumb|Map of German districts. Yellow districts are urban, white are rural.]]
 
 
The [[Districts of Germany]] (''Kreise'') are administrative districts, and every state except the city-states of [[Berlin]], [[Hamburg]] and [[Bremen (state)|Bremen]] consists of [[List of German rural districts|rural districts]] (''Landkreise''), District-free Towns/Cities (''Kreisfreie Städte'', in Baden-Württemberg also called [[List of German urban districts|urban districts]], or ''Stadtkreise''), cities that are districts in their own right, or local associations of a special kind (''Kommunalverbände besonderer Art''), see below. The state of [[Bremen (state)|Bremen]] consists of two urban districts, while Berlin and Hamburg are states and urban districts at the same time.
 
 
There are 313 ''Landkreise'' and 116 ''Kreisfreie Städte'', making 429 districts altogether. Each consists of an elected council and an executive, which is chosen either by the council or by the people, depending on the state, the duties of which are comparable to those of a county executive in the [[United States of America|United States]], supervising local government administration. The ''Landkreise'' have primary administrative functions in specific areas, such as highways, hospitals, and public utilities.
 
 
Local associations of a special kind are an amalgamation of one or more ''Landkreise'' with one or more ''Kreisfreie Städte'' to form a replacement of the aforementioned administrative entities at the district level. They are intended to implement simplification of administration at that level. Typically, a district-free city or town and its urban [[hinterland]] are grouped into such an association, or ''Kommunalverband besonderer Art''. Such an organization requires the issuing of special laws by the governing state, since they are not covered by the normal administrative structure of the respective states.
 
 
In 2010 only three ''Kommunalverbände besonderer Art'' exist.
 
 
* ''[[Hanover (district)|District of Hanover]]''. Formed in 2001 out of the previous rural district of Hanover and the district-free city of [[Hanover]].
 
* ''[[Saarbrücken (district)|Regionalverband Saarbrücken]]'' (district association Saarbrücken). Formed in 2008 out of the predecessor organization ''Stadtverband Saarbrücken'' (city association [[Saarbrücken]]), which was already formed in 1974.
 
* ''[[Aachen (district)|City region of Aachen]]''. Formed in 2009 out of the previous rural district of Aachen and the district-free city of [[Aachen]].
 
 
===Offices (''Ämter'')===
 
[[Amt (political division)|Ämter]] ("offices" or "bureaus"): In some states there is an administrative unit between the districts and the municipalities, called ''Ämter'' (singular ''Amt''), ''Amtsgemeinden'', ''Gemeindeverwaltungsverbände'', ''Landgemeinden'', ''Verbandsgemeinden'', ''Verwaltungsgemeinschaften'' or ''Kirchspiellandgemeinden''.
 
 
===Municipalities (''Gemeinden)===
 
[[Municipality|Municipalities]] (''Gemeinden''): Every rural district and every Amt is subdivided into municipalities, while every urban district is a municipality in its own right. There are ({{As of|2009|3|6|lc=on}}) 12,141 municipalities, which are the smallest administrative units in Germany. Cities and towns are municipalities as well, also having city rights or town rights (''[[Stadtrecht]]e''). Nowadays, this is mostly just the right to be called a city or town. However, in former times there were many other privileges, including the right to impose local taxes or to allow industry only within city limits.
 
 
The municipalities are ruled by elected councils and by an executive, the mayor, who is chosen either by the council or directly by the people, depending on the ''Bundesland''. The "constitution" for the municipalities is created by the states and is uniform throughout a ''Bundesland'' (except for Bremen, which allows Bremerhaven to have its own constitution).
 
 
The municipalities have two major policy responsibilities. First, they administer programs authorized by the federal or state government. Such programs typically relate to youth, schools, public health, and social assistance. Second, Article 28(2) of the Basic Law guarantees the municipalities "the right to regulate on their own responsibility all the affairs of the local community within the limits set by law." Under this broad statement of competence, local governments can justify a wide range of activities. For instance, many municipalities develop and expand the economic infrastructure of their communities through the development of industrial [[trading estate]]s.
 
 
Local authorities foster cultural activities by supporting local artists, building arts centres, and by holding fairs. Local government also provides public utilities, such as gas and electricity, as well as public transportation. The majority of the funding for municipalities is provided by higher levels of government rather than from taxes raised and collected directly by themselves.
 
 
In five of the German states, there are [[unincorporated area]]s, in many cases unpopulated forest and mountain areas, but also four Bavarian lakes that are not part of any municipality. As of January 1, 2005, there were 246 such areas, with a total area of 4167.66&nbsp;km² or 1.2 percent of the total area of Germany. Only four unincorporated areas are populated, with a total population of about 2,000. The following table gives an overview.
 
 
{| border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin: 1em 1em 1em 0; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%;"
 
|+ Unincorporated areas in German states
 
!rowspan=2| State !!colspan=2| 01. January 2004 !!colspan=2| 01. January 2000
 
|-
 
! Number !! Area in km² !! Number !! Area in km²
 
|-
 
| [[Bavaria]] || align="right" | 216 || align="right" | 2725.06 || align="right" | 262 || align="right" | 2992.78
 
|-
 
| [[Lower Saxony]] || align="right" | 23 || align="right" | 949.16 || align="right" | 25 || align="right" | 1394.10
 
|-
 
| [[Hesse]] || align="right" | 4 || align="right" | 327.05 || align="right" | 4 || align="right" | 327.05
 
|-
 
| [[Schleswig-Holstein]] || align="right" | 2 || align="right" | 99.41 || align="right" | 2 || align="right" | 99.41
 
|-
 
| [[Baden-Württemberg]] || align="right" | 1 || align="right" | 66.98 || align="right" | 2 || align="right" | 76.99
 
|-
 
| '''Total''' || align="right" | 246 || align="right" | 4167.66 || align="right" | 295 || align="right" | 4890.33
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
In 2000, the number of unincorporated areas was 295, with a total area of 4890.33&nbsp;km². However, the unincorporated areas are continually being incorporated into neighboring municipalities, wholly or partially, most frequently in Bavaria.
 
 
==See also==
 
{{portal|Germany|European Union}}
 
* [[Elections in Germany]]
 
* [[Federalism in Germany]]
 
* [[List of cities in Germany]]
 
* [[List of German states by GDP]]
 
* [[List of German states by GDP per capita]]
 
* [[List of subnational entities]]
 
* For a list of [[German states]] prior to 1815 see [[List of states in the Holy Roman Empire]]
 
* [[New federal states]]
 
* State Police ''[[Landespolizei]]''
 
* [[Composition of the German Regional Parliaments]]
 
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
 
==External links==
 
*[http://www.citymayors.com/government/germany_government.html CityMayors feature on Germany subdivisions]
 
 
{{States of the Federal Republic of Germany}}
 
{{Allied-administered Germany}}
 
{{Articles on first-level administrative divisions of European countries}}
 
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:States Of Germany}}
 
[[Category:States of Germany| ]]
 
[[Category:Subdivisions of Germany]]
 
[[Category:Lists of country subdivisions]]
 
[[Category:Country subdivisions of Europe|Germany 1]]
 
[[Category:First-level administrative country subdivisions|State of Germany]]
 
[[Category:Germany-related lists]]
 
 
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