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Learn History to Improve Your German Lessons

By Alan, published on 28/06/2019 Blog > Languages > German > Learn History in Germans Classes

If you are looking to expand your linguistic studies and feel like you need a bit of help finding the right place to take German lessons near you, you are in the right place. Learning a second language can provide you with a whole new journey of possibilities and discoveries, especially when starting from a young age or at school.

By taking German lessons you also open yourself up to a new world. You can meet new and interesting people, get a job in a different country or even find the love of your life but you by learning a language, you can start to understand the culture and history of countries and this, in turn, can help you learn.

Let’s review some important moments in the history of modern Germany and how they have influenced the country and its culture today. 

Germanic Confederation (1815-1866)

German history as a country starts in 1871 when the German Empire was established. Before this, Germany was formed by a group of States under the Holy Roman Empire, formed as a result of the division of the Carolingian empire in 843.

  • 1848 – The first German Parliament is created in Frankfurt am Main after The Revolution, which draws up the first constitution but it fails because monarchs regain control.
  • 1864 – As a result of the Second Schleswig War with Denmark, and the Seven Weeks War, Prussia ensures Germanic predominance.

Frankfurt Parliament, 1848 First German Parliament is created in Frankfurt am Main (Source: wikipedia.org)

The German Empire (II Reich)

After the triumph of Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War, the German Empire was founded on January 18, 1871, achieving the unification of the different German states around Prussia, excluding Austria. Thus, Prussia becomes Germany under the leadership of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, one of the most important statesmen of the nineteenth century.

A period of great German national development begins in all fields: politics, economy, and militia.

  • 1888 – After the coronation of Guillermo II as Kaiser, the emperor becomes incapable of maintaining the policies established by Bismarck that by then were the base of worldwide stability. Germany is gradually seen as a power unable to continue with European balance.
  • 1914 – WWI is declared which led to the defeat of Germany in 1918, pointing to the end of the Hohenzollern dynasty. The victorious nations impose the Treaty of Versailles.

Weimar Republic (1919-1933)

This stage of parliamentary fragmentation and the refusal of the military to accept their defeat in WWI, followed by the agreements imposed by the winners, marks a period of great instability for Germany.

The economic crisis as a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles and hyperinflation brings ruin to a large part of the middle class, worsening after the Great Depression of 1929.

In the elections of 1933, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP –  Nazi), won and took full advantage of the situation, finalizing the first German democratic experience. Nationalist and fascist ideas were central to the new party’s politics.

World War One. Germany is defeated. WWI and the Great Depression of 1929 marks a period of great instability. (Source: pixabay.com)

Nazi Germany (III Reich) – 1933-1945

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was elected head of government. The following year, he also replaced the head of state.

On September 1, 1939, World War II broke out after signing the Munich Pact based on Hitler’s political model “Lebensraum”, obtaining great military victories. In Europe, they invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Greece, and the Balkans, and in North Africa to Libya and Tunisia. 

The Nazi commit huge atrocities against Jewish people and other minorities across Europe.

As Early as 1941, German plans became difficult following Hitler’s attempts to reach Moscow and then to the Caspian Sea to stop supplies from Siberia and control the oil.

After the adhesion of the USA to the war, Nazi Germany is weakened and defeated, signing its surrender on May 8, 1945. Later that year, the Potsdam Conference delimits the borders in Europe.

Nazi German in Berliin with svastics flags Germany in 1933 under Hitler’s Nazi government. (Source: pixabay.com)

Cold War And Reunification

From 1950, the Federal Republic of Germany faced institutional recovery, becoming the third world power over its neighboring winners. This cycle of more than 40 years was marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall, separating East and West Germany.

After the Treaties of Rome of 1957 and the Treaty of the Elysee signed in 1963, Germany and France work together with a political approach and a common look at geopolitics.

After signing the Two Plus Four Treaty between the two German states and the allies, the occupation is ended. In August of 1994, the Soviets finalize their retirement of Eastern Germany followed by the other allied armies.

Germany And The European Union

Germany played a key role in promoting the foundations of the European Union (EU). In this way, they would strengthen the region politically and economically.

The year 2001 marked a precedent in the history of modern Europe with the creation of the Euro (€), a single currency for the Union with the pretensions of competing in markets worldwide. Little by little the local currencies started to disappear.

In 2005, the German parliament reaffirmed the Constitutional Treaty or European Constitution, but after receiving a No from both France and the Netherlands, the treaty had to create new initiatives.

On March 25, 2007, the 15th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome was celebrated in Germany. At this summit, the members signed a political declaration that protects the ambitions and values ​​of the European Union.

German and the European Union era Germanic States have pushed the creation of the UE since 1950. (Source: pixabay.com)

Understanding History Can Help You Learn German 

The German language, like many others, has many unique characteristics. While listening to someone speak German may seem difficult, it is said that – with a little effort – is one of the easiest languages ​​to learn, at least for English-speaking people.

Learning to speak a new language is about taking on another layer of information, incorporating, not only new vocabulary but also a different culture and perspective. Knowing the history of Germany helps to understand how the language has progressed or changed; a way to help understand German people and how they think and see the world. Starting lessons in middle school and then high school can be a huge advantage, therefore. 

German is a great language to learn, from its grammatical syntax to the conjunction and structure of words that denote general and specific concepts.

Many Americans have German roots due to the large waves of immigrants arriving from Europe devastated by wars and famines, in order to achieve a better life in a country of opportunity. Due to these migratory waves the term American dream was born.

The biggest German colony is the US If you are an English speaker, your German classes will be easier due to the proximity of the two languages. (Source: pixabay.com)

If you are looking to learn a second language, or maybe a third or fourth language, at Superprof we can help you get the best German teachers near you. At the same time, you can choose the schedules and modalities of the classes.

It only takes a few German lessons for you to get into a culture so rich and different that it becomes increasingly useful.

Due to the strength of the German nation and its people, the country has been able to continue to progress in different areas, thus, becoming a fundamental pillar in the world economy and politics today.

 Taking German classes will open new doors to you, in terms of work, socializing and other contexts. At the same time, it will make you smarter and more creative providing a potential you never knew you had.

 

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