The central placement of Germany within Europe has had both positive and negative effects on the nation’s history. It has more bordering countries than any other nation in Europe, including nine in all.
The southwest region of Germany, close to the Swiss border, is home to Germany’s most extensive and well-known forest. This area is known as the Black Forest, and it is characterized by its hilly terrain and abundance of coniferous trees. This woodland is home to the headwaters of the Danube, which is one of the longest rivers in Europe.
The German government has designated Standard German as the country’s official language. It belongs to the West Germanic language family and is the primary language spoken by the largest number of people in the European Union (Taylor, 2001). Over ninety-five percent of Germany’s population is able to communicate in German. This number also includes those who speak Northern Low Saxon, which is a kind of West Low German. Dutch, Frisian, Low Germa, Afrikaans, and English are all closely connected to German, which is also linked to Frisian. The Latin script is used for the writing system.
Because to its northerly latitudes and the distance of the majority of its land from the warming impact of the North Atlantic Current, Germany is blessed with a climate that is more often than not moderate. This is particularly true when taking into consideration both of these factors (Taylor, 2001). It is quite uncommon for there to be temperatures that are extremely high during the summer, and for there to be deep and continuous frost during the winter. The combination of these factors, in addition to an above-average and evenly dispersed quantity of precipitation, creates the optimal environment for the cultivation of crops (Taylor, 2001). When the mild westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean combine with the cold air masses pouring in from northeastern Europe, the climate in Germany, as is the case across Western Europe in general, is vulnerable to rapid changes. In contrast to the wide coastlands located close to the North and Baltic seas, where the marine component predominates, continental components become more important as one moves toward the east and southeast.
United Germany was considered the enlarged continuation of West Germany so it retained its memberships in international organisations. Based on the Berlin/Bonn Act (1994), Berlin again became the capital of Germany, while Bonn obtained the unique status of a Bundesstadt (federal city) retaining some federal ministries (Taylor, 2001). The relocation of the government was completed in 1999, and modernisation of the East German economy was scheduled to last until 2019.
Since reunification, Germany has taken a more active role in the European Union, signing the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, and co-founding the Eurozone (Taylor, 2001). Germany sent a peacekeeping force to secure stability in the Balkans and sent German troops to Afghanistan as part of a NATO effort to provide security in that country after the ousting of the Taliban.
In the 2005 elections, Angela Merkel became the first female chancellor. In 2009 the German government approved a €50 billion stimulus plan (Taylor, 2001). Among the major German political projects of the early 21st century are the advancement of European integration, the energy transition for a sustainable energy supply, the “Debt Brake” for balanced budgets, measures to increase the fertility rate, and high-tech strategies for the transition of the German economy, summarized as Industry 4.0. During the 2015 European migrant crisis, the country took in over a million refugees and migrants