1803 Germany, map from UT
1898 Germany, map from LC
800 - Charlemagne created the Holy Roman Empire, or the "First Reich," by uniting the German states with Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium, eastern France, northern Italy and western Poland into a loose federation like the old Roman empire, under an "emperor," or king chosen by German prince electors and confirmed by the Pope.

1648 - Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War, recognized the independence of the 360 German princes from the defeated Holy Roman Empire. Brandenburg, with its capital city of Berlin, grew in power under the Great Elector Frederick William (1640-1688) to rival Austria in central Europe.

1701 - Brandenburg became Prussia under King Frederick I (1688-1713), son of the Great Elector, and modernized under his son Frederick William I (1713-40).

1740 - Frederick William II, "Frederick the Great" (1740-86), conquered Silesia and western Poland.

1791 - The Brandenburg Gate, built 1788-1791, on the Unter den Linden led to the emperor's palace in Berlin.

1792 - Napoleon invaded Prussia; France occupied the Rhineland 1794 until it lost the Battle of Leipzig 1813.

1815 - The German Confederation replaced the defunct Holy Roman Empire, joining Prussia with the kingdoms of kingdoms of Austria, Saxony, Bavaria, Wuerttemberg, and 38 smaller states.

1862 - King Wilhelm I of Prussia (1858-88) named Otto von Bismarck, a member of the Junkers landowning class, as his minister president.

1866 - Bismarck defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, expanded Prussian terriotory, replaced the German Confederation with a North German Confederation that excluded Austria. After the Spanish revolution of 1868, Bismarck wanted Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen to take the crown of Spain, but France refused and threatened war against Prussia, and Bismarck used the French threat to unite the southern German states.

1870 - France declared war July 19, but Germany quickly put 400,000 men into three armies that invaded France. Although France won the initial battle at Saarburcken Aug. 2, the German armies drove the French out of Alsace and Lorraine, won the battle of Gravelotte Aug. 18, and defeated the French led by the Emperor himself at the Battle of Sedan Sept. 1.

1871 - After defeating France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 that regained Alsace and Lorraine from France, Prussia led the unification of 25 provinces into a German Empire (or "Second Reich") and Wilhelm of the Prussian Hohenzollerns became the Kaiser and Emperor of Germany on January 18, crowned in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles as the siege of Paris was coming to a tragic end, with the collapse of the French government and the radical rule of the Paris Commune until the Treaty of Frankfort on May 10 ended the war, and the Third Republic began to govern France.

1884 - Bismarck began construction of the Reichstag Building in Berlin for the German Parliament, finished 1894.

1914 - Germany supported Austria at the start of World War I and declared war on Russia August 1

1918 - Germany defeated, signed armistice based on Wilson's 14 Points.

1919 - Treaty of Versailles stripped Germany of colonies and land and required reparations.

1923 - Adolf Hitler led abortive coup in Munich beer hall.

1924 - Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in prison.

1929 - Global depression, mass unemployment.

1933 - Hitler became chancellor of a "Third Reich."

1935 - Germany began rearmament. Nuremberg Laws deprived German Jews of citizenship.

1936 - Berlin Olympics.

1938 - Annexation of Austria and Sudetenland. Kristallnacht against Jews and synagogues.

1939- Invasion of Poland began World War II in Europe. The Holocaust killed six million Jews.

1945 - Germany defeated and divided into occupation zones.

1946 - Nuremberg war crimes trials.

1949 - German zones of US, French, and British became Federal Republic of Germany; Soviet zone in East Germany became communist German Democratic Republic. Konrad Adenauer, of the Christian Democrats (CDU) was West Germany's first chancellor until 1963. East Germany was led by Walter Ulbricht.

1955 - West Germany joined Nato; East Germany joined Warsaw Pact.

1957 - West Germany joined European Economic Community.

1961 - Construction of Berlin Wall.

1969 - Willy Brandt became chancellor and began his Ostpolitik with USSR and East Germany.

1971 - Walter Ulbricht succeeded in East Germany by Erich Honecker.

1973 - East and West Germany join UN.

1974 - Brandt resigned after spy revelations surrounding one of his aides. New Chancellor Helmut Schmidt continued Brandt's Ostpolitik.

1982 - Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl became chancellor.

1987 - East German leader Erich Honecker made first official visit to West.

1989 - Mass exodus of East Germans as Soviet-bloc countries relaxed travel restrictions; Berlin Wall torn down.

1990 - Kohl led reunified Germany.

1991 - Parliament named Berlin the new capital.

1993 - Germany joined Maastricht Treaty on European Union.

1994 - Honecker died. Kohl re-elected. Russian and Allied troops finally leave Berlin.

1998 - General election victory for SPD leader Gerhard Schroeder led to "Red-Green coalition" with the Green Party.

2001 - In November, Chancellor Schroeder survived parliamentary confidence vote over deployment of 4,000 troops in the US-led campaign in Afghanistan, Germany's largest deployment outside Europe since World War II.

2002 - In January, Euro replaced DM with two month overlap period.

2002 - In September, Schroeder re-elected but with a sharply reduced majority due to success of the Greens.

2003 - In March, Constitutional Court decided not to uphold government request to ban neo-Nazi National Democratic Party because of accusations that government informants planted in party ranks had acted as agents to discredit it.

2004 - In March, Franz Muentefering succeeded Schroeder as leader of the SPD.

2005 - In March, edited East German secret police files on former chancellor Helmut Kohl made available to researchers under certain conditions. Mr Kohl had fought a long legal battle to prevent publication. In May, Parliament ratified EU constitution. The Sept. 17 election failed to give any party a parliamentary majority. Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats won 35.2% of the vote (225 seats) and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's centrist Social Democrats won 34.3% of the vote, and three seats less than the CD. The pro-business Free Democrats won 9.8% (61 seats). the Left party won 8.7% (54 seats), and the Greens won 8.1% (51 seats).

revised 6/1/06 by Schoenherr | Maps