Motto: Gott mit Uns
(German: "God with us”)
Anthem: Heil dir im Siegerkranz (unofficial)
|Territory of the German Empire in 1914, prior to World War I|
Territory of the German Empire in 1914, prior to World War I
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Polish (Posen, Upper Silesia, Masuria)
French (Lothringen region of Elsass-Lothringen)
|1910||540,766 km2 (208,791 sq mi)|
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The German Empire ("Deutsches Reich" or "Deutsches Kaiserreich" in the German language) is the name for a group of German countries from January 18, 1871 to November 9, 1918. This is from the Unification of Germany when Wilhelm I of Prussia was made German Kaiser to when the third Emperor Wilhelm II was removed from power at the end of the First World War. It is sometimes called the "Second Reich".
The name of Germany was "Deutsches Reich" until 1945. "Reich" can mean many things, empire, kingdom, state, "richness" or "wealth". Most members of the Empire were previously members of the North German Confederation.
At different times, there were three groups of smaller countries, each group was later called a "Reich" by some Germans. The first was the Holy Roman Empire. The second was the German Empire. The third was the Third Reich.
The words "Second Reich" were used for the German Empire by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, a nationalist writer in the 1920s. He was trying to make a link with the earlier Holy Roman Empire which had once been very strong. Germany had lost the war and was suffering big problems and he wanted to start a "Third Reich" to unite the country. These words were later used by the Nazis to make themselves appear stronger.
States in the Empire