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Chapter Summary

Germany's modern incarnation is conventionally thought to date from the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. At that time the Confederation of the Rhine (Rheinbund, 1806 to approximately 18132) was formed through a treaty concluded between France and several independent German states along the Rhine River. In 1934, Germany was converted from a federal into a unitary state, and the states into administrative districts without international legal personality. As a result, the German government declared that it succeeded only to state treaties that were non-political in nature. The Basic Law also included a provision, in Article 23, through which the portion of Germany under Soviet control could join the Federal Republic. In 1991, the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic through operation of Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Keywords: Federal Republic; France; Germany; Rhine River



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