16 States of Germany

As what I have mentioned in my previous post, I am sharing to you now the 16 states of Germany..Just a bit knowledge of this country….read below and you will found!!


After the end of the Second World War, the states in the western part of the former German Reich were constituted as administrative areas first and subsequently federated into the Bund or Federal Republic of Germany. This is in contrast to post-war development in Austria, where the Bund was constituted first, and then the individual states were created as units of a federal system. In Austria, the states are also referred to as Länder in the Austrian constitution.

The use of the term Länder (countries) instead of Staaten (states) is in accordance with German political tradition, where the concept of Germany as an entity has always existed, either as a confederation or an alliance of several smaller independent kingdoms and duchies dating from the 9th century. Many of the current states have the same names and generally occupy the same areas as their namesakes, the former sovereign countries (for example Bavaria and Saxony which have along with Bremen nearly the same territory as in 1871). The singular term Staat however is in use for the Länder individually and their institutions in many cases.


During the initial occupation of Germany after World War II, the territory in each Occupation Zone was re-organized into new states to prevent any one state from ever dominating Germany (as Prussia had done). Initially, only 7 of the pre-War states remained: Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Baden, Saarland, Saxony, and Thuringia. The rest were amalgamations of Prussian provinces and smaller states. For example, the Prussian Province of Saxony and the state of Anhalt were merged to create Saxony-Anhalt.

Upon founding in 1949, West Germany had eleven states, which were reduced to nine in 1952 as three south-western states (Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Württemberg-Baden) merged to form Baden-Württemberg. Since 1957, when the French-occupied Saarland was returned (the “small reunification”), the Federal Republic consisted of ten states. West Berlin was in many ways integrated with West Germany, but due to its special status de jure under the sovereignty of the Western Allies, did not officially constitute a state or part of one.

In East Germany, originally five states (Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony) existed, until 1952, when the GDR divided them into 14 administrative districts (Bezirke). Soviet-controlled East Berlin, despite officially having the same status as West Berlin, was declared capital of the GDR, as a (15th) district.

Just prior to the German reunification on 3 October 1990, 14 of the East German districts (not including East Berlin) reconstituted themselves, mainly along the old borders, into the five New States. The former district of East Berlin joined West Berlin to form the new state of Berlin. Thus the 10 “old states” plus 5 “new states” plus Berlin add up to 16.

Later, the constitution was changed to state that the citizens of the 16 states had successfully achieved unity in freedom, and that the constitution now covers all German people. Article 23, which had allowed “other parts of Germany” to join, was abolished as its continued inclusion might have been regarded as an invitation for other German-speaking states and areas to join (e.g. Austria, South Tyrol, Liechtenstein, the Swiss cantons, Alsace, Luxembourg, and Eastern Belgium).

Unlike other federations, the German states retain the right to act on their own behalf at an international level. They retain the status of subjects of international law, independently from their status as members of a federation. This unique status is enshrined in Articles 23, 24, and 32 of the Basic Law.

The 16 states are the following..

1. Baden-Württemberg
2. Free State of Bavaria (Freistaat Bayern)
3. Berlin
4. Brandenburg
5. Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (Freie Hansestadt Bremen)
6. Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg)
7. Hesse (Hessen)
8. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
9. Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)
10. North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
11. Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz)
12. Saarland
13. Free State of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen)
14. Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt)
15. Schleswig-Holstein
16. Free State of Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen)

The description free state (Freistaat) is merely used for historical reasons, when free state was added to the titles of states that were not monarchies. Legally a Freistaat is no different from the other states. The usual official name is Land of […]. Each state is represented at the federal level in the Bundesrat (“Federal Council”).



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