States of Germany

The states of Germany refer to the sixteen states, known in German as Länder (singular Land), of the country Germany, a Federal Republic. Since Land is also the German word for “country”, the term Bundesländer (federal states; singular Bundesland) is commonly used colloquially, as it is more specific, though technically incorrect within the corpus of German law.

The citizens of the states form the nation of Germany, and have the right of abode within the states. The area covered by the 16 states is completely and solely the territory of Germany.

The cities of Berlin and Hamburg are states in their own right, while the State of Bremen consists of two cities, Bremen and Bremerhaven. These three are termed Stadtstaaten (city-states). The remaining 13 states are termed Flächenländer (area states).

In UK English translations, the word “Land” is more commonly used.

STATES
After World War II, states were constituted as administrative areas in the western part of the former German Reich, which was occupied by the western allies— the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. In 1949, these states formed the Federal Republic of Germany. This is in contrast to the post-war development in Austria, where the Bund (federation) was constituted first, and then the individual states were created as units of a federal state.

The use of the term Länder (countries) dates back to the Weimar constitution of 1919. Before this time, the constituent counties of the German Empire were called Staaten (states). Today, it is very common to use the term Bundesland(federal country). However, this term is not used officially, neither by the constitution of 1919 nor by the Basic Law of 1949. Three Länder are called call Freistaat (free state, republic), i.e., Bavaria (since 1919), Saxony (since 1990), and Thuringia (since 1994). Many of the current states have the same names with territory substantially the same as their namesakes during the Weimar Republic.

source: wikipedia

 
 

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