In late medieval and early modern times, Brandenburg was one of seven electoral states
of the Holy Roman Empire
, and, along with Prussia
, formed the original core of the German Empire
, the first unified German state. Governed by the Hohenzollern dynasty
from 1415, it contained the future German capital Berlin. After 1618 the Margraviate of Brandenburg
and the Duchy of Prussia
were combined to form Brandenburg-Prussia
, which was ruled by the same branch of the House of Hohenzollern
. In 1701 the state was elevated as the Kingdom of Prussia
. Franconian Nuremberg
, Swabian Hohenzollern
, the eastern European connections of Berlin, and the status of Brandenburg's ruler as prince-elector
together were instrumental in the rise of that state.
Early Middle Ages
Brandenburg is situated in territory known in antiquity as Magna Germania
, which reached to the Vistula river. By the 7th century, Slavic peoples
are believed to have settled in the Brandenburg area. The Slavs expanded from the east, possibly driven from their homelands in present-day Ukraine and perhaps Belarus by the invasions of the Huns
. They relied heavily on river transport. The two principal Slavic groups in the present-day area of Brandenburg were the Hevelli
in the west and the Sprevane
in the east.
Beginning in the early 10th century, Henry the Fowler
and his successors conquered territory up to the Oder River
. Slavic settlements such as Brenna
(Brandenburg an der Havel
), and Chośebuz
) came under imperial
control through the installation of margraves. Their main function was to defend and protect the eastern marches
. In 948 Emperor Otto I
established margraves to exert imperial control over the pagan Slavs west of the Oder River. Otto founded the Bishoprics of Brandenburg
. The Northern March
was founded as a northeastern border territory of the Holy Roman Empire
. However, a great uprising of Wends
drove imperial forces from the territory of present-day Brandenburg in 983. The region returned to the control of Slavic leaders.
Late Middle Ages
During the 12th century, the German kings and emperors re-established control over the mixed Slav-inhabited lands of present-day Brandenburg, although some Slavs like the Sorbs
adapted to Germanization
while retaining their distinctiveness. The Roman Catholic Church brought bishoprics
which, with their walled towns, afforded protection from attacks for the townspeople. With the monks and bishops, the history of the town of Brandenburg an der Havel
, which was the first center of the state of Brandenburg, began.
In 1134, in the wake of a German crusade
against the Wends
, the German magnate, Albert the Bear
, was granted the Northern March
by the Emperor Lothar III
. He formally inherited the town of Brandenburg and the lands of the Hevelli from their last Wendish ruler, Pribislav
, in 1150. After crushing a force of Sprevane who occupied the town of Brandenburg in the 1150s, Albert proclaimed himself ruler of the new Margraviate of Brandenburg
. Albert, and his descendants the Ascanians
, then made considerable progress in conquering, colonizing, Christianizing, and cultivating lands as far east as the Oder. Within this region, Slavic and German residents intermarried. During the 13th century, the Ascanians began acquiring territory east of the Oder, later known as the Neumark
(see also Altmark
In 1320, the Brandenburg Ascanian line came to an end, and from 1323 up until 1415 Brandenburg was under the control of the Wittelsbachs
, followed by the Luxembourg
Dynasties. Under the Luxembourgs, the Margrave of Brandenburg
gained the status of a prince-elector
of the Holy Roman Empire. In the period 1373–1415, Brandenburg was a part of the Bohemian Crown
. In 1415, the Electorate of Brandenburg was granted by Emperor Sigismund
to the House of Hohenzollern
, which would rule until the end of World War I. The Hohenzollerns established their capital in Berlin, by then the economic center of Brandenburg.
16th and 17th centuries
Brandenburg converted to Protestantism in 1539 in the wake of the Protestant Reformation
, and generally did quite well in the 16th century, with the expansion of trade along the Elbe, Havel, and Spree rivers. The Hohenzollerns expanded their territory by co-rulership since 1577 and acquiring the Duchy of Prussia
in 1618, the Duchy of Cleves
(1614) in the Rhineland
, and territories in Westphalia
. The result was a sprawling, disconnected country known as Brandenburg-Prussia
that was in poor shape to defend itself during the Thirty Years' War
Kingdom of Prussia and German Empire
When Frederick William died in 1688, he was followed by his son Frederick
, third of that name in Brandenburg. As the lands that had been acquired in Prussia were outside the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick assumed (as Frederick I) the title of "King in Prussia
" (1701). Although his self-promotion from margrave to king relied on his title to the Duchy of Prussia, Brandenburg was still the most important portion of the kingdom. However, this combined state is known as the Kingdom of Prussia
Brandenburg remained the core of the Kingdom of Prussia, and it was the site of the kingdom's capitals, Berlin and Potsdam. When Prussia was subdivided into provinces in 1815, the territory of the Margraviate of Brandenburg became the Province of Brandenburg
, again subdivided into the government region of Frankfurt
and Potsdam. In 1881, the City of Berlin was separated from the Province of Brandenburg.
However, industrial towns ringing Berlin lay within Brandenburg, and the growth of the region's industrial economy brought an increase in the population of the province. The Province of Brandenburg had an area of 39,039 km2
(15,073 sq mi) and a population of 2.6 million (1925). After Germany's defeat in World War II, the Neumark
, the part of Brandenburg east of the Oder–Neisse line
, even absent any Polish-speaking population in this area, became part of Poland. The entire population of former East Brandenburg was expelled en masse
.The remainder of the province became a state in the Soviet Zone of occupation in Germany
when Prussia was dissolved in 1947.
, which connected East Germany to the American sector of West Berlin, became known for the exchange of captured spies.
Federal Republic of Germany
The present State of Brandenburg was re-established on 3 October 1990 upon German reunification
The newly elected Landtag of Brandenburg first met on 26 October 1990.
As in other former parts of East Germany, the lack of modern infrastructure and exposure to West Germany's competitive market economy brought widespread unemployment and economic difficulty. In the recent years, however, Brandenburg's infrastructure has been modernized and unemployment has slowly declined.
In 1995, the governments of Berlin and Brandenburg proposed to merge the states in order to form a new state with the name of "Berlin-Brandenburg", though some suggested calling the proposed new state "Prussia". The merger was rejected in a plebiscite
in 1996 – while West Berliners voted for a merger, East Berliners and Brandenburgers voted against it.
The Oder river
forms a part of the eastern border, the Elbe river
a portion of the western border. The main rivers in the state itself are the Spree
and the Havel
. In the southeast, there is a wetlands region called the Spreewald
; it is the northernmost part of Lusatia
, where the Sorbs
, a Slavic
people, still live. These areas are bilingual, i.e., German and Sorbian
are both used.
Cities and towns
Brandenburg is known for its well-preserved natural environment and its ambitious natural protection policies which began in the 1990s. 15 large protected areas were designated following Germany's reunification
. Each of them is provided with state-financed administration and a park ranger staff, who guide visitors and work to ensure nature conservation. Most protected areas have visitor centers.
This section needs expansion
. You can help by adding to it
. (May 2020)
Population density in Berlin-Brandenburg in 2015
Development of Brandenburg's population from 1875 within current borders
Brandenburg is divided into 14 rural districts (Landkreise
) and four urban districts (kreisfreie Städte
), shown with their population in 2011:
Administrative divisions of Brandenburg
The Brandenburg parliament building (Landtag) in Potsdam
Dietmar Woidke, current Minister-President of Brandenburg
The Gross domestic product
(GDP) of the state was 72.9 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 2.2% of German economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 26,700 euros or 88% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 91% of the EU average. The GDP per capita was the third lowest of all states in Germany.
The unemployment rate stood at 5.8% in October 2018 and was higher than the German average but lower than the average of Eastern Germany.
It was planned to incorporate Schönefeld's existing infrastructure and terminals into the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport
which was not scheduled to open before the end of 2020.
The new BER will have an initial capacity of 35-40 million passengers a year. Due to increasing air traffic in Berlin and Brandenburg, plans for airport expansions were in the making, as of 2017.
BER airport is now open and receives over sixty combined passenger, charter and cargo airlines.
The University of Potsdam
This section needs expansion
. You can help by adding to it
. (May 2020)
In 2016, around 49,000 students were enrolled in Brandenburg universities and higher education facilities.
The largest institution is the University of Potsdam
, located southwest of Berlin
In 2019 the state of Brandenburg adopted an Open Access
strategy calling on universities to develop transformation strategies to make knowledge from Brandenburg freely accessible to all.
- Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), philosopher, linguist, diplomat, and founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin
- Heinrich von Kleist (1777–1811), poet, dramatist, and novelist
- Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841), architect, city planner, and painter
- Peter Joseph Lenné (1789–1866), gardener and landscape architect
- Theodor Fontane (1819–1898), novelist and poet
- Wilhelm Pieck (1876–1960), politician, first President of the German Democratic Republic
- Wolfgang Joop (born 1944), fashion designer, founder of JOOP!
- Matthias Platzeck (born 1953), politician, Minister President of Brandenburg from 2002 to 2013
- Henry Maske (born 1964), professional boxer
- Paul van Dyk (born 1971), DJ, record producer, and musician
- Britta Steffen (born 1983), competitive swimmer, former Olympic, World, and European champion
- Robert Harting (born 1984), discus thrower, former Olympic, World, and European champion
- Roehl brothers, Charles (1857–1927) and William (1890–1968), businessmen and pioneers of Washington state.
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- ^ "Amt für Statistik Berlin Brandenburg - Statistiken". www.statistik-berlin-brandenburg.de (in German). Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- ^ SPIEGEL, DER. "Dietmar Woidke in Brandenburg als Ministerpräsident wiedergewählt - DER SPIEGEL - Politik". www.spiegel.de (in German). Retrieved 11 January 2021.
- ^ "Bundesrat - Election dates in the federal states". www.bundesrat.de. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
- ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
- ^ "Arbeitslosenquote nach Bundesländern in Deutschland 2018 | Statista". Statista (in German). Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- ^ (Destatis), © Statistisches Bundesamt (13 November 2018). "Federal Statistical Office Germany - GENESIS-Online". www-genesis.destatis.de. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- ^ "The future lies in Schoenefeld". Berlin-airport.de. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011.
- ^ "The BER will remain ghost-airport until 2020", welt.de, 15. December 2017
- ^ "Dateien". www.statistischebibliothek.de. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
- ^ "Brandenburg auf dem Sprung zu 2,5 Millionen-Einwohner-Marke".
- ^ Euler, Ellen (2019). "Open-Access-Strategie des Landes Brandenburg". doi:10.5281/zenodo.2581783.
- ^ Johann Sebastian Bach's Werke, vol.19: Kammermusik, dritter band, Bach-Gesellschaft, Leipzig; ed. Wilhelm Rust, 1871
- ^ MacDonogh, Giles. Frederick the Great: A Life in Deed and Letters. St. Martin's Griffin. New York. 2001. ISBN 0-312-27266-9
- ^ "Germany's Spreewald gherkins – possibly the best in the world". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
Last edited on 23 June 2021, at 15:44
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