With reunification two years ago, Germany has emerged as the number two economic power in Europe. Some divisions remain between the German states, however, particularly Bavaria. While Bavaria on Earth does not seek independence, some colonies settled by Bavaria are considering independence.
- Population: 105,238,000 (89% urban, 11% rural)
- Literacy: 100%
- College Education: 91%
- Life Expectancy: 92.7 male, 97.2 female
- Largest Cities: Ruhr Metroplex (23,000,000), Berlin (6,550,000), Munchen (5,562,000)
- Industrial Capacity: 10 Rudell Units
- Mineral Production: 68%, net importer of minerals
- Power Production: 68% (86% solar, 8% atomic, 6% mineral), net importer of power
- Principal Trading Partners: Great Britain, extraterrestrial colonies, America, Japan, Manchuria, European community
History Since Twilight
Germany was hard hit by Twilight, not only by nuclear strikes and pandemics, but also by the waves of refugees that used it as a crossroads fleeing one disaster after another. Many of them got stuck in Germany after France established the Rhine buffer zone and closed its borders, and what was left of the central government utterly collapsed under the strain.
France encouraged the emergence of separate Germanic states. Bavaria enjoyed French aid and became an established French ally. Hanover, the strongest of the German states, kept the name Germany The remaining German territories became the independent states of Westphalia, Brandenburg, and Saxony. The shifting allegiances of these three states worked against any one German state becoming totally dominant, and against the possibility of German nation reuniting.
Of the five German states, Bavaria alone built starships and established interstellar colonies while Hanover claimed supremacy of the German states. Bavaria was a staunch French ally, even if that meant opposing measures clearly in the German interest. A group of leading German businessmen began to discuss how they could lower trade barriers, open up trade, and make their states more wealthy and powerful.
By 2280 the hand of the French began to be felt; agreements fell through, data was lost, important people were disgraced or ruined. There was little to actually connect the French to so many events, but the businessmen saw a pattern, and took action. They began to make themselves even more anonymous and secure. Meetings and conferences still went on, but they were not officially in attendance, or no records were kept, or they were listed as being somewhere else.
All this remarkable effort might have been for naught had the French not embroiled themselves in the Central Asian War of 2282. Bavaria was obligated to serve France in aiding Russia against Manchuria. There were many Bavarian casualties for a cause best described as obscure. In fact, there was no Bavarian interest in Central Asia at all, and between this and the Japanese intervention that actually reversed the tide and allowed the French to claim victory, France lost much political capital with Munich. Bavaria declined to leave troops in the multinational peacekeeping force after 2287 and concentrated its efforts on improving relations with its fellow German neighbors.
The German businessmen, led by Bavarian T.H. Schumpeter had not been idle. With French interests focused on the east, German trade talks and currency revaluations were neglected. The foundations of commercial unity were laid well, and for the first time in centuries there was serious, unforced and uninhibited discussion of political unity. French victory did nothing to stop this process; the French military was soon seizing control of the government in Paris and the Germans received only half-hearted attention from them. It was a perfect atmosphere for fomenting rebelling, and Schumpeter and his charmed circle made the most of it.
The effort bore sudden fruit when Hanover, on 3 May 2291, called for all German states to unify and write a new German constitution. Within three weeks Saxony, Brandenberg, and Westphalia answered the call and began proceeding to elect constitutional delegates, leaving Bavaria the only holdout. Schumpeter was unable to convince his own government at first to join in.
As it was, Bavaria held out for the entire summer, long enough for the military junta in Paris to notice and become alarmed. At the same time, Schumpeter openly began to network among the Bavarian corporations, arguing that a unified Germany was at least as strong as France and more in line with Bavarian interests. It was for this, in the summer of 2291, that made Schumpeter’s reputation, as he rose from nowhere to become the voice and conscience of reunified Germany. There were many who did as much as he, but they were all better known, politicians and business leaders with decades of accomplishments behind them, and their ideas were his ideas. When Schumpeter spoke, with the chorus of four other states behind him, people realized how pivotal he had been in the reunification effort. By summer’s end, even before Bavaria voted to join the convention, the people had lionized him, and a grassroots movement to have him elected President of the new German republic was in full swing.
September 1, 2291, Bavaria voted to join itself to the new Germany. Within a week France found a pretense to abrogate a major trade treaty, and Schumpeter realized that worse was in store. He had never sought public office before, but he found himself at the forefront of a nation about to give birth to itself, and he felt he could not leave it unguided at this critical moment. When the Provisional German Government was formed 12 September, Schumpeter allowed himself to be elected President by acclimation. In swift succession he called together the Constitutional Convention, drafted letters to the heads of the ESA pledging German fidelity to Bavarian obligations, and issued proclamations stating that no German government would be forced to dissolve before all had decided how they would govern themselves. In this fashion he mollified critics at home and abroad, and his next masterstroke preserved peace and bought him time: He did nothing.
Public sentiment was already with him; he needed to do nothing to keep their hopes high but send out regular reports from the Convention. Europeans worried that a new Hitler or a new Bismark was rising to plunge the world back into war; Schumpeter said and did nothing in public that looked like posturing or politics. France was watching Germany and himself closely to see what he would do; he did nothing and gave no visible clue. In fact, he was meeting already with all the German military staffs and bringing them under one unified policy: Protect the homeland from dangers without.
The Convention was a contentious one; their draft was not finished until January of 2292, by which time the French military government was fully committed to sabotaging the effort. Stirring up the ESA was easy, particularly as the French mobilized their armed forces on the border while claiming they were getting ready to defend themselves against attack. Schumpeter realized that the French were prepared to forcibly deunite Germany even if this meant a long and bloody struggle, probably on German soil, and so, after agonizing over it for three nights, he made the fateful decision.
On 10 March, 2292, President Schumpeter went on worldwide TV to announce the new German Constitution had been signed and that Germany was now a formal entity, the newest nation on Earth. Two hours later the French hovertanks crossed the Rhine and invaded. Waiting for them four kilometers on the other side were the German tanks — and international observers — and the TV cameras. The French brought only their own newspeople and a canned story about a provocation. They were outclassed from the start.
There has been much debate about the intended goal of the German counter-invasion of France that followed, and some critics have suggested that this was the intention all along. In his account of the War of German Reunification, My Country (2295), Schumpeter maintains that he was indeed ready to go all the way to Paris if that’s what it took to keep the French on their side of the border. In the end that was never necessary; under the force of the German counterattack the French were pushed back over the border everywhere and a spear point aimed directly at Paris got within 46km of the city before the French sued for peace. Instantly Schumpeter accepted, and to the amazement of the world, halted the drive and ordered all troops back across the Rhine. Over 20,000 soldiers from both sides had died, but Schumpeter asked neither for compensation or territory. “The only place I ever wanted was Germany,” he said at the Chalons-sur-Marne Peace Conference, and that was that.
A Brief Peace
Schumpeter served only one term as President, and then accepted the symbolic office of Premier, cementing his legacy as the father of modern Germany. Retaining most of Bavaria’s holdings in space, and inheriting its ownership of a portion of the ESA, Germany’s economy kicked into high gear, and it soon eclipsed or tied every other county in Europe except for France. In some ways, Germany is France’s chief rival in EEC trade.
Politically, the humiliation of France gained Germany a higher position among the movers and shakers on the continent. Germany has a lot of emotional baggage as far as a number of European countries are concerned, even though the World Wars are more than three centuries in the past. The recent outbreak of war with the Kafers has forced Germany and France into an unprecedented cooperation.
With the loss of the Hochbaden and its four million colonists, Germany now possesses five colonies and one outpost. While it maintains its status as a major space-faring nation, the economic, scientific, and emotional loss of such an important frontier colony will be felt for some time. Prestige remains high though as Germany’s space fleet continues fighting well against the Kafer menace.