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Germany is bordered by nine European countries. To the north with Denmark, to the east Poland and Czech Republic, to the south to Austria and Switzerland, to the southwest, Luxembourg and Belgium and to the west the Netherlands.
The Federal Republic of Germany consists of 16 states, known as Länder.
See also: German States
Germany has always been divided into Länder, although territorial boundaries have often varied over the centuries.
The most important changes that occurred in modern times were the consequence of the Napoleonic wars, in the early nineteenth century, the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, World War I and World War II that led to the division of Germany and the dissolution of Prussia, the largest German state.
Almost all present states emerged after 1945 partly taken into account the old national identification bonds and historical boundaries.
Until the unification of Germany in 1990, Germany was composed of 11 states, which were founded in the former zones of Western occupation and which gave democratic constitutions between 1946 and 1957.
Also in the zone of Soviet occupation they created the territory that would later be the five States of the Republic of Germany, based in part in old state traditions.
After the first free elections of the Old Republic of Germany celebrated in March of 1990, they decided to found the five new Federated States. These States were constituted basically within the territorial limits before 1952.
On October 3, 1990, the five states (Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia joined to the Federal Republic of Germany and East Berlin joined West Berlin).
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