"Third" Reich

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"Third" Reich

Post by Ezboard » 29 Sep 2002 12:02

Unregistered User
(1/30/00 9:45:18 am)
Reply "Third" Reich
Just one dumb question: Why "Third Reich?" I guess I want the definition of 'Reich' or what was the first and second reich? I've just always wondered. . . luntgirl@hotmail.com

Gareth Collins
Unregistered User
(1/30/00 7:29:20 pm)
Reply Third Reich
The First Reich was when Bismarck united the country. The Second Reich was the Kaiser's reign and this was declared the Third Reich.

Glenn A Steinberg
Unregistered User
(1/30/00 8:17:21 pm)
Reply Re: Third Reich
Actually, Gareth, you're wrong here.

Reich literally means "Empire," but in Germany it came to mean "Nation."

The First Reich was the Holy Roman Empire, which existed from the time of Charlemagne (about 800 A.D.) to 1806 (when Holy Roman Emperor Franz II, during the Napoleonic Wars, renounced his title as Holy Roman Emperor and became Emperor just of Austria and of Austria's lands -- Hungary, Bohemia, etc.). It consisted of most of what we now think of as Germany, plus Bohemia and the Low Countries and, at times, northern Italy. East and West Prussia were outside its borders, but the King of Prussia was also Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Cleves-Juelich-Berg within the Holy Roman Empire.

The Second Reich was the one that Bismarck created by unifying Germany in 1871 under Kaiser Wilhelm I. It lasted from 1871 to 1918, when Kaiser Wilhelm II (the grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm I) abdicated at the end of World War I.

The Weimar Republic used the word "Reich" as a synonym for "nation(al)," but the Nazis, in proclaiming their 1000-year Reich, had delusions of creating an Empire on the scale of the First and Second Reichs, an empire that like the First Reich would last a thousand years. In actuality, of course, their Reich didn't even last as long as the Second Reich.

Jeff Viguers
Unregistered User
(1/31/00 2:37:45 am)
Reply The First Reich....700 AD - 936 AD
I never knew that the 1st Reich lasted for about 1000 years. :-)

Here's the info. from my source;

"In time, the Merovingian kings grew weak, until they retained all the rights and privelages of kingship, but the burden of responsibility rested on the shoulders of the Mayor of the Palace. In the reign of Childric III, that was Pepin the Short, descended from the great Frankish hero Charles Martel. In 751, with the pope's approval, Pepin took the title and rights of king for himself, as well, deposing Childric.

Pepin had two sons: Charles and Carloman. Between these two, he divided his empire, a common practice that led to the feuding that perpetuated the Dark Ages. Of the two brothers, Charles was the more able ruler and soldier. He conquered his brother's realm, as well as northern Italy and most of Germany. Later generations would fashion numerous stories about him. In his own lifetime, the coins of his realm were stamped with his name in Latin: "Carolus Magnus," meaning "Charles the Great." That same title was the source of his German name, Karl der Grosse, as well as his French name, Charle le Magne, which, in English, we contract to Charlemagne.

On Christmas Day in the Year of Our Lord 800, Charlemagne was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III. The reign of Charlemagne became the model of all subsequent medieval kings; a good king would rule like Charlemagne. But, upon his death, his great Empire was broken into three parts for each of his son. Louis the German recieved East Francia, what is modern Germany. Within a few centuries, the Carolingian line had died out, but the fragments of the Empire remained under a few rulers.

By the tenth century, East Francia was being attacked by another Teutonic people from the north, called the Norsemen, or Vikings. They were also attacked by the Magyars and Moravians, while rival tribes within the kingdom threatened to tear it apart. Now, the feudal system which Charlemagne had to a large extent implemented - an all-powerful king who ruled over a number of vassal lords - began to tear apart the kingdom, as the five tribal duchies - Franconia, Swabia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Lorraine - became, for all intents and purposes, independent. These five kingdoms set the tone for the rest of Germany's medieval history: a military and ecclesiastical aristocracy ruling over an agrarian peasantry. As these rulers were the ones who elected the kings, they chose weak rulers, so that none may oppose their own authority. Much like the election of Pope John Paul II in our own time, in 936, the electors, thinking they had chosen a weak-minded puppet, found they had underestimated the man they crowned..."

Jeff Viguers
Unregistered User
(1/31/00 2:41:24 am)
Reply The Second Reich, 1701 AD - 1914 AD
From my source;

"Until this point, eastern Europe, tamed by the Teutonic Knights, had had little to do with therest of the continent. But Frederick I, of the powerful Hohenzollern family, and elector of Bradenburg, wished to be more than a prince. He wished to be a king. He achieved his dream, and was crowned King of Prussia in 1701.

Prussia was then a tiny kingdom, built to satisfy Frederick's want of a title. It was his son, Frederick the Great, who made Prussia into a mighty power. The Holy Roman Empire was, for all intents and purposes, dead. But the title of Emperor still rested with the Habsburgs. And, while the Empire may have been gone, the Habsburgs' power certainly was not, for they controlled Austria. It was Maria Theresa, the ruler of Austria, that Frederick began fighting. The Prussian king's tactical genius turned his kingdom from a tiny realm into one of the greatest powers in Europe. In the Seven Years' War, several European nations tried, but failed, to destroy Prussia. It was this war that left England bankrupt, and began the events that led to the American Revolution. The American Revolution inspired the French to revolt against Louis XIV, the "Sun King," and set up a Republic. And it was the instability of this same Republic that allowed Napoleon to come to power.

By the time that Napoleon's Grand Armee marched across the German lands, Frederick was long dead. But still, the power of Prussia was not to be taken lightly. Napoleon forced the German states into the Confederation of the Rhine, which was kept under his control, while the Holy Roman Emperor Franz II was forced to take a different title: that of the Austrian Emperor. But it was Prussia, with the aid of an Alliance of European powers, that fought the French Emperor at Waterloo.

Napoleon's fall left Europe in a precarious political situation, and the Congress of Vienna was called to straighten out the order of things. By its conclusion, Prussia had emerged as the single most powerful German kingdom. At this time, Wilhelm I was King of Prussia, but it was his chancellor, Prince Otto von Bismarck, that is better remembered. For, though his diplomacy, blackmail, and instigation, he managed to unite all of the German states under Prussian rule; mainly by giving them a common enemy. It was he who created the German Empire, the Second Reich of German history.

Bismarck was dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who succeeded Wilhelm I. He concluded an alliance with the Austrian- Hungarian Empire (a power created by the "dual monarchy" of Austria and Hungary), not long before the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serb. It was the "shot heard around the world," and would plunge the entire world into a war that would end with the destruction of the German Reich, and a devastation Europe had never before known."

Jeff Viguers
Unregistered User
(1/31/00 2:55:16 am)
Reply Chronology of Germany.......
The Teutonic Tribes (2500 BC - 700 AD)
The First Reich (700 AD - 936 AD)
The Holy Roman Empire (936 AD - 1517 AD)
Renaissance & Reformation (1517 AD - 1701 AD)
The Second Reich (1701 AD - 1914 AD)
The War to End All Wars (1914 AD - 1933 AD)
The Third Reich (1933 AD - 1945 AD)
Division & Reunification (1945 AD - 1990 AD)

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