Beginning with Henry the Fowler, Saxon dynasties dominated the German lands, and under his son Otto I, Middle Francia and East Francia, which were mostly German, became part of the Kingdom of Germany, which constituted the core of the Holy Roman Empire.  The Age of Enlightenment and the Romantic era saw a notable flourishing of German culture. , The introduction of printing by the German inventor Johannes Gutenberg contributed to the formation of a new understanding of faith and reason. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Vandals, Gepidae, and Goths migrated from southern Sweden in the closing centuries bc and occupied the area of the southern Baltic coast roughly between the Oder on the west and the Vistula River on the east.  The term "German" may also be applied to any citizen, native or inhabitant of Germany, or member of the Germanic peoples, regardless of whether they are of German ethnicity or not. They formed the largest non-English-speaking community in colonial North America. The term "German" may also be applied to any citizen, native or inhabitant of Germany, or member of the Germanic peoples, regardless of whether they are of German ethnicity or not. It comes from the Latin language and because of the ancient prestige of this language (and later the prestige of the English language), it has been adapted to many other languages in the world. That made the situation for reconstruction in Germany somewhat different.  In response to the advance of Protestantism, Catholics began the Counter-Reformation. The first German immigrants came to America to avoid the Thirty Years' war in Germany, which started in 1618 A.D. due to religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics. , After centuries of political fragmentation, a sense of German unity began to emerge in the 18th century. The meaning of the word Germani and the language to which it belongs are unknown. Tacitus relates that according to their ancient songs the Germans were descended from the three sons of Mannus, the son of the god Tuisto, the son of Earth.  Much of Central Europe was at that time inhabited by Celts, who are associated with the La Tène culture.  Among the most powerful German state to emerge in the aftermath of the Peace of Westphalia was Prussia, which was under the rule of the House of Hohenzollern. At an early date there was also migration toward the south and west at the expense of the Celtic peoples who then inhabited much of western Germany: the Celtic Helvetii, for example, who were confined by the Germanic peoples to the area that is now Switzerland in the 1st century bc, had once extended as far east as the Main River. By the year 500, the Angles and Saxons were in England and the Franks controlled northeastern Gaul. Updates? The settlers of the Pennsylvania German region came from the Rhineland, Switzerland, Tyrol, and various other regions beginning in 1689. American entry into World War II in 1941 renewed American animosity toward Germans. , In the years following unification, German society was radically changed by numerous processes, including industrialization, rationalization, secularization and the rise of capitalism. German cooks are famed for using extravagant ingredients and combining the whole into a rich dining experience, so it seemed to fit that this recipe must have come from Germany.  Trade increased and there was a specialization of the arts and crafts.  German revolutionaries of the revolutions of 1848 were able to create a temporary Frankfurt Parliament, but failed in their aims to immediately unify the German homeland. And yet, it … Germans refer to their country as Deutschland, which comes … , Popular German dishes include brown bread and stew. - left their land north of Babylon and migrated northwest - through the lands that are now Georgia, the Ukraine, Poland, … In the aftermath of Germany's defeat in the war, the country was occupied and partitioned, while millions of Germans were expelled from Eastern Europe. At this time, the Germanic peoples were fragmented into a large number of tribes who were frequently in conflict with both the Roman Empire and one another. Estimates on the total number of Germans in the world range from 100 to 150 million, and most of them live in Germany.. The areas of eastern Germany vacated by the Goths and others were filled up by the Slavs, who extended westward as far as Bohemia and the basin of the Elbe. As for the Danubian frontier of the Roman Empire, the Hermunduri extended from the neighbourhood of Regensburg northward through Franconia to Thuringia. 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