History of Berlin

Brief history of Berlin in brief

A brief review of the history of Berlin, the capital of Germany, in a summarized way.

Old Berlin

The great city of Berlin began in the 13th century. Originally there were 2 settlements on each side of the river Spree, Colln and Berlin. Colln was first mentioned in 1237, while Berlin was first mentioned in 1244. The two cities grew rapidly and in 1307 they made an alliance.

In 1360 Berlin-Colln became a member of the Hanseatic League. In the fifteenth century they were flourishing cities with about 8,000 inhabitants. In 1432 Berlin and Colln were formally united. It might seem small to us, but by medieval standards it was a large and prosperous city.

At the beginning of the 16th century the Reformation reached Brandenburg (the state that contained Berlin). The Elector of Brandenburg became a Protestant in 1539. Berlin continued to prosper. However, like all cities of the 16th century, Berlin suffered from outbreaks of the plague.

The plague struck Berlin in 1576, 1598 and 1699. Worse yet, like the rest of Germany it was devastated by the Thirty Years’ War 1618-1648. Its population was reduced to about 6,000 inhabitants.

However, Berlin recovered and at the end of the 17th century it flourished again. Its population grew rapidly thanks to the help of French Protestants fleeing religious persecution. At the beginning of the 18th century, the population of Berlin exceeded 50,000 inhabitants.

In 1701 the Elector Frederick III became King Frederick I of Prussia. Frederick the Great reigned from 1740 to 1786. Under him Berlin prospered and a great deal of architecture was built.

Modern Berlin

In 1806 the French entered Berlin. They occupied the city for 2 years. However, during the 19th century Berlin continued to flourish. The University of Berlin was founded in 1810. In 1831 Berlin suffered an outbreak of cholera. However, starting in 1830, Berlin was transformed by the Industrial Revolution.

In 1838 a railway from Berlin to Potsdam was opened. In 1848, like other European cities, Berlin was rocked by revolutions, but the old order soon returned.

In 1871 Berlin became the capital of Germany. In 1877 its population had reached one million inhabitants. In 1900 there were almost 2 million. Like other cities in the mid-19th century, Berlin was overcrowded and unhealthy.

However, things improved at the end of the 19th century. In the late 1870s a sewerage network was built in Berlin. At the end of the 19th century, Berlin got electricity and telephones.

In 1919 a group of communists attempted an uprising in Berlin. However, it was quickly crushed. Then, in 1920, Berlin merged with several surrounding cities. However, the 1920s were a difficult time for Berlin, as it was for the rest of Germany, and many Berliners were unemployed.

Then in 1933 Hitler became dictator of Germany. In 1936 the Olympic Games were held in Berlin. Then, in 1938, during Kristallnacht, many Jewish properties were looted and burned. In April 1945 the Russians surrounded Berlin. All resistance ceased on May 2. The city was left in ruins, but soon recovered.

After World War II, Berlin was divided into sectors: Soviet, French, British and American. In 1948 the Soviets tried to annex the entire city. On June 24, 1948, all road and rail connections with the Allied sectors in West Berlin were cut.

However, the allies began the airlift from Berlin. For 11 months, Allied aircraft flew supplies to West Germany. On May 12, 1949, the Soviets backed down and ended the blockade. However, in 1961, the communists surrounded West Berlin with a wall and anyone who tried to cross it was shot.

The Berlin Wall was demolished in 1989 with the collapse of communism. Berlin became the capital of a united Germany in 1991. In 2006, Berlin hosted the World Cup. That same year, 2006, the Berlin Central Station was opened. Today Berlin is a flourishing city. The population of Berlin is 3.4 million inhabitants.

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