The Holy Roman Empire and the seeds of the Third Reich

Everyone is familiar with Hitler and the Third Reich, but why was it called the Third Reich? What were the First and Second Reichs?

We have to travel all the way back to the Middle Ages and the time of Charlemagne to find the seeds of what would eventually become the Third Reich under Hitler’s Germany.

The year 800 Christmas Day is the general date believed that ushered in the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. On this day, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne king of the empire. The territory covered much of western and central Europe and would last for over a thousand years. Charlemagne’s empire was vast and prominent during his lifetime, fell off somewhat after his death, but then was reinvigorated by Otto I around 962. This date of 962 is used by other historians to mark the date of the founding of the Holy Roman Empire. Whatever the actual date may be, it certainly had its roots in the crowning of Charlemagne, and in effect would last — at least in memory — up until the time of Adolf Hitler.

Part of Hitler wanted to resurrect the prominence of the Holy Roman Empire, to create an empire that would perpetuate the German master race throughout the entire world. He took a much closer example of this power and unification seen in the Prussian Empire in the 19th century during the Hohenzollern dynasty period. Prominent figures leading the rise to power of imperial Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries were Wilhelm I, Wilhelm II, and Otto Von Bismark. This was the Second Reich.

And out of the turmoil and chaos of World War I, the seeds that had been planted long ago, the idea of a powerful German state, of imperial dominance of Europe and the world, founded in the reign of Charlemagne, the state of the Third Reich and Nazi Germany came to fruition and burst forth from the smoldering ashes of a collapsed but proud nation.

And the world would never be the same.

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Steven

My life has been pretty simple. I grew up in Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor's in Advertising. I have spent about the last ten years in web development. In 1998, a friend of mine and I started a web design company we ran for three or four years before deciding to close it due to the demands of school. Since then, I stayed in the web working with various companies in Alabama. I worked for a brief period with Southern Progress, namely with Southern Living magazine and Health magazine, in their web departments. While there, I also wrote for Southern Living magazine, Health.com., and the company's internal newsletter. I write as much as I can. For the last five years, I have been working on my first novel. I am on the third revision now and hope to be finished with this draft by the end of the year. I also write short fiction, though not as frequently as I used to due to the time I spend on the novel. My goal is to have my novel published in the next three years. Other interests include: History (particularly medieval and ancient civlizations), Reading, Foreign Language (I currently speak Spanish but plan to learn as many as I can), Landscape Photography, the outdoors, sports (especially college football), and Travel.

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