East Germany (German Democratic Republic) was founded in 1949 and was absorbed into the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990. The German Democratic Republic ( GDR; Deutsche Demokratische Republik DDR; commonly known in English as East Germany) was a Socialist state Year 1949 ( MCMXLIX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Events 42 BC - First Battle of Philippi: Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian fight an indecisive battle with Caesar's Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) Its original constitution was promulgated on 7 October 1949. A constitution is a system for government often Codified as a written document that establishes the rules and principles of an autonomous political entity Events 3761 BC - The epoch (origin of the modern Hebrew calendar ( Proleptic Julian calendar) Year 1949 ( MCMXLIX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. It was heavily based on the "Weimarer Reichsverfassung", such that the GDR would be a federal and democratic republic. For a detailed discussion of the English translation of Reich, see Reich. Because the original version did not accurately reflect the actual political climate of the GDR, it was decided in the late 1960s to replace the old constitution with a new version.
The first constitution of the GDR was proclaimed on 7 October 1949, based largely on a draft prepared by the Socialist Unity Party (SED) in September 1946. The Socialist Unity Party of Germany ( German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, SED) was the governing party of the German Democratic The 1949 constitution was intended for a united Germany and was written before the Soviet Union had decided to establish a socialist republic in its zone of occupation. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 The constitution both resembled and differed from Western parliamentary-democratic systems in various respects. With regard to state organization, the 1949 constitution resembled, at least superficially, the Basic Law (Grundgesetz) of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland is the Constitution of Germany. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. As in other parliamentary-democratic systems, provision was also made for two legislative assemblies, the States Chamber (Länderkammer) and the People's Chamber (Volkskammer), and the election of a prime minister (Ministerpräsident) by the party with the largest mandate in the People's Chamber. The Länderkammer (States' Chamber was the one of the two legislative chambers of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) from 7 October 1949 The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" was the unicameral Legislature of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. The president of the GDR, like the president of West Germany, had a very limited role and was removable by a joint two-thirds majority vote in both houses. The first constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR in October 1949 created the office of de Präsident der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (President of the
Lawmaking was essentially the job of the Volkskammer rather than the Landerkammer, but the latter could propose draft laws to the former. The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" was the unicameral Legislature of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) The Länderkammer (States' Chamber was the one of the two legislative chambers of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) from 7 October 1949 The legislative process also exhibited important differences from the West German model; the East German upper house, the Landerkammer, for example, which represented the interests of the individual states, occupied a much weaker position than its West German counterpart. An upper house is one of two chambers of a Bicameral Legislature, the other chamber being the Lower house. The Länderkammer (States' Chamber was the one of the two legislative chambers of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) from 7 October 1949 Article 51 stated that the members of the Volkskammer were to be elected in universal, equal, and secret elections based on the relative majority principle. The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" was the unicameral Legislature of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) Another important difference concerned the role of political parties in the government. According to Article 92, parties with at least 40 seats in the Volkskammer, which then had a total of 400 members, had the right to representation in the government. This policy was consistent with the SED's Marxist Alliance Policy, which stipulated that in order to achieve its aims, the party of the working class must initially work with and through other parties. It also ensured that if the SED was ever demoted to a minority position, its continued influence in the government would be safeguarded by the provision that any parliamentary party that commanded at least 10 percent of the total number of votes had a guaranteed share in the government. A set of basic human rights, including the right to strike (Article 14) and to emigrate (Article 10) retained features of a liberal Rechtsstaat and formally guaranteed that sovereignty would remain vested in the people. '''''Rechtsstaat''''' is a concept in Continental European legal thinking originally borrowed from German Jurisprudence, which literally means a "state of law"
The 1949 constitution was a compromise; it could have served either as a basis for building socialism or as the basis for a democratic all-German republic. Critics have pointed out that the absence of a genuinely independent constitutional judiciary rendered the document virtually meaningless, however. And, in fact, as time progressed, the authorities ignored most of its formal provisions and permitted the emergence of a centralized political order under the control of the SED.
Several important amendments were made at the initiative of the SED in the eighteen years in which the constitution was in force. An amendment of August 1950 eliminated state parliaments and called for the election of parliamentary deputies through the creation of a joint platform and lists organized by the National Front, the umbrella organization of all political parties and mass organizations. The National Front of Democratic Germany ( German: Nationale Front des Demokratischen Deutschlands, NF was a Popular front of political parties A 1952 decision replaced the five states (Länder) with fifteen administrative districts (Bezirke) that were tied more directly to the central government. Following the redrawing of Germany 's national boundaries after 1945 there were five states or Länder in the Soviet occupation zone: (The United States, Britain, and France never recognized East Berlin as a Bezirk of the GDR. East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990 ) This step created the necessary legal precedent for eliminating the States Chamber, which eventually was dissolved by a constitutional amendment in December 1958. A series of amendments known as the Law Toward the Completion of the Constitution were passed by the People's Chamber in March 1954, when the country was formally granted sovereignty by the Soviet Union. These amendments delineated the features of the country's new sovereignty and a formal military structure, which prepared the ground for the obligatory military service clause of 1955. And finally, upon the death of President Wilhelm Pieck on 7 September 1960, a constitutional amendment of 12 September 1960 replaced the office of President with the Council of State (Staatsrat der DDR); Walter Ulbricht became its first chairman. Friedrich Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck ( January 3, 1876 - September 7, 1960) was a German communist and the first and only The Staatsrat (Council of State was in the German Democratic Republic the formally highest collective body which was created with law over the formation of the Council of State Walter Ulbricht ( June 30, 1893 &ndash August 1, 1973) was a German Communist politician The same constitutional amendment also acknowledged the role of the recently formed National Defense Council of the GDR (Nationale Verteidigungsrat der DDR) in GDR defense policy. The National Defense Council of the German Democratic Republic (GDR - East Germany) (German Nationale Verteidigungsrat der DDR - NVR) was created in 1960
At the Seventh Party Congress of the SED in April 1967, Ulbricht called for a new constitution and declared that the existing constitution no longer accorded "with the relations of socialist society and the present level of historical development. " A new constitution was needed to conform with the Marxist-Leninist belief in the progression of history and the role of the working class led by the SED. The new constitution was also to reflect the role of the state as the party's main instrument in achieving the goal of a socialist and eventually communist society. A commission in the Volkskammer was tasked in December 1967 to draft a new constitution. The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" was the unicameral Legislature of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) Two months later, the commission produced a document, which, after "public debate," was submitted to a plebiscite on April 6, 1968. Approved by a 94. 5 percent margin, the new Constitution went into effect three days later on 9 April 1968. Events 193 - Septimius Severus is proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army in Illyricum (in the Balkans) Year 1968 ( MCMLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The new Constitution integrated all the constitutional changes that had taken place since 1949 into a new "socialist" framework, but it reduced certain rights provided in the earlier version. Article 1 of the 1968 constitution began with the words, "The German Democratic Republic is a socialist state of the German nation. It is the political organization of the workers in the cities and in the countryside, who jointly under the leadership of the working class and their Marxist-Leninist party will realize Socialism. " The new document unequivocally declared that "the leadership of the state is to be exercised through the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party," the SED. The 1949 constitution had declared Germany to be a "democratic republic," whereas the new one described East Germany as a "socialist state of the German nation. " Under the old constitution, power was derived from "the people," while Article 2 of the new Constitution stated that power emanated from the "working people" who were implementing socialism under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party. Working class is a term used in academic Sociology and in ordinary conversation to describe depending on context and speaker those employed in specific fields or types Marxism-Leninism is a Communist ideological stream that emerged as the mainstream tendency amongst the Communist parties in the 1920s as it was adopted
Significant changes introduced into the 1968 document included Article 6, which committed the state to adhere to the "principles of socialist internationalism" and to devote special attention to its "fraternal ties" with the Soviet Union; Article 9, which based the national economy on the "socialist ownership of the means of production"; Article 20, which under pressure from the churches granted freedom of conscience and belief; Article 21, which maintained that the "basic rights" of citizenship were inseparably linked with "corresponding obligations"; and Article 47, which declared that the principle of "democratic centralism" is the authoritative maxim for the construction of the socialist state. Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience and freedom of ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact viewpoint Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist
With the rise of Erich Honecker in May 1971 and the increasing international recognition of the GDR, the regime attempted to abandon the concept that the GDR was part of a larger German nation; instead, the policy of Abgrenzung (separation) was instituted, with the desired effect of creating a separate GDR national identity. Erich Honecker ( August 25, 1912 – May 29, 1994) was a German Communist Politician who led the German Democratic As a result, the 1968 constitution was amended by the Volkskammer on 27 September 1974 to delete the reference to the German nation and to further increase the emphasis on solidarity and friendship with the Soviet Union. The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" was the unicameral Legislature of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany) Events 489 - Odoacer attacks Theodoric at the Battle of Verona and is defeated again Year 1974 ( MCMLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 In practice, however, ties between East Germans and their West German countrymen increased, in part due to the policies of Ostpolitik and detente followed by both East and West during the 1970s. Ostpolitik ( German for Eastern Politics) describes the politics of the "Change Through Rapprochement" principle &mdash as verbalized by Egon Bahr Détente is a French term meaning a relaxing or easing the term has been used in international politics since the early 1970s
Article 1 of the 1974 constitution began with the words, "The German Democratic Republic is a socialist state of workers and farmers. It is the political organization of the workers in the cities and in the countryside under the leadership of the working class and their Marxist-Leninist party. "
In April 1990, the democratic forum Runder Tisch (Round Table) developed a proposal for a new GDR constitution to reflect the democratic changes that swept across the GDR following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, however, by that time, the newly freely-elected Volkskammer (parliament) was moving in the direction of outright unification with the Federal Republic, and so the draft constitution went nowhere. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) The Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer was a physical barrier separating West Berlin from the German Democratic Republic (GDR ( East Germany) including Year 1989 ( MCMLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar) The Volkskammer ("People's Chamber" was the unicameral Legislature of the German Democratic Republic ( East Germany)