In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire.After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic.Simultaneously several large tribes formed in what is now Germany and displaced or absorbed smaller Germanic tribes.Large areas known since the Merovingian period as Austrasia, Neustria, and Aquitaine were conquered by the Franks who established the Frankish Kingdom, and pushed farther east to subjugate Saxony and Bavaria.
In the 21st century, Germany is a great power with a strong economy; it has the world's 4th largest economy by nominal GDP, and the 5th largest by PPP.
As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods.
A developed country with a very high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, and a tuition-free university education.
The country's other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen, Dresden, Hannover, and Nuremberg.
Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
Evidence of modern humans, similarly dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm.