Countries that once controlled the area currently known as Germany include France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. The German Empire didn't emerge until the late 19th century, after being under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire and Napoleon.
After World War I, Germany was stripped of its colonies and forced to cede land to Denmark, France, Poland and others. After World War II, it was divided between East Germany and West Germany. The countries were reunited in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall.Learn more about Germany