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"Without a Country" Project:
Transcript of "Without a Country" Project:
Mrs. Hageman, Mr. Bensing,
or Mrs. Candler
English Period 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, or 9
8 March 2014
There are many countries around the world that
are respectable places to live for a variety of political, cultural, and physical geography reasons. However, the country that would be most suitable based on an assortment of criteria would be Germany.
Because of its favored temperate climate and landforms, its rich cultural selection of food, architecture, and celebrations, as well as its successes with industry and trade, the country of Germany would be the perfect place to inhabit.
Germany’s water features add to the topography of this stunning country. The longest river in Germany is the Rhine. Rising in the Alps of Switzerland, its overall length is 820 miles. Another river is the Danube, which rises in the Black Forest to then stretch across central Europe all the way to the Black Sea. The largest lakes include Chiemsee, Muritz, and Lake Constance (“Geography”). Furthermore, there are a series of man-made canals that join the rivers, which creates thousands of miles of interconnecting inland waterways. They are ideal for commercial and local water traffic (“Geography”).
Germany is located in the center of Europe and has nine bordering countries: Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Baltic Sea, the North Sea, and the lowlands create the natural borders in the North of Germany, and the borders of Southern Germany are formed by the Alps Mountains and Lake Constance (“Germany Facts”).
Additionally, the Bavarian Alps, the highest mountains in Germany, span across its southern border with Austria, including the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze, which is approximately 10,000 feet. It is one of Germany's best attractions. Tourists can ride a cable car to the top of the mountain and take in the spectacular scenery of the Alps in addition to the Bavarian countryside (“Germany Facts”).
First of all, Germany’s physical geography in regards to landforms, climate, vegetation, and wildlife make it a desirable location.
As if the beautiful terrain of this country is not enticing enough, Germany is also favored for its moderate climate (“Germany”). Particularly high temperatures in the summer months, as well as long, prolonged frost in the winter are quite rare. Average temperatures in the summer months are usually around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and the typical temperature in January is 31.5 degrees Fahrenheit (“German Language”). These conditions, coupled with a moderate amount of rainfall, offer ideal conditions for dwelling, in addition to sustaining crops for agricultural abundance (“Germany”).
By size, Germany is the seventh-largest European country, and from north to south the landscape varies quite drastically. The North Sea coastline is low, marshy wetland with dispersed islands. Rugen, which is Germany’s largest island, is particularly mountainous with sharp cliffs and sand-covered beaches. Furthermore, the Baltic Sea area has an abundance of hills with some pointed cliffs. The North European Plain spans across the northern portion of Germany. This flat, lowland ground consists of a number of rivers and streams and is mostly used as farmland. In the southern portion of Germany, the terrain is mostly hilly with tree-covered mountains. The Bohemian Forest borders the Czech Republic, and Germany’s southwestern edge consists of the Rhine River and the Black Forest (“Geography”).
"Without a Country"
Additionally, the vegetation and wildlife add to the outstanding landscape that Germany has to offer its residents. The vast areas of forest and mountainous topography contribute to a surprising variety of wildlife. Various animals thrive in most parts of Germany. There are several varieties of deer, quail, and pheasant. Subsequently, Germany offers several internationally recognized bird reserves (“Germany”).
From the diverse and beautiful terrain to its favorable climate, vegetation and wildlife, it is easy to see why Germany would be an ideal country to inhabit.
Furthermore, Germany’s foods, customs, recreation, and tourist attractions make it a country rich in heritage and culture.
Oktoberfest is one of the most popular and known celebrations that Germans have every year. It is the world’s largest outdoor festival. Taking place in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest actually begins in late September in order to take advantage of the more comfortable weather temperatures. To celebrate, Germans dress in their traditional clothing, listen to music, dance, eat, and drink. Historically in 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The celebration began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th. Oktoberfest was repeated every year, and ultimately the festival was lengthened to its current 14-day time period. Furthermore, Oktoberfest celebrations are mimicked around the world (“Germany”).
In regards to cuisine, Germany offers a variety of foods that appeal to people around the world. Sauerkraut is probably the most famous vegetable associated with German culture. It is eaten in Germany with potatoes and meat. Also, Semmelknoedel is a popular dish consisting of bread dumplings, and it is usually eaten either with mushrooms in a creamy sauce or with meat. Next, Spargel is white asparagus that is harvested in late spring and has a very unique taste. It is primarily served with ham and a white creamy sauce. Weisswurst is a veal sausage that is eaten in Bavaria in the morning. As for the desserts, Black Forest Cake is a scrumptious dark chocolate cake filled with cherries and cream. Stollen and Lebkuchen are cakes and ginger biscuits that are devoured at Christmas time in Germany. This great variety of food makes German cuisine quite appealing to people everywhere (“Germany Facts”).
Black Forest Cake
Furthermore, there are many outstanding tourist attractions that Germany has to offer its citizens as well as its visitors. Berlin is the capital of Germany and is the largest city in Germany. It is well known for its universities and museums. Heidelberg is a city in south-west Germany and is one of the greatest tourist attractions for its picturesque Rhine Valley. It has an architectural uniqueness that makes it all the more appealing to its visitors. Germany is home to thousands of castles. One of the most popular is the Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle was constructed in the Bavarian Alps of Germany. Neuschwanstein is the most famous of three castles built by Louis II of Bavaria, also known as Mad King Louis (“Germany”). Furthermore, Bavaria and the German Alps are outstanding destinations for skiing and hiking (“German Language”). Ultimately, it is easy to understand why Germany would be a wonderful place to inhabit based on its cultural geography.
In regards to health care, Germany has one of the most successful systems in the world. It is provided through a combination of public and private funding. Employers offer most of the backing for health care by paying into one of several hundred “sickness funds” that provide health care funding to their employees. Germany is widely regarded as having excellent access, short wait times, care with the best and most up-to-date technology and pharmaceuticals available (“The German Government”).
Germany and Sports
Moreover, Germany is no stranger when it comes to music, sports, and art culture. Most Germans lead a very active life. Soccer seems to be the most popular outdoor sport, with marksmanship and tennis being other favored activities. Basketball, hockey, handball, and volleyball are also enjoyed by those living in Germany. Furthermore, Germany has proven to be one of the strongest competitors in the Olympics (“German Language”).
Germany and Music
Germany has also been the home to some of the most famous and successful classical composers in the world, such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Strauss, and Wagner. Even today, Germany continues to be an inspiration to the music industry since it is one of the top ten greatest music markets in the world (“German Language”).
Economy and Trade
In addition, Germany is Europe's largest economy and second most populated nation. The German economy is the fifth largest economy in the world. The country is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment, and profits from a very skilled labor force. Therefore, it is easy to understand why Germany had one of the lowest unemployment rates at 5.4% in 2012. Germany is among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, and textiles. Therefore, Germany is the world’s greatest exporter of goods, distributing 1.016 trillion dollars in goods around the world in 2005 (“The World Factbook”). Furthermore, Germany is the world’s second largest producer of cars, such as BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche. Because of this, Germany is home to the Autobahn, a major highway through Germany that is well known because in most parts of the highway, there is no speed limit. It is not uncommon to see sports cars moving at excessively high speeds (“Germany”). Ultimately, Germany’s industrial success, as well as its government, health care, and education make it an exceedingly desirable place to live.
Germany’s political geography in regards to government, education, health care, and industry add to the country’s appeal as a thriving and fantastic place to call home. Germany is a republic with a parliamentary democracy and a two-tiered system of government. The Federal Government consists of the Chancellor and his/her ministers who are chosen from the members of the Bundestag. The Bundestag, also known as the Federal Diet, is the legislative body in Germany. It is made up of representatives elected by the German people. The Bundestag's main contributions are to draft and pass legislation, approve the national budget, and to vote on the organization of the German army. The members of the Bundestag are elected by the people of Germany. Elections to the Bundestag take place every four years (“The German Government”). The Bundesrat, or Federal Council, represents the 16 federal states of Germany at the national level. The Bundestag members are elected to office, while the Bundesrat are selected and removed by their state cabinet (“German Language”).
When it comes to education, Germany employs a significant amount of control over schools in Germany. Education is required at the age of six for all children. They must start to attend one of the many elementary schools in Germany. Public schools in Germany are maintained and paid for by the government. They are free of charge while offering a successful education. Therefore, there are rather few private schools in Germany (“Schools in Germany”). Even though there are public schools for elementary school children, parents and guardians can later select one of many educational establishments in Germany for their older children because there are no district limitations for secondary education. Schools in Germany are prearranged by the federal states, and there are several different types of schools to choose from based on various characteristics (“Schools in Germany”). Additionally and quite appealingly, more than 99% of Germany’s population can read and write (“Germany Facts”).
All in all, the country that would be most suitable based on a vast amount of criteria would be Germany. Because of its favored temperate climate and landforms, its rich cultural selection of food, architecture, and celebrations, as well as its successes with industry and trade, the country of Germany would be the perfect place to inhabit.
Joachim Gauck, Germany's President since 2012
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