Until 1918 Germany was a federal empire. The confederation included four kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg), six grand duchies (Baden, Hesse, the two Mecklenburg, Oldenburg and Saxony-Weimar), five duchies, seven principalities, three free cities, and the territory of the empire, namely Alsace-Lorraine; in all twenty-six major political divisions, but far from simple. There are many remnants of the feudal regime which had dismembered the territory of Germany in an almost infinite number of secular and ecclesiastical lordships. Even today, with the exception of Saxony which in 1928 made a territorial exchange with Thuringia and therefore no longer has exclaves or enclaves, no state in Germany has full territorial continuity: small and large completely disjointed territories depend on each one, and wedged into the territory of another state, with how many political-administrative inconveniences it is easy to imagine.
Since 1918, following the revolution, Germany has been a federal republic, whose individual component members, called Länder (“countries”), have also become republicans. The number of Länder decreased: the states of Thuringia, whose political map was a real mosaic (Saxony-Weimar, Saxony-Gotha, Saxony-Altemburg, Saxony-Meiningen, Reuss, the two Schwarzburg) merged into a single state: “Land Thüringen” . Coburg (south of the Thuringian Forest) joined Bavaria, Pyrmont (circle of the Waldeck) was joined to Hanover (Prussian province) and Waldeck himself (main part of the small state) to the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. The provinces of West Prussia and Posnania for the most part came into the possession of Poland: the strip of territory left to the west, to Germany, today constitutes the Marca, or border province, Posnania-West Prussia.
According to Collegetoppicks, the confederate states are the following: Prussia, which is without comparison the largest of all by area and population (almost 300,000 square kilometers and 38 million residents), and it can be said that the state most certainly corresponds to a large natural region, because at least most of it is located in the Germanic Lowland, although it penetrates considerably into middle Germany and owns the Hohenzollern, in southern Germany. Its area is however interrupted, first of all due to the fact that East Prussia remains detached from the rest of the state by means of the Polish corridor: in addition to this, there are notable territorial discontinuities, albeit of very different political significance: coastal states such as Mecklenburg- Strelitz, with Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Luxembourg alongside, and included (“enclaves”) such as the Republic of Hesse, Anhalt, Lippe, Schaumburg-Lippe, Brunswick and the territories of the Hanseatic cities of Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck interrupt the territorial continuity of Prussia. It is the hegemonic state, and Berlin is the capital of Prussia and the Germanic state.
Bavaria follows Prussia in size, but at a great distance (76,000 sq km, with just over 7 million residents) and appears in its extension as an effect of geographical factors, since it is essentially the state formed in the territory in front of the Alps (and it is homogeneous also in the sense that the residents belong to the same somatic type): from the territory in front of the Alps, Bavaria extends to that crossed by the upper Main, which is closely linked to the first. The Württemberg (with 19,500 sq km. And 2 1 / 2million residents) includes the greater part of Swabia with the Neckar basin forming its center. Baden, although historical formation due to skilled diplomatic work and warlike fortune, is the state of the right bank of the Upper Rhine. Saxony, Thuringia, and Hesse are the least linked to natural conditions and rather residues of pure political divisions of the past: too much entirely located in central Europe, they found it difficult to grow.
Saxony is, by extension, the fourth German state (15,000 square kilometers with almost 5 million residents). Overall, within the borders marked by recent treaties, the German state (Deutsches Reich) is made up of 17 states, including the three urban republics mentioned above.
The total number of territories detached from the state on which they depend is currently 178: Prussia has 66 (not including East Prussia), Brunswick 29, Mecklenburg-Strelitz 12, Hesse 11, Hamburg 10, Lübeck 9, Baden 9, Thuringia 7, Württemberg 6, Anhalt 6, Lippe 6, Mecklenburg-Schwerin 3, Luxembourg 2, Bremen 1, Bavaria 1. they do not coincide with geographical regions or even with ethnographic regions or parts of them, and not infrequently in a homogeneous territory in terms of geographical conditions and economic life, the jurisdiction and legislation of several states intersect. Now that there is no longer the obstacle of the ruling houses, studies are underway to give Germany a new political-administrative division,