The United States is a place full of diverse cultures that have come from across the world from various places. Many people had a variety of reasons for leaving their homelands to be a part of the United States. Our ancestors are people of outstanding courage and strength to build, support, and transform to a new life. Some of my own ancestors can be traced back to Germany during periods of hard times and tough decisions.
My great-grandpa came from Germany in the early1900s to partially escape the aftermath of World War I and it's affect on the people. His main purpose for heading to the United States was because the money became valueless. The economic times for the people in the area became extremely difficult as they were facing a depression that had worsened. Disease and sickness were also beginning to run rampant throughout the country causing many people to leave. I assume that my great-grandpa wanted to be a citizen of a place where they had a choice in religion, along with freedom in general, as well as the means for providing for himself and his family. Although, he knew his transformation would be a difficult one, the decision was a rational choice for means of survival.
Germany is a relatively small country that consists of sixteen federal states and four major geographic regions. The various rivers found in Germany are important for allowing trade and transportation to take place. The climate is generally that of wet winters with an average temperature and mild summers of cooler temperatures. Germany has passed through three wars, two of those being World War I and World War II. These wars affected the rise of Germany's population because of the defeat and losses they suffered. The country is also extremely well known for the Holocaust ran by Adolf Hitler that killed anywhere between eleven million and seventeen million Jews.
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The increase in our technology or even the culture of which we live in may be the reason for why some subsistence strategies are more prevalent than others. Pastoralism is a subsistence strategy used in Germany today for those who raise or herd animals. The majority of the animals that are herd in Germany are pigs, cattle, and chicken and used for their abundance of meats and dairy. There are certain tools needed to herd the animals such as fencing and housing, troughs, milking devices, and slaughter barns. Division if labor is prevalent among individuals to feed the animals and maintain their land. A team of people would be needed to build the fencing and barns. Individuals will also be needed to work milking device machines as well as slaughtering machines that are used. Truck drivers to deliver meat and milk would be an important part for transportation.
Agriculture is a subsistence strategy used in Germany today and accounts for about 5 percent of the labor. Over 80 percent of the land in Germany is used for agricultural purposes and forestry. Those who practice agriculture grow wheat, potatoes, beets, barley, cabbages, etc. In order for the crops such as wheat to be grown and maintained farmers use tractors, combines, irrigation systems, pesticides, tillage equipment, grain carts and planting and seeding drills. Division of labor is divided into specifics such as a person to drive the tractors for purposes such as plowing and mowing, while combines require a trained individual who can operate the machinery to thresh and harvest the wheat. Labor usage is also demanded by an individual who can spread manure, pesticides, and use drills for planting and seeding crops.
Industrialism is widely used throughout Germany in many different ways. A few specifics include processed foods, a touch of mining, machinery, cement, chemicals, and construction industries such as steel which provide one third of their output on products such as cars. Types of tools to produce these cars would be computers for building graphic models, robotics to help build parts for the car, assembly and production lines to make certain parts for things like engines, forklifts and machines for moving heavy objects, and testing systems for satisfaction on their product. Division of labor is divided into various sections for producing cars. There are wage laborers at the assembly lines to put the parts together, while others put certain parts on the cars like windshields, tires, doors, etc. There is also a management team to help organize, distribute, and run the tasks needed to meet goals done by wage laborers, as well as a person who can run and manage the computer's graphic models. Highly trained personnel are needed to run machinery and forklifts for heavy products and individuals for testing products before and after production.
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Information technology is very common and is widely used in Germany today. Most or almost all of their population practices specific types of strategies within information technology. The specific types found in Germany today would consist of tourism, transportation, restaurants, banking, and even cell phones for communication. A trend used throughout all of Germany is that of communication and specifically with cell phones. In order for the communication to be able to take place, there are tools used such as cell phone towers and satellites to allow for the connection of communication, computers to manage the use of cell phones, and even minutes or plans necessary to use the device for communication. The division of labor is separated into many different skills. In order for devices such as cell phones to work labor would be separated into field workers who put up towers on the land as well as I.T. professionals who work, maintain, and manage computer systems that help run the devices and organize information. Also within the labor field, managers with an educational background would be needed to run the business, as well as sales professionals to sell the product.
Germany organizes its own government into a federal parliamentary republic where you must be eighteen years of age to vote. The country is a centralized political system where the people yield their individual sovereignty to the government, where laws are written, passed, signed, and put to order that must be followed by the people. The constitution of Germany divides the powers of the federal and state levels between the three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. This justifies and legitimizes the laws as well as providing protection over individuals, groups, and even the government and its officials. Germany is a democracy, where the chancellor, Angela Merkel, heads the federal government as well as runs the executive branch of government. He serves a four year term and is chosen by the Federal Assembly, which is elected by popular vote. The president, Horst Koehler, serves up to two five-year terms and is elected by federal and state legislature members as head of state where he signs treaties and is a prime representative for the country. The government is internalized as laws, road signs, and rules are followed by most citizens. Ways of which this can be seen is while driving or children going to school. In both instances people abide by the law, whether it's expressed or not. Germany's legal system is that of civil law where people are heard in court. Both men and women serve in the military today and must be eighteen years of age and serve a nine month term.
Germany is well known for its high economic powers and financial stability as one of the top leaders in the world today. The country engages in numerous exports of goods such as cars, televisions, and steel. In this way, their economy is based on that of negative reciprocity, meaning they share barters with many other countries in the world today for their exported goods. This is a way of receiving or being repaid for their export goods immediately and usually in the form of money. Germany is the second largest export in the world and much of the economy is based on market exchange with different countries as well as their own country. Supply and demand is abundant within the car industry and with the exchange of their surplus goods such as cars; they expect a profit to boost their economic system. Germany's economic system is also based on capitalism. Their market controls the economy to provide their citizens with money from exchange and trade. Private ownerships or businesses also support the outcome of the economy for any type of profit whether it is individual, group, industry, etc. After taxes, profit is redistributed to business owners, individuals, or to maintain other industries. Much of the economy is based on the services they provide such as engineering, transportation, and trade to name a few. Germany's tertiary sector accounts for about 69 percent of the GDP. The secondary sector of production or manufacturing on items such as cars and chemicals accounts for about 29 percent. While the primary sector accounts for about 1 percent of raw materials such as lignite, potash salt, and mining. Currently, unemployment rates are at 9.1 percent, an increase since recent years due to hard times felt throughout much of the world.
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Religion is shared by many citizens in Germany in a few different beliefs. Those who practice religion are monotheistic meaning they believe in one God. Christianity in the form of the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant are practiced by almost 70 percent of the German population. There are also a few who practice Islam in the form of the Muslim religion as well as Judaism. Although Christianity is the most popular religion practiced in Germany today, it is not often practiced by attending church Sunday mornings by less than ten percent. A common practice after the birth of a child is baptism. They are given Godparents and transition to a baptized child. After the ceremonial services, they reincorporate the new status of the child by having a meal for the extended family. Religion isn't necessarily a huge part of the culture today, but they do practice Freedom of Religion. By law the people in Germany are able to practice any religion they choose, with no set religion between any of the states. This is found in their Constitution called the Bill of Laws. Religion is also incorporated through marriage. Those who practice religion go to the church to marry according to the religious background that they practice. If they choose to have a family, their children inherit the religion to which they practice. Christmas and Easter are two of the top religious holidays celebrated throughout the country. Easter is celebrated on Sunday with church service and family gatherings on Monday. Christmas is celebrated by opening gifts on Christmas Eve while family members relax on Christmas day.
Marriage is currently declining throughout Germany, but they practice monogamy, meaning they are married to a single spouse. Today, marriage isn't awfully important to the people living within the country. Most people marry in their twenties, but almost 40 percent of their marriages end up in divorce. Love matches are common among those looking for marriage, meaning they are able to choose their own partner on the basis of marriage. Dating is casual and before marriage they make sure they are financially stable. Most of those who marry have a post-marital residence of neolocal, meaning they travel away from their families after they have wed. Even before marriage, couples tend to live together away from their families to gain freedom and independence. Most families consist of a mother, father, and one or two children. They practice a nuclear family type throughout most of Germany while family life is extremely important for the surviving families of marriage. The father is usually the head of the family, but in most families both parents work to support their children. Descent is traced by both the mother and the father's side of the family through lineage by direct bloodline to ancestors. They practice a bilateral kinship because they share a relationship with both the mother and father's side of the family and parent's believe this to be important for their children. Because of the rise in divorce rates and those who re-marry, kin is referred to in two ways: primary connections meaning consanguineal by blood and affinal by marriage as well as by generation such as grandparents, parents, aunts/uncles and siblings. Kinship is important to people in Germany in ways of using grandparents or parents names for their children; however, this trend is beginning to fade. The largest social group in Germany today is middle class where the majority fall in the average-middle class at well over half of the population who have homes, land, and some a college education. However, this may shift more towards the working class and lower class as hard economic times are felt throughout the country.
Germany is diverse in even the smallest ways such as the way they eat their foods. Although they eat similar foods of many countries around the world, most or almost all of the food they eat is used with a fork and knife. They use their knives to place their food onto the forks. This is done as a proper gesture. Their educational system is set up on a tracking system where they work and/or college prep until the age of sixteen. Most people have to take a test before they can enter into school, while they also do two years of public service. Education is divided and ran by each of the sixteen states of which they hold the means of power and money for running the schools. Small villages celebrate festivals several times a year. For example, a popular festival they partake in is beer fest. During beer fest, they have tents, polka music, an abundance of food, and mass amounts of beer where even minors are able to participate. Some common courtesy gestures are not chewing gum in public, not pointing to a person's head as this insinuates that a person is crazy, and not talking with your hands in your pocket because this is seen as disrespectful. Germany's healthcare system is ran by the government who controls the fees. These fees are minimal and citizens are able to receive either government or their own health care insurance. If a person becomes ill or they have extenuating circumstances, they may take up to six weeks off with full pay.
Within the news today, marriage in Germany is steadily declining. Back in the early 1900s marriage and family were an important and common part of life. Men provided for their families while mothers took care of their children. Today this isn't the case as many women and men are staying single and refusing to have or even think about the possibility of children. This affects the birth rates that are also declining in Germany today. I found this article interesting because back in the early 1900s when my ancestors lived in Germany marriage was extremely important. Just within the last thirty years, Germany as well as others around the world that have seen a decline in marriage with a recent finding of a decline in birth rates. The article shows to me that this may possibly be due to the current rise in divorce rates within the last thirty years as well. However, this is a huge part of society today and one that may continue to decline for years to come.