According to Waly and Denly, 'judged purely by its success in creating a nation-state, German history has to be deemed a failure until the nineteenth century'. Even though historians still argue over the beginning of Germany's history, some of them emphasize the importance of the 're-foundation of a 'Roman' empire in the west by Charlemagne' and the creation of a border with Austria and between German territories.
A strict distinction was drawn between the kingship and the emperorship : as the former 'could be divided among heirs, the latter was supposedly
indivisible'.With the Treaty of Verdun in 834, the basics for the distinction of future French and German states were established as the heirs divided their inheritance. Whereas some scholars see in Conrad I the starting point of a 'kingdom of Germany', other historians, and especially Gillingham 'are sceptical about the existence of' such a kingdom at this time; Henry I's authority was fragile and 't was not until the eleventh century that the term 'regnu Teutonicum' was used.' Local sources of identification for example 'in the middle of the fourteenth century, the plural deutsch Lande was much more common that the singular Deutschland. This fact combined with universal Christian aspirations may have therefore impeded the emergence of centralized strong state
structures until the sixteenth-century in Prussia and of a significant national feeling until the nineteenth century.
The socio-political organization was still marked by features of feudalism that is 'at the political level an asymmetrical, reciprocal relationship of service, fidelity, protection and support' sealed by an oath of allegiance until the collapse of the 'Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation' in 1806. Confronted with the relative lack of politico-administrative institutions and with the fragmentation of the centers of power, it is necessary not to overlook important patterns which have structured the history of the construction of the German nation-state. The following analysis will use Robert's approach of the state,that is, an effective government ruling over a specific population within certain boundaries and the Gellner-Zimmer debate on nationalism and national feelings.
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