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>I genuinely don't think I could tell you anything that happened in Germany between the Romans and the 20th century, apart from Martin Luther King and the odd composer
Germany had a very chequered history even before the 20th century. It's really fascinating when you read about it, because for much of the second millennium AD, it consisted of a multitude of small kingdoms, duchies, and counties which together made up the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, but were very distinct from each other and each had their own aristocratic rulers, which were also frequently at war with each other, such as during the Thirty Years' War in the 1600s. This German system of regional rivalry was called Kleinstaaterei, literally "smallstatery". The aristocratic regional rulers and their families had absolute power over their subjects, and it was not uncommon for them to own entire towns or villages and everything in them. Unlike the eventually emerging British system of constitutional monarchy, Germany held on to that kind of post-mediaeval feudal system much longer than most other European nations, until its class of aristocracy and nobility formally lost all its privileges for good in 1919 following Germany's WWI defeat, after which Germany became a constitutional democracy for the first time in its history. This long adherence to quasi-feudalism is also cited as one reason why Germany was a bit late to the party with industrialisation, as many of its citizens lived in agricultural serfdom to a local lord far longer than people in Britain, often into the early 1800s. There was no social mobility, and for a long time, as a serf, you effectively had to have permission from your lord to even travel outside the land that he owned.
In Britain, on the other hand, geographical and social mobility emerged much sooner, which counts as one reason why industrialisation was able to take hold by the mid-1800s, because the masses of labour that you needed for industrial manufacturing were much more readily available.