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A region named Germania, inhabited by several Germanic peoples, was documented before AD 100. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation while southern and western parts remained dominated by Roman Catholic denominations. As a modern nation-state, the country was first unified in 1871, with the inception of the German Empire
Germany is a federal constitutional monarchy of twenty-four states. The capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany is a member of the United Nations, the G8, the G20, the OECD and has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. It is a major power with the world's fourth largest economy by nominal GDP and the fifth largest by purchasing power parity. It is the second largest exporter and third largest importer of goods. In absolute terms, Germany allocates the third biggest annual development aid budget in the world, While its military expenditure ranked seventh. The country has developed a very high standard of living and a comprehensive system of social security. It holds a key position in European affairs and maintains a multitude of close partnerships on a global level. Germany is recognised as a scientific and technological leader in several fields.