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For most of its history (which officially started in 843), Germany was divided into many small princedoms (especially since the Interregnum 1254-73). For most of this time, it was rather known as the Holy Roman Empire. Only during the reforms 1501-08 following the Twenty-Year War, it was renamed "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation". Still, the emperors wouldn't have much real power - and many of them weren't even German.