The Greater German Empire, better known as Germany, is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy located in Central Europe. After becoming unified in the wake of its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War to better bulwark against future French aggression, the German Empire grew in power and might throughout the late 19th century, eventually becoming one of Europe's four "great powers," along with France, Britain, and Russia. In the First World War (1913-1917) the "Central Powers" of Germany, Britain, Austria and the United States defeated the "Grand Alliance" of France, Russia, Italy, Spain, Mexico and the Confederate States of America. In the interwar period, Germany eclipsed Britain as the world's largest economy, although it was hit hard by the Great Depression.
Following the rise of powerful nationalist governments in France, Italy, and Russia, as well as the deteriorating relationship between the French ally of China and the German ally of Japan in the East, Germany fought as an Allied power after pushing back a two-front invasion from France and Russia with British and Swedish support. While France and Italy fell relatively quickly after the German victories at Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden, the Germans were only able to defeat the Russians by dropping nuclear weapons on Novgorod and Odessa in May of 1946. In the ensuing years, the Germans embarked in an arms race and lengthy standoff with Great Britain known as the Cold War, a diplomatic and proxy conflict resolved with the dissolution of the British Empire in 1991.
Germany is a constitutional monarchy, with Kaiser Georg Freidrich I the current monarch. The monarch's role has been, since the 1920s, mostly formal and holds no real power. Germany is a flourishing, functioning democracy and elects a Reichstag, which serves as a lower house that appoints a Chancellor, and a weak upper house known as the Reichsrat, which represents the interests of the Länder. The Chancellor as of 2013 is Angela Merkel, known as the "Iron Frau."