Bremen (state)

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Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Freie Hansestadt Bremen (German)
Free Hansestadt Bremen (Low German)
Bremen Town Hall - 2019-07-24-1.jpg
Bremen (state)
Coordinates: 53°20′50″N8°35′29″E / 53.34722°N 8.59139°E / 53.34722; 8.59139
Country Germany
Capital Bremen
Government
  Body Bürgerschaft of Bremen
   Senate President and Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD)
  Governing parties SPD / Alliance 90/The Greens / The Left
   Bundesrat votes 3 (of 69)
   Bundestag seats 5 (of 736)
Area
  City419.38 km2 (161.92 sq mi)
Population
 (2020-12) [1]
  City680,130
  Density1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code DE-HB
Vehicle registration
  • HB (1906–1947; again since 1956)
  • BM (1947)
  • AE (1947–1956)
GRP (nominal) €34 billion (2019) [2]
GRP per capita€49,000 (2019)
NUTS Region DE5
HDI (2018)0.959 [3]
very high · 4th of 16
Website bremen.de

Bremen (German: [ˈbʁeːmən] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), officially the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (German : Freie Hansestadt Bremen; Low German : Free Hansestadt Bremen), is the smallest and least populous of Germany's 16 states. It is informally called Land Bremen ("State of Bremen"), although the term is sometimes used in official contexts. The state consists of the city of Bremen and its seaport exclave, Bremerhaven, surrounded by the larger state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany.

Contents

Geography

The state of Bremen consists of two non-contiguous territories. These enclaves contain Bremen, officially the 'City' (Stadtgemeinde Bremen) which is the state capital, and the city of Bremerhaven (Stadt Bremerhaven). Both are located on the River Weser; Bremerhaven ("Bremen's harbour") is further downstream on the mouth of the Weser with open access to the North Sea. Both enclaves are completely surrounded by the neighbouring State of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). The highest point in the state is in Friedehorst Park (32.5m).

The territory of Bremen in the 14th and 18th centuries Landgebiete der Freien Stadt Bremen.png
The territory of Bremen in the 14th and 18th centuries
The territory of Bremen since 1800 Bremer Staatsgebiet seit 1800.png
The territory of Bremen since 1800

History

When the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, the Free Imperial City of Bremen (as of 1646, after earlier privileges of autonomy of 1186) was not mediatised (incorporated into the enlarged territory of one of the surrounding monarchies) but became a sovereign state officially titled the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. Her currency was the Bremen thaler (until 1873). In 1811, the First French Empire annexed the city-state in an effort to enforce Napoleon's Berlin Decree, closing the European continent to British trade.

At the Congress of Vienna of 1815, Bremen's emissary, and later burgomaster, Johann Smidt, lobbied successfully to have the city's independence confirmed as one of the 39 sovereign states within the new German Confederation.

In 1827, Bremen bought land at the mouth of the Weser from the Kingdom of Hanover, in order to build a new seaport, Bremerhaven. This ensured that Bremen remained Germany's main port of embarkation for emigrants to the Americas, and later that it developed as an entrepôt for Germany's late developing colonial trade.

In 1867, the year following Prussia's defeat of Austria and its annexation of Hanover, Bremen joined the North German Confederation that became the German Empire in 1871, as one of its 26 constituent states.

As an international port and industrial centre, Bremen had a strong left and liberal tradition. In January 1913, at the last elections to the Imperial Reichstag in Berlin, the Social Democrats (SPD) secured over half the vote, or 53.4%. Left Liberals (Linksliberale) took another 41.4%. Only 5.1% went to the Conservatives. [4] During the Weimar Republic, there were seven elections to the Burgerschaft, the Bremen parliament. At the November 1932 German federal election, the last broadly free election during this time, the Social Democrats won 31.2% of the vote, and the Communists (KPD) 16.8%, compared to 20.8% for the Nazis. [5] [6]

When, after the heavily compromised national elections of March 1933, the Nazis still achieved only a third of the popular vote in Bremen (32.7%), [5] the regime dissolved the Bürgerschaft and its executive Senate. Bremen remained for the next twelve years under the direct authority of a Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor). During these years, Bremen's small Jewish community (1,438 people registered at the beginning of 1933) [7] was destroyed through coerced emigration and deportation to death camps in the occupied east.

Allied bombing destroyed the majority of the historical Hanseatic city as well as 60% of the built-up area of Bremen during World War II. The British 3rd Infantry Division under General Lashmer Whistler captured Bremen in late April 1945. The British handed it over to the Americans; Bremen became an American-controlled port for the supply of the US zones of occupation in west Berlin and southern Germany.

Bremen was reestablished as a state in 1947 and, from 1949, was again known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, becoming a Land or state of the new Federal Republic of Germany, informally referred to as "West Germany" until 1990.

Religion in Bremen – 31 December 2018 [8]
religionpercent
Others or none
57.2%
EKD Protestants
32.7%
Roman Catholics
10.1%

Politics

Political system

The legislature of the state of Bremen is the 83-member Bürgerschaft (citizens' assembly), elected by the citizens in the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven.

The executive is constituted by the Senate of Bremen, elected by the Bürgerschaft. The Senate is chaired by the President of the senate (Senatspräsident), who is also one of the mayors of the city of Bremen (Bürgermeister) and is elected directly by the Bürgerschaft. The Senate selects of its members as a second mayor who serves as deputy of the president. In contrast to the Federal Chancellor of Germany or other German states, the President of the Senate has no authority to override senators on policy, which is decided upon by the senate collectively. Since 1945, the Senate has continuously been dominated by the Social Democratic Party.

On a municipal level, the two cities in the state are administered separately:

Political majorities

In post-war Bremen, the port, shipyards and related industries sustained a large and unionised working class. As before 1933, this translated into support for the Social Democrats, considered Bremen's natural governing party. However, in the 1980s mechanisation of the port and closure of the city's leading shipbuilder induced an employment crisis and shook the confidence of the party's traditional voter base. The SPD, which had still polled 51% in 1987, lost its effective majority. [9] The once dominant left-liberal vote split, and coalition government became the norm.

The 2019 Bremen state election was held on 26 May 2019 to elect the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen, as well as the city councils of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The election took place on the same day as the 2019 European Parliament election. [10] [11] [12] The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), for the first time, became the largest party in the Bürgerschaft, while the Social Democratic Party (SPD) fell to second place. The Greens and The Left made small gains. After the election, the SPD, Greens, and Left agreed to form a coalition government. Carsten Sieling resigned as mayor and was replaced by fellow SPD member Andreas Bovenschulte. [13] [14]

Summary of the 26 May 2019 election results for the Bürgerschaft of Bremen
PartyVotes %+/-SeatsTotal
seats
+/-Seats %
Bremen Bremerhaven
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)391,70926.7Increase2.svg4.320424Increase2.svg428.6
Social Democratic Party (SPD)366,37524.9Decrease2.svg7.919423Decrease2.svg727.4
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne)256,18117.4Increase2.svg2.313316Increase2.svg219.0
The Left (Linke)166,37811.3Increase2.svg1.89110Increase2.svg211.9
Alternative for Germany (AfD)89,9396.1Increase2.svg0.6415Increase2.svg16.0
Free Democratic Party (FDP)87,4205.9Decrease2.svg0.7415Decrease2.svg16.0
Citizens in Rage (BiW)35,8082.4Decrease2.svg0.8011Steady2.svg01.2
Die PARTEI (PARTEI)24,4331.7Decrease2.svg0.2000±00
Free Voters (FW)14,2051.0Increase2.svg1.0000±00
Pirate Party Germany (Piraten)14,1431.0Decrease2.svg0.5000±00
Others22,9151.6000±00
Total1,469,506100.0691584Increase2.svg1
Voter turnout64.1Increase2.svg13.9
Popular Vote
CDU
26.66%
SPD
24.93%
B'90/GRÜNE
17.43%
DIE LINKE
11.32%
AfD
6.12%
FDP
5.95%
BiW
2.44%
Other
5.15%
Bürgerschaft seats
CDU
28.57%
SPD
27.38%
B'90/GRÜNE
19.05%
DIE LINKE
11.90%
AfD
5.95%
FDP
5.95%
BiW
1.19%

Coat of arms

The coat of arms and flag of Bremen state include:

Economy

Bremen's post-World War II economy boomed in line with the West German Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s and 60s. This saw the growth, and permanent settlement, in Bremen of a large migrant worker population, drawn largely from Turkey and southern Europe.

Some of the city's heavier industries failed to recover from the oil-price-shock recession of the early 1970s. Specialist construction yards, ship outfitters and parts suppliers remain, but AG Weser (which employed 16,000 workers at its peak) and Bremer Vulcan, Bremen's major shipbuilders, closed in 1983 and 1997 respectively. Further job losses were caused by the restructuring and increasing mechanisation of harbour-related activities and other industrial sectors. Semi and unskilled harbour workers found it very difficult to re-enter the labour market, and unemployment—for a period in the 1980s almost double the West German average—remained comparatively high.

At a time when structural change in the economy has forced Bremen to spend more on social services. Suburbanisation has reduced population and tax revenue. Incorporating surrounding suburban municipalities, is not an option for Bremen as these belong to the state of Lower Saxony. [15]

With financial assistance from the European Union, and from the Federal Government, economic policy has focussed on supporting those established economic sectors that are based on advanced technology, such as aerospace and aircraft production, automobile production, maritime and logistics services, and on developing the education and business-park infrastructure for new science-based and digital enterprises. In this an important tole is accorded to the growing university sector. Further investment went into the revitalisation of the city centre but a culture-driven regeneration around entertainment and tourism was not very successful. Several experts described Bremen's service sector as underdeveloped, due to a lack of major company headquarters. [15]

Unemployment

At the turn of the new century, unemployment in Bremen stood at 13%, a rate matched in the Federal Republic only by the "new states" in former East Germany. By 2022, while reduced to 10.2% it was the highest among all 16 German states. [16]

Year [17] 2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Unemployment rate in %13.012.412.513.213.216.814.912.711.411.812.011.611.211.110.910.910.510.29.89.911.210.7

Industries

Despite historic job losses in the industrial sector, Bremen State has retained, and continues to develop, a broad manufacturing base:

Education

The University of Bremen is the largest university in Bremen. It is one of 11 institutions classed as an "Elite university" in Germany, and teaches approximately 23,500 people from 126 countries. Bremen also has a University of the Arts Bremen, a University of Applied Sciences with campuses in both Bremen city and Bremerhaven, and more recently the Jacobs University Bremen, an international research university located in Vegesack.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Bremen (city)</span> Aspect of history

For most of its 1,200 year history, Bremen was an independent city within the confederal jurisdiction of Germany's Holy Roman Empire. In the late Middle Ages, its governing merchant guilds were at the centre of the Hanseatic League that sought to monopolise North Sea and Baltic trade. To enlarge and confirm its independence, the city had to contend until the Reformation with the Prince-Archbishop of Bremen, and after the Thirty Years War with the Swedes, masters of the surrounding, former episcopal, duchies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bremen</span> Capital of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Germany

Bremen, officially the City Municipality of Bremen, is the capital of the German state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, a two-city-state consisting of the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. With about 570,000 inhabitants, the Hanseatic city is the 11th largest city of Germany and the second largest city in Northern Germany after Hamburg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wilhelm Kaisen</span> German politician (1887–1979)

Carl Wilhelm Kaisen was a German politician from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) who served as the 2nd President of the Senate and Mayor of Bremen from 1945 to 1965. In 1958/59 he served as the 10th President of the Bundesrat. He became a symbolic figure of the German reconstruction in Bremen after 1945.

The government of Hamburg is divided into executive, legislative and judicial branches. Hamburg is a city-state and municipality, and thus its governance deals with several details of both state and local community politics. It takes place in two ranks – a citywide and state administration, and a local rank for the boroughs. The head of the city-state's government is the First Mayor and President of the Senate. A ministry is called Behörde (office) and a state minister is a Senator in Hamburg. The legislature is the state parliament, called Hamburgische Bürgerschaft, and the judicial branch is composed of the state supreme court and other courts. The seat of the government is Hamburg Rathaus. The President of the Hamburg Parliament is the highest official person of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. This is a traditional difference to the other German states. The president is not allowed to exert any occupation of the executive.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bürgerschaft of Bremen</span>

The Bremische Bürgerschaft is the legislative branch of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen in Germany. The state parliament elects the members of the Senate (executive), exercises oversight of the executive, and passes legislation. It currently consists of 83 members from seven parties. The current majority is a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, Alliance '90/The Greens and The Left, supporting Mayor and Senate president Andreas Bovenschulte. The 68 delegates of the city of Bremen also form the Stadtbürgerschaft, while Bremerhaven has its own local parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2011 Bremen state election</span>

The 2011 Bremen state election was held on 22 May 2011 to elect the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen, as well as the city councils of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The incumbent government of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Greens was re-elected with an increased majority. The Greens became the second largest party in a state legislature first time in western Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2015 Bremen state election</span>

The 2015 Bremen state election was held on 10 May 2015 to elect the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen, as well as the city councils of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The incumbent government of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Greens retained its majority. However, Mayor and SPD leader Jens Böhrnsen resigned due to his party's poor performance, which was significantly below expectations. He was succeeded by fellow SPD member Carsten Sieling.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2019 Bremen state election</span>

The 2019 Bremen state election was held on 26 May 2019 to elect the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen, as well as the city councils of Bremen and Bremerhaven. The election took place on the same day as the 2019 European Parliament election.

In the federal system of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state parliaments embody the legislative power in the sixteen states. In thirteen of the sixteen German states, the state parliament is known as the Landtag. In the states Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the state parliament is called Bürgerschaft (Citizenry), in Berlin it is called Abgeordnetenhaus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bovenschulte senate</span> State government of Bremen

The Bovenschulte senate is the current state government of Bremen, sworn in on 15 August 2019 after Andreas Bovenschulte was elected as Mayor by the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen. It is the 25th Senate of Bremen.

The Sieling senate was the state government of Bremen between 2015 and 2019, sworn in on 15 July 2015 after Carsten Sieling was elected as Mayor by the members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen. It was the 24th Senate of Bremen.

The 1929 Lübeck state election was held on 10 November 1929 to elect the 80 members of the Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

The 1932 Lübeck state election was held on 13 November 1932 to elect the 80 members of the Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

Elections in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (Freie Hansestadt Bremen) to its state parliament, the Bürgerschaft, during the Weimar Republic were held at variable intervals between 1919 and 1930. Results with regard to the total vote, the percentage of the vote won and the number of seats allocated to each party are presented in the tables below. On 31 March 1933, the sitting Bürgerschaft was dissolved by the Nazi-controlled central government and reconstituted to reflect the distribution of seats in the national Reichstag. The Bürgerschaft subsequently was formally abolished as a result of the "Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich" of 30 January 1934 which replaced the German federal system with a unitary state.

The 1919 Lübeck state election was held on 9 February 1919 to elect the 80 members of the Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

The 1921 Lübeck state election was held on 13 November 1921 to elect the 80 members of the Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

The 1924 Lübeck state election was held on 10 February 1924 to elect the 80 members of the Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

The 1926 Lübeck state election was held on 14 November 1926 to elect the 80 members of the Bürgerschaft, the state parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

Elections in the Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck (Freien Hansestadt Lübeck) to its state parliament, the Bürgerschaft, during the Weimar Republic were held at irregular intervals between 1919 and 1932. Results with regard to the total vote, the percentage of the vote won and the number of seats allocated to each party are presented in the tables below. On 31 March 1933, the sitting Bürgerschaft was dissolved by the Nazi-controlled central government and reconstituted to reflect the distribution of seats in the national Reichstag. The Bürgerschaft subsequently was formally abolished as a result of the "Law for the Reconstruction of the Reich" of 30 January 1934 which replaced the German federal system with a unitary state.

References

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  7. Herbert Schwarzwälder (2003), Das Große Bremen-Lexikon. Edition Temmen, ISBN   3-86108-693-X, p. 442.
  8. Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland – Kirchemitgliederzahlen Stand 31. Dezember 2018 EKD, January 2020
  9. "Bürgerschaftswahlen Bremen seit 1945 – Ergebnisse in der Stadt Bremen". wahlen-in-deutschland.de. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
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  14. "Bremer SPD schließt Koalition mit CDU aus – buten un binnen". butenunbinnen.de. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
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