The debate over united Germany’s orientation led to the decision to move the German government from Bonn to Berlin and until voting, Berlin had only been united Germany’s ceremonial capital but the real government had been in Bonn…
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Bonn was seen as the city that epitomized West German economic success and political moderation but Bonn supporters defended it based on this success during the parliamentary debate separating it from Nazi which they believed haunted Berlin and they argued that Bonn was good for upholding the country’s democracy. Moreover, the debate cut across party lines, that is, some social democrats and Christian democrats supporting Berlin and others backing Bonn and this parliamentary division reflected people’s mixed feelings about where to locate their government and set on the newly united Germany. However, some leaders suggested that the debate was not a fight between two cities but a decision about the future of the society for everyone’s good. Most parliamentarians backed the move to Berlin since it symbolizes Germany’s unification. This essay explores what made Germany to move its capital from Bonn to Berlin. German lawmakers engaged in a very heated debate to make a decision whether the capital of the newly reunified country to remain in Bonn or be relocated back to its historic eastern location in Berlin (Cowell). Bonn has served as the capital of West Germany until the reunification of Germany when Berlin was chosen to be the new capital and the move to Berlin has been lengthy and costly but this move had been delayed by construction problems, plan charges and bureaucratic immobilization. Even though the parliament voted to support the move from the West German capital of Bonn to the old German capital of Berlin, most politicians perceived this as a future happening. Bonn supporters argued that a move to Berlin which is under monarchy, chaotic Weimar Republic, and the Nazis would only ruin the country contrary to Berlin backers who claimed that Bonn represented a small town thus a small minded Germany but Berlin was actually the country’s spiritual and cultural heart. More so, this relocation was meant to enhance unity in the country, that is, the unity of people from Berlin and the rest of the east depended on this move. However, everyone was worried about the cost which was high and this was reflected in the parliament’s decision to make a move after a long time. Improving Berlin’s infrastructure required a lot of money. Accordingly, some have argued that the “enormous cost of moving all government ministries to Berlin would never assume Bonn’s role as the sole seat of government” (Quint 107). One major reason why German moved its capital from Bonn to Berlin was to ensure a change from a smaller to a larger city (Slack and Rupak 105). Unlike Bonn which was quiet and small in size, Berlin was “a brash and busy metropolis” and it ranks as a great city recognized worldwide (Holz). Bonn had no symbol of being a capital because being small in size, it cannot contain dominant section like other middle or large sized German cities do especially Berlin (Slack and Rupak 105). This actually made Germany to move its capital to a larger city, Berlin. In addition, Berlin is situated at the heart of the east making it to the best choice as the country’s capital and seat of government. Furthermore, the unification treaty acknowledged Berlin as capital leaving the decision on the seat of government to the future German legislature (Quint 107). Berlin supporters argued that relocating to Berlin would be very important in providing both political and economic support but others opposed this claiming that moving all government offices to Berlin would only add more financial burden (Quint 107). Accordingly, eastern representatives argued that the shift to Berlin is crucial to enhance “economic recovery in the former GDR and bolstering a psychological sense of parity and equality for of
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