Why is Germany the leading economic power in Western Europe?Why is Germany the leading economic power in Western Europe?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I will suggest that a reason why Germany has been so powerful exists in two realms.  The first would be that it is a major exporter, and this results in a trade surplus as opposed to a trade deficit.  Another reason why Germany possesses economic strength is because they have joined the European Union, which has benefits for Germany, but they have also maintained and sustained trade relationships on their own.  This has allowed them enjoy the best of both worlds, and contributing to economic strength.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Germany had a tough century in the 1900s. There was a high casualty rate in World War I and that and the sanctions from Versailles demolished the economy. After World War II, the splitting of the country resulted in a gap of prosperity between West and East Germany. However, after the Berlin Wall came down, Germany was able to rebuild its reputation and economy. This is a remarkable feat.
krishna-agrawala | Student

No doubt that Marshall Plan and membership of European Union have helped German economy and industry. But I think we must give some credit to Germans also.

While I have not studied the reasons for Germany's success, the following factors appear to be good candidates.

  1. Well established German culture of industry.
  2. Well established large economic institutions such as banks. Although a lot of physical facilities in Germany were destroyed, the culture and the basic institutions remained intact.
  3. Technologically superior and innovative products developed and manufactured by Germany.
  4. Renewed determination of German people to reconstruct their nation after WW II.
  5. In absence of any defence program, Germany could concentrate all its resources and efforts for economic development.
giorgiana1976 | Student

After the WW II, Germany has rehabilitated itself, due to the Marshall plan, which has invested in Germany more than in any other country of Europe. Besides, their own sobriety and their dutifulness, the tax system built their economical strength.