Angela Merkel's Political Career

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5 Questions

What year did Angela Merkel obtain her doctorate in quantum chemistry?

What was the name of the first democratically elected government of East Germany?

What event triggered Merkel's involvement in politics?

What is the name of the program Merkel introduced to phase out nuclear power in Germany?

What was Merkel's grade in her university Abitur?

Summary

  • Angela Dorothea Merkel was born on July 17, 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany.

  • She obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989.

  • Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, briefly serving as deputy spokeswoman for the first democratically elected Government of East Germany led by Lothar de Maizière.

  • Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

  • As the protégée of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel was appointed as Minister for Women and Youth in 1991, later becoming Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994.

  • After the CDU lost the 1998 federal election, Merkel was elected CDU General Secretary, before becoming the party's first female leader and the first female Leader of the Opposition two years later, in the aftermath of a donations scandal that toppled Wolfgang Schäuble.

  • Following the 2005 federal election, Merkel was appointed to succeed Gerhard Schröder as Chancellor of Germany, leading a grand coalition consisting of the CDU, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

  • Merkel was the first woman to be elected as Chancellor, and the first Chancellor since reunification to have been raised in the former East Germany.

  • At the 2009 federal election, the CDU obtained the largest share of the vote, and Merkel was able to form a coalition government with the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

  • At the 2013 federal election, Merkel's CDU won a landslide victory with 41.5% of the vote and formed a second grand coalition with the SPD, after the FDP lost all of its representation in the Bundestag.

  • At the 2017 federal election, Merkel led the CDU to become the largest party for the fourth time; Merkel formed a third grand coalition with the SPD and was sworn in for a joint-record fourth term as Chancellor on 14 March 2018.

  • In foreign policy, Merkel has emphasised international cooperation, both in the context of the EU and NATO, and strengthening transatlantic economic relations.

  • In domestic policy, Merkel's Energiewende program has focused on future energy development, seeking to phase out nuclear power in Germany, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase renewable energy sources.

  • Reforms to the Bundeswehr which abolished conscription, health care reform, and her government's response to the 2010s European migrant crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany were major issues during her chancellorship.

  • Merkel was born in 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany, to Pastor Horst Kasner and his wife Herlind.

  • She grew up in Templin, a rural town in East Germany.

  • She was a student at Karl Marx University in Leipzig, where she studied physics from 1973 to 1978.

  • She joined the Free German Youth (FDJ) in 1968 and continued to be a member until 1990.

  • She completed her university education with the best possible average Abitur grade 1.0.

  • She continued her education at the University of Leipzig, where she studied physics from 1973 to 1978.

  • While a student, she participated in the reconstruction of the ruin of the Moritzbastei, a project students initiated to create their own club and recreation facility on campus.

  • She did not participate in the secular coming of age ceremony Jugendweihe, which was common in East Germany.

  • She completed her university education with the best possible average Abitur grade 1.0.

  • Merkel was born in the town of Templin, in the then-East German state of Brandenburg.

  • She studied chemistry at the University of Bonn and at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof.

  • She worked as a researcher at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences from 1978 to 1990.

  • She was awarded a doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) for her thesis on quantum chemistry in 1986.

  • In 1986, she was able to travel freely to West Germany to attend a congress.

  • She also participated in a multi-week language course in Donetsk, in the then-Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

  • She became involved in the democracy movement in 1990 and joined the new party Demokratischer Aufbruch.

  • Party Leader Wolfgang Schnur appointed her as press spokeswoman of the party.

  • However, Schnur was revealed to have served as an "informal co-worker" for the Stasi just a few weeks ahead of the first (and only) multi-party election in 1990 and was later expelled from the party.

  • The DA sank as a result, only managing to elect four members to the Volkskammer.

  • However, because the DA was a member party of the Alliance for Germany, which won the election in a landslide, the DA was included in the government coalition.

  • Merkel was therefore appointed deputy spokesperson of the new and last pre-unification government under Lothar de Maizière.

  • In April 1990, DA merged with the East German Christian Democratic Union, which in turn merged with its western counterpart after reunification.

  • Minister for Women and Youth, 1991–1994

  • She was re-elected from this constituency (renamed, with slightly adjusted borders, Vorpommern-Rügen – Vorpommern-Greifswald I in 2003) at the seven federal elections held since then.

Merkel was born in Templin, Brandenburg, in the former East Germany. She studied chemistry at the University of Bonn and at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof. She worked as a researcher at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences from 1978 to 1990. In 1986, she was able to travel freely to West Germany to attend a congress. She also participated in a multi-week language course in Donetsk, in the then-Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1990, she became involved in the democracy movement and joined the new party Demokratischer Aufbruch. Party Leader Wolfgang Schnur appointed her as press spokeswoman of the party. However, Schnur was revealed to have served as an "informal co-worker" for the Stasi just a few weeks ahead of the first (and

  • She was born on 21 July 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany.
  • She joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1975 and became a member of the Bundestag in 1982.
  • In 1990 she lost the CDU leadership election to Ulf Finke.
  • In 1994 she was appointed Minister for the Environment and Nuclear Safety.
  • In 1998 she was elected Secretary-General of the CDU and became the first female leader of a German party.
  • In 2000 she was elected leader of the CDU and became the first female Chancellor of Germany.
  • In 2002 she became Leader of the Opposition in the Bundestag.
  • In 2005 she was re-elected Chancellor of Germany.
  • She is the longest-serving Chancellor of Germany.

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Test your knowledge about Angela Merkel's life and political career, from her early years in East Germany to becoming the first female Chancellor of Germany and her major political achievements.

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