The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Das Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland - GG), also translated as the Fundamental Law, is Germany's federal constitution. It was adopted in 1949 as a provisional constitution for the German states in the western zone of occupation administered by the United States, Great Britain, and France in the aftermath of World War II.
The drafters of the Basic Law assumed that it would function as an interim measure, to be replaced by a permanent constitution (verfassung) for the whole of Germany upon its eventual reunification. When Germany finally did reunify in 1990, the states that comprised the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) acceded to the Federal Republic, as permitted under Article 23 of the Basic Law, and adopted the Basic Law as their governing document.
The Basic Law has been amended from time to time, both before and after German reunification, but it has never been replaced. Thus what was intended to be an interim measure has become Germany's permanent constitution.
Current and prior versions of the Basic Law are available online and in print, both in the original German and in English translation.
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