The First Reich also known as The Holy Roman Empire was created when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of Rome by Pope Leo lll in the year 800. When none of his successors took the throne this Empire was left without an emperor until the coronation of Otto l in 962. After Otto l, the crown was transferred over to the heirs of the East Franks, but most would know them as the Germans. The postition of Emperor continued to be held by the Germans until Napoleon and the French gained control over the empire and abolished it in 1806. The territory was split up and and was given to countries that Napoleon thought weren't a threat to France. Germany did not have another funtional government until 1871 when the Second Reich was formed.
The Second Reich, often referred to as the German Empire was formed in 1871 when Germany separated themselves from the unification of Germany. Germany named Wilhelm l (William Frederick Louis) Emperor on January 18, 1871, marking the beginning of the Second Reich. Wilhelm being his German name. Throughout the 1880's and 1890's Germany quickly industialized and the economy rapidly grew and their army becoming the worlds strongest. When World War l broke out Germany's armies were strong but considering that their only allies were the weak Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, the Germans had only the slightest change of winning against the Allied Powers. After the War the German Empire ended in 1918 and was replaced with the Weimar Republic.