|Federal Chancellor of Germany
Standard of the Chancellor
Excellency (in international correspondence)
|Appointer||President of Germany|
|Term length||4 years|
|Inaugural holder||Otto von Bismarck|
|Formation||1 July 1867|
21 March 1871
The Chancellor of Germany is the head of government of Germany. The official title in German is Reichskanzler(-in) (Federal Chancellor), sometimes shortened to Kanzler(-in). The term, dating from the early Middle Ages, is derived from the Latin term cancellarius.
In German politics the Chancellor is equivalent to that of a prime minister in many other countries. The German term directly equivalent to Prime Minister, Ministerpräsident, is used for the heads of government of most German states (referred to in German as Länder, literally "countries") as well as foreign countries.
The current Chancellor is Angela Merkel, who is currently serving her third term in office. She is the first female chancellor, thus being known in German as Reichskanzlerin. That particular word was never used officially before Merkel, but it is a grammatically regular formation of a noun denoting a female chancellor.
The modern office of Chancellor evolved from the position created for Otto von Bismarck in the North German Confederation in 1867; the Confederation evolved into a German nation-state with the 1871 Unification of Germany. The role of the Chancellor has varied greatly throughout Germany's modern history. Today, the Chancellor is widely considered to be the country's effective leader.