The Free State of Saxony is a federal state of Germany. Located in the southeastern part of country, it is the tenth-largest German state in area (18,413 km²) and the sixth largest in population (4.3 million), of Germany's sixteen states.
Saxony has a long history as a duchy, an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire (the Electorate of Saxony), and eventually as a kingdom. It was merged into the German Empire in 1871, although it was still ruled by its own king. In 1918, subsequent to Germany's defeat in World War I, the King of Saxony emulated the example of Wilhelm II, German Emperor, and abdicated. After World War II, it fell under the communist rule of East Germany until reunification in 1989.