Chapter 2 focuses on the history and development of the idea of pluricentricity, which has with Heinz Kloss and Michael Clyne two important pioneers. Basic concepts and the theoretical underpinning are explained, such as roofing (Überdachung) and ausbau and abstand language. Stefan Dollinger explains the asymmetrical power relationship of German varieties with perceptual distortions over who speaks the “real” German, which rests in the names of German and Germany (deutsch and Deutschland) and the nature of contiguous, not sea, borders within the German-speaking countries. The historical development and standardization of German from the eighteenth century to the present is reconstructed. It is explained how, historically, two written standards of German—the Imperial Standard (Gemeindeutsch, Common German) and the East Central German standard (Lutherdeutsch, Meissnerdeutsch), which were both accepted from the 1500s to the 1750s—lost their dynamics. At that point in time, through the educational reforms in Austria, the locally rooted Imperial Standard was replaced by the East Central German standard, based on the works by Adelung, with Austrian resistance mounting off and on since the mid-1800s.