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 Otto von Bismark... The First Chancellor of Germany

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Manar Nakrour

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PostSubject: Otto von Bismark... The First Chancellor of Germany   Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:42 am

[font:b7a1=Comic Sans Ms][size=16]Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), was a Prussian and German statesman of the 19th century. As Minister-President of Prussia from 1862–90, he oversaw the unification of Germany. From 1867 on, he was Chancellor of the North German Confederation. When the second German Empire was formed in 1871, he served as its first Chancellor and practiced Realpolitik, which gained him the nickname "Iron Chancellor". As Chancellor, Bismarck held an important role in the German government and greatly influenced German and international politics both during and after his time of service.

[b]Bismarck’s social legislation:[/b]
The 1880s were a period when Germany started on its long road towards the welfare state it is today. The Social Democratic, National Liberal and Center parties were all involved in the beginnings of social legislation, but it was Bismarck who established the first practical aspects of this program. The program of the Social Democrats included all of the programs that Bismarck eventually implemented, but also included programs designed to preempt the programs championed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Bismarck’s idea was to implement the minimum aspects of these programs that were acceptable to the German government without any of the overtly Socialistic aspects.

Bismarck opened debate on the subject on 17 November 1881 in the Imperial Message to the Reichstag, using the term applied Christianity to describe his program. In 1881 Bismarck had also referred to this program as Staatssozialismus, when he made the following accurate prediction to a colleague:

"It is possible that all our politics will come to nothing when I am dead but state socialism will drub itself in. (Der Staatssozialismus paukt sich durch.)"
Bismarck’s program centered squarely on insurance programs designed to increase productivity, and focus the political attentions of German workers on supporting the Junker's government. The program included Health Insurance; Accident Insurance (Workman’s Compensation); Disability Insurance; and an Old-age Retirement Pension, none of which were then currently in existence to any great degree.

Based on Bismarck’s message, The Reichstag filed three bills designed to deal with the concept of Accident insurance, and one for Health Insurance. The subjects of Retirement pensions and Disability Insurance were placed on the back burner for the time being.[/size]


[size=18][b]Health Insurance Bill of 1883[/b][/size]
[size=16]The first bill that had success was the Health Insurance bill, which was passed in 1883. The program was considered the least important from Bismarck’s point of view, and the least politically troublesome. The program was established to provide health care for the largest segment of the German workers. The health service was established on a local basis, with the cost divided between employers and the employed. The employers contributed 1/3rd, while the workers contributed 2/3rds . The minimum payments for medical treatment and Sick Pay for up to 13 weeks were legally fixed. The individual local health bureaus were administered by a committee elected by the members of each bureau, and this move had the unintended effect of establishing a majority representation for the workers on account of their large financial contribution. This worked to the advantage of the Social Democrats who – through heavy Worker membership – achieved their first small foothold in public administration.[/size]

[size=18][b]Accident Insurance Bill of 1884:[/b][/size]
[size=16]Bismarck’s government had to submit three draft bills before they could get one passed by the Reichstag in 1884. Bismarck had originally proposed that the Federal Government pay a portion of the Accident Insurance contribution. Bismarck’s motive was a demonstration of the willingness of the German government to lessen the hardship experienced by the German workers as a means of weaning them away from the various left-wing parties, most importantly the Social Democrats. The National Liberals took this program to be an expression of State Socialism, which they were dead set against. The Center party was afraid of the expansion of Federal Power at the expense of States Rights. As a result, the only way the program could be passed at all was for the entire expense to be underwritten by the Employers. To facilitate this, Bismarck arranged for the administration of this program to be placed in the hands of “Der Arbeitgeberverband in den beruflichen Korporationen”, which translates as “The organization of employers in occupational corporations”. This organization established central and bureaucratic insurance offices on the Federal, and in some cases the State level to perform the actual administration. The program kicked in to replace the health insurance program as of the 14th week. It paid for medical treatment and a Pension of up to 2/3rds of earned wages if the worker was fully disabled. This program was expanded in 1886 to include Agricultural workers.[/size]

[size=18][b]Old Age and Disability Insurance Bill of 1889:[/b][/size]
[size=16]The Old Age Pension program, financed by a tax on workers, was designed to provide a pension annuity for workers who reached the age of 70 years. At the time, the life expectancy for the average Prussian was 45 years. Unlike the Accident Insurance and Health Insurance programs, this program covered Industrial, Agrarian, Artisans and Servants from the start. Also, unlike the other two programs, the principle that the Federal Government should contribute a portion of the underwriting cost, with the other two portions prorated accordingly, was accepted without question. The Disability Insurance program was intended to be used by those permanently disabled. This time, the State or Province supervised the programs directly.[/size][/font]
[center][size=24][font:b7a1=Comic Sans Ms].......[/font][/size][/center]
[right][font:b7a1=Comic Sans Ms][size=9]By the Primer[/size][/font][/right]
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PostSubject: Re: Otto von Bismark... The First Chancellor of Germany   Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:42 am

good work my broth from another mother
7aeo primer
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