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By Michael Stolleis

The only real to be had finished historical past of social legislations and the version of social welfare in Germany. The booklet explains the origins because the medieval occasions, yet concentrates at the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular at the creation of the social coverage 1881-1889, of the growth of the approach within the Weimar Republic, less than the Nazi-System and after international warfare II in the FRG and the GDR. The approach of social welfare in Germany is likely one of the pillars of financial balance.

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The place of the social bonds that tied families in hereditary serfdom was taken by contractual bonds under civil law. The traditional “house” as an economic entity and a unit of life was dissolved into a bundle of work contracts. Workers coming from the countryside flocked to the emerging industrial centers of the textile industry, mining, and steel manufacturing (Hahn 1998). They worked for exceedingly low wages and with minimal social protections. In this way, without knowing or intending to, they provided the real economic boost to the Industrial Revolution.

Evidently it was more than local communities could handle if the local industrialist did not favor this solution. Moreover, the communities of solidarity were too small and thus vulnerable to risk. Finally, the Reich Liability Law of 1871, with its obsolete focus on personal “fault,” had not stood the test of time. In the case of industry-typical accidents, jurists and social politicians therefore advocated the principle of “liability,” until the breakthrough to the modern principle of strict liability around 1880 (Esser 1969; Barta 1984).

8 Officials within the Prussian Ministry of Trade were concerned about competition between the commercial cooperatives and the existing aid funds. See the verdict by the Minister of Trade v. Itzenplitz on April 2, 1870, in Quellensammlung Sozialpolitik, vol. I, 1, pp. 188–197. 9 Bismarck to Itzenplitz, November 17, 1871, Quellensammlung Sozialpolitik, vol. I, 1, p. 249f. 10 “Denkschrift Stu¨ve,” Quellensammlung Sozialpolitik, vol. I, 1, pp. 253–256. 11 Decree by Bismarck dated January 27. 1873, Quellensammlung Sozialpolitik, vol.

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