This seminar analyzes the history of the social question and the rise of the welfare state in nineteenth-century Germany, focusing mainly on Prussia. Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, the course begins by investigating the poor relief and agricultural reform policies of the German ancien regime, the Stein-Hardenberg reforms in Prussia, and the problem of pauperism before and during the 1848 Revolution. Most of the seminar analyzes the transformation of the social question between 1850 and 1900 through rapid agricultural change, industrial growth, and urbanization, exploring the impact of these processes on workers, the middle classes, public opinion, political parties, academia, and government officials. We will focus especially on the passage of Bismarck's social insurance legislation in the 1880s, allowing a critical assessment of the conditions, opinions, and interests that enabled the creation of the German welfare state. Finally, we will assess the social question and welfare state as they are relevant to the question of the "special path" of German history, by drawing the Bismarckian welfare state into comparative perspective.
COURSE FORMAT: Seminar
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST Grading Mode: Graded
Prerequisites: NONE Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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