Project of IISHJ

History of the Welfare State: From Bismark to Reagan

Video: The idea of the welfare state was born in the socialist movements of the 19th century. Worker poverty, middle class anxiety, and the Great Depression turned it into a reality. In both North America and Western Europe the welfare state enabled capitalism to survive. Even rightwingers like Bismarck of Germany saw its importance. Ultimately, even the rich received government assistance with Medicare and universal health coverage.

Date: 04/07/2005

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Note on sources: The Jewish Humanist  was the monthly newsletter of The Birmingham Temple. The periodical Humanistic Judaism was the quarterly journal of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Center for New Thinking was Wine’s adult learning program beyond Humanistic Judaism. Selections from Wine’s books are appropriately cited.
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