Otto Von Bismarck

Otto Von Bismarck

Prince Bismarck-Schonhausen, Otto Eduard Leopold Von Bismarck, was a lawyer, statesman, soldier and diplomat. He founded the modern German state through a series of military victories. His political skill and statesmanship led to the establishment of a foreign policy that made secure the position of Germany in Europe in the 19th century.

He founded the world’s first formalized national social insurance program. It was accomplished to build the morale of the German people, which would thus present to the world a strong and united nation. His first proposal was to insure workers against losses due to accidents. To accomplish this, he urged contributions to the system from employers, employees and the state. Further, he recommended the founding of a governmental insurance company. His bill was enacted in 1884 but only after the enactment in 1883 of a compulsory health insurance bill. Laws were later enacted for unemployment and old age insurance.

Von Bismarck’s influence is still seen in governmental programs for social insurance throughout the world.