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The Promise of American Life Characters

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In his section on European history, Croly discusses the contribution of German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. He sees him as a fine example of a leader, a man who was able to balance his own beliefs with what was best for his country. Von Bismarck became the first chancellor of the German Empire in 1871 when William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor. This gave von Bismark almost complete control of foreign and domestic affairs. He opposed the socialists in Germany and, in order to weaken their influence, instituted a program of sweeping social reforms. He passed laws providing for sickness, accident, and old age insurance; instituted controls on child labor; and established maximum working hours. Croly praises his strong leadership and in his discussion of German nationality notes:

Thus the modern German nation has been at bottom the work of admirable leadership on the...

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This section contains 1,641 words
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The Promise of American Life from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.