Germany found its way into the 20th Century, not unlike the United States, newly unified after a “recent unpleasantness” under Otto von Bismarck, who, having survived a quite similar near assassination, carved out a modern civilization in Germany. Like Qin, who unified China by standardizing its language in 256 B.C., Bismarck unified Germany by standardizing its religion. At that time, religion was more of a territorial marker, like the Pledge of Allegiance, than a statement of personal faith. An admirer of Luther, Bismarck launched his own KultureKampf against the Catholic church - significantly reducing the influence of Rome. Bismarck also introduced Europe to the modern social contract - with pensions for the elderly, accident, medical, and unemployment insurance. While the old Germany was a dichotomy of landed gentry and peasants, a new Germany emerged in the 20th century with a jump on public education, a rising middle class, social cohesion, entrepreneurism et al., and quickly became a dominant economic force. The First World War was largely an effort by France and Britain to contain the rising power of a new and unified Germany. Crushed by WWI, and again by the Great Depression, the center fell, and Germany was handed over to the Nazis in a plurality election along its historical fault lines: nationalism, lutheranism, anti-semitism, and religious unification.