The chapter aims to introduce some considerations with a historical approach related to the evolution of the cultural stances adopted by the leading forces of the worker and socialist movement - particularly those of reformist orientation - towards the policies of social protection. Moreover, it outlines a general scheme of a time period, which allows to view the evolution of social welfare systems into the welfare-state model. The first result of this research program is that the ongoing exchance of views that led to the Welfare State did not follow a straight line. Moreover, even the definition of socialism and social-democracy requires to be dealt with in a more pluralistic view, taking into account the variety and the differences in both doctrines and practices to be found in the European countries, even if inside a common political family. Examining the cultural ideas of the social-democracies which grow towards social protection policies it helps scholars to debunk several generalizations and see gaps and recurring features if a "path dependence" approach is followed. The idea that history of welfare state can be described as a sort of continuous and mechanical process of enlightened conceptions and reform projects which little by little become modern and advanced, is problematic. Since that it appears to be more as the result of a series, sometimes casual, of choices motivated by necessity and contingent situations.
Keywords: Socialist Movement, Social Protection, Welfare State, Social Democracy, Path Dependence.