Reaction to the War and the Peace, 1914–22

  • Partha Sarathi Gupta
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series


During the First World War Lenin developed his theory of imperialism, especially defining it as the efforts of the great powers to redivide and repartition the globe—efforts which had resulted in the war1. All social democrats who were supporting the war or, while opposing it, not actively promoting revolutions to overthrow their governments, were tarred by him with the imperialist brush.2 Were British Labour supporters of the war motivated by imperialist considerations? Did social patriotism necessarily mean social imperialism? The trade union leaders’ reaction to wartime plans for imperial autarky, their schemes of post-war reconstruction, and the united stand taken for a peace without annexations and indemnities under Arthur Henderson’s leadership after July 1917 cast considerable doubts on a simple equation between reformism and imperialism, patriotism and militarism.


Advisory Committee Free Trade Labour Movement Labour Party Socialist Party 
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Copyright information

© Partha Sarathi Gupta 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Partha Sarathi Gupta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of DelhiIndia

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