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German Socialism to 1914

  • Leslie J. Macfarlane

Abstract

Although industrialisation on a substantial scale did not get under way in Germany until after 1850, the revolution of 1848 saw the emergence not only of the historically celebrated Communist League, but of the much more influential ‘Workers’ Brotherhood’ founded at a conference of delegates from 32 workers’ associations from all over Germany. The ‘Workers’ Brotherhood’ was the first German workers’ political organisation, boasting at its height some 200 local and regional associations. The Brotherhood’s members were mainly journeymen and skilled workers and its aims, as set forth in the journal Fraternisation, were reformist not revolutionary.

The workers of Germany must strive to become a moral force in the state, to become a powerful body that thrusts forward … and sweeps aside all that stands in the way of a freer and better shaping of circumstances, that accepts … everyone who feels for the plight of the oppressed and is himself chained by the might of capital or intellectual powers to one of the fortunate of this earth — everyone who works or wants to work.1

Keywords

Private Property Capitalist Society Socialist Society Capitalist Class Capitalist Mode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

  1. 3.
    Helga Grebing, The History of the German Labour Movement: A Survey, abridged by Mary Saran and translated by Edith Korner (Leamington Spa: Berg, 1985 ), p. 34.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See G.D.H. Cole, A History of Socialist Thought, Vol. II Marxism and Anarchism 1850–1890 (London: Macmillan, 1954 ), Ch. V.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    W.H. Dawson, Bismarck and State Socialism ( London, Swan Sonnenschein, 1890 ), pp. 30–1.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    Vernon L. Lidtke, The Outlawed Party: Social Democracy in Germany 1878–1890 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966), footnote, p.62; Dawson, op. cit., p.12.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    The terms ‘socialist’ and ‘social democrat’ were used interchangeably in Germany. See W.L. Guttsman, The German Social Democratic Party, 1875–1933 (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981), pp.43–4.Google Scholar
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    Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (first complete edition published in Germany, 1932) in Robert C. Tucker, The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978), pp.79 and 80.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Leslie J. Macfarlane 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie J. Macfarlane
    • 1
  1. 1.St John’s CollegeOxfordUK

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