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ORIGINS OF THE SOCIALIST LABOR MOVEMENT 1848: The “General Brotherhood of German Workers” seeks “one big union” for all. 1863: Rebuffed by the Progressive.

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Presentation on theme: "ORIGINS OF THE SOCIALIST LABOR MOVEMENT 1848: The “General Brotherhood of German Workers” seeks “one big union” for all. 1863: Rebuffed by the Progressive."— Presentation transcript:

1 ORIGINS OF THE SOCIALIST LABOR MOVEMENT 1848: The “General Brotherhood of German Workers” seeks “one big union” for all. 1863: Rebuffed by the Progressive Party, a network of “workers’ educational clubs” invites Ferdinand Lassalle to found a party for them. 1869: Admirers of Marx found the “Social Democratic Workers’ Party” in Eisenach, Saxony 1875: Unification of the Lassalleans and Eisenachers : Anti-Socialist Law 1890: Reconstitution of the “Social Democratic Party of Germany” as it exists today

2 Ferdinand Lassalle and the banner of his “German Workers Association” (1863): “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity! Unity makes us strong!” Lassalle received financing from Countess Sophie von Hatzfeldt but died in a duel over a woman in 1864….

3 August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht founded the Marxist “Social Democratic Workers Party” in Saxony in 1869

4 Bebel and Liebknecht served two years in prison for their opposition in the Reichstag to the Franco-Prussian War

5 “To honor our elders and guide the young!” (poster to commemorate the Gotha unification congress of 1875)

6 REPRESSION UNDER THE ANTI-SOCIALIST LAW IN THE 1880s: The police dissolve a workers’ rally after judging that the speaker had advocated socialism. The police search a worker’s apartment for socialist pamphlets or magazines, smuggled from Switzerland.

7 “Revenge for our persecuted comrades, Long live Social Democracy” “Only he deserves freedom and life who must conquer them daily” (a “proletarian house blessing”)

8 Robert Koehler, “The Strike” (Munich, 1886)

9 The Social Democrat celebrates the SPD’s election victory in March 1890

10 Delacroix, “Liberty Leading the People” (1830)

11 “Homage to Liberty” (those celebrating the SPD election success in 1893 include Lassalle, Marx, Danton, Darwin, & Brutus)

12 Liberty summons Progress to demolish the Bastille of capitalism with the 8-Hour Day (Der wahre Jacob, 1895)

13 August Bebel argued in Woman and Socialism that women must be able to pursue careers to achieve genuine equality

14 Social Democratic women’s meeting (Berlin, 1891): By 1912 the SPD counted 150,000 women and 850,000 men as members

15 “Thank you, dear wife. What’s the news?” (Der Wahre Jacob, 1892) But many workers yearned for wages high enough that their wives could stay at home and keep house….

16 The inevitable collapse of capitalism: “The Fateful Path” (Der wahre Jacob, 1891)

17 “Wasted Effort” (Der wahre Jacob, 1902): The international proletariat defeats all efforts by the Imperialist Powers to keep it divided and weak.

18 EVIDENCE OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WORKERS IN IMPERIAL GERMANY  Under three-class suffrage (retained in most states and cities until November 1918), a worker’s vote counted for 1/30 as much as a rich man’s.  In 1900 only 1-2% of Prussian university students were children of workers, 0% of heads of large businesses, 1% of Protestant pastors, and 4% of Catholic priests.  In Hamburg’s cholera epidemic of 1892, working-class neighborhoods had mortality rates 5 to 10 times higher than those of middle-class neighborhoods.  According to the research of Hartmut Kaelble, in 1900 sons of skilled blue-collar workers were twice as likely to experience downward social mobility as upward.


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