The New International Encyclopædia/Internationale
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|International Episode, An→|
|Edition of 1905. See also International Workingmen's Association on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
INTERNATIONALE, or INTERNATIONAL WORKINGMEN'S ASSOCIATION. An attempt to unite workingmen of all nations into an organization which should have for its purpose the protection, the coöperation, and the complete emancipation of the working classes. It was an international movement in harmony with the growing feeling of solidarity and common interests which was centralizing the national unions during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The founding of the International Association of Workingmen was occasioned by a visit of French workingmen to the International Exhibit in London in 1862. They came in contact with English trade unionists, recognized their conunon interests, and as a result a meeting of workingmen of all nations was held in London, September 28, 1864. A provisional committee was appointed to draw up a constitution, which was drafted by Marx after Mazzini's ideas had failed to meet with approval. A gaeneral council with headquarters in London was appointed. Sixty delegates were present at the first congress in Geneva, in September, 1866, where an eight-hour day was approved, and a system of education discussed. At Lausanne in 1867 socialistic principles were first adopted, with the result that its English adherents, whose ideal was trade unionism, withdrew from the movement. At the third and most important congress at Brussels in 1868 the congress announced itself opposed to war, advocated a general strike in case of war, and declared itself in favor of State ownership of mines, land, and transportation facilities. Bakunin and other anarchists joined the fourth congress at Basel in 1869. In that year the Social Democratic Party was founded in Germany, representing in politics the principles of the International. The Franco-Prussian War prevented the meeting of the fifth congress at Paris. In 1872 at The Hague congress the anarchists were expelled, and the general council removed to New York. A last congress, representing chiefly the anarchistic wing of the party, was held at Geneva in 1873. For some years this faction carried on a fiery agitation in the south of Europe, but with the death of Bakunin in 1876 it disintegrated, its members becoming the anarchistic communists of to-day. The Marxist wing developed in other countries, as well as in Germany, into Social Democratic parties. Branches of both factions were formed in the United States, but were never firmly established. In the American movement the anarchistic faction showed the greater strength. This faction broke up into two rival associations, the International Working People's Association and the International Workmen's Association, the latter representing the more radical principles. While it existed the International aided strikes of bronze-workers in Paris (1867) and builders in Geneva (1868), and helped English trade unionists by preventing the importation of cheap labor. A number of journals in digferent countries were devoted to its cause.
Consult: Kirkup, History of Socialism (London, 1892); Rae, Contemporary Socialism (2d ed., New York, 1901); Fly, Labor Movement in America (New York, 1886).