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ICSO 211/ICSS 205: World History B (1763-1914)

Lecture 9: Capitalism and Imperialism, and their Critics

Part 1: The Emergence of Socialist & Anarchist Working Class Movements

1. Defining Socialism

 What is socialism?

 How is it different from liberalism?

 How are socialism and communism different?

2. The Origins of Socialist Thought

 Enlightenment thinkers

 Rousseau & Diderot

 The French Revolution

 Relied on urban poor – the sans-culottes – as foot soldiers

 But leadership had bourgeois rather than socialist goals

 Gracchus Babeuf & the Conspiracy of Equals

 1st communist organisation

3. Utopian Socialism in C19th France

 Millenarian visions with strong Christian ideals

 Often authoritarian but not revolutionary

 Charles Fourier (1772-1837)

 Believed work should be pleasurable & enable people to fulfil their passions

 Étienne Cabet (1787-1856)

 Voyage to Icaria (1840)


 Travelled to US in 1848 to establish a communal society

 Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825)

 Saw power as belonging to the producers

 Followers embraced industrialisation as means to end exploitation of humans

4. The Chartists in Mid-C19th Britain

 Working-class movement for political reform

 1838 – People’s Charter drafted by William Lovett

 Universal male suffrage as core demand

 Sought to achieve goals through mass meetings & petitions

 Exception of 1839 Newport Uprising

 But demands rejected by Parliament

 Faded away after failure in 1848

5. Marx, Engels & The Communist Manifesto

 Karl Marx (1818-1883)

 Influence of Hegel

 Historical change results from conflict

 Alienation of labour as key characteristic of capitalist society

 Development of Marxism as scientific socialism

 Adopted by most socialist parties by late C19th

 The Communist Manifesto & The Communist League

 Aligned with other revolutionaries in 1848

 Manifesto described the future rather than the present

 League disbanded in 1852


6. The Emergence of Anarchist Thought

 Anarchist philosophy & the French Revolution

 William Godwin & the enragé

 Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

 What is Property? (1840)

 Theories of spontaneous order & mutualism

 Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876)

 Organised underground revolutionary societies

 Developed theory of collectivist anarchism

7. The Development of Socialist & Anarchist Movements

 Mid-C19th+ Growth of trade unions, mutual aid societies & cooperatives

 Increase in strike actions despite illegality

 The International Workingmen’s Association (1864-1876)

 1872 split between Marx & Bakunin

 The Second International (1889-1916)

 Dominated by communists with anarchists excluded

 Instituted International Worker’s & Women’s Days

 1880s & 1890s – wave of anarchist terrorist activity across Europe & US

 Bombings & assassinations

 Infiltrated by secret police forces

 Broadening of male franchise led to emergence of working class political parties

 1860s+ German Social Democractic Party (SPD)

 1900+ British Labour Party

 Blunted the appeal of revolution


8. The Impact of Socialism & Anarchism

 No successful socialist revolution until 1917

 1871 Paris Commune

 Factionalism of various socialist & anarchist parties limited their effectiveness

 Success of socialist reformers & trade unions

 1830s+ Factory Acts in Britain

 1880s – Bismarck introduced social security in Germany

 Made possible by international division of labour

 Failure of anarchism

 Irrelevant outside Spain & Latin America by 1914

 Ideological opposition to organisation

 Discredited by terrorist activities

9. Differences in Revolutionary Ideologies

 According to Marx and Engels, what must be done to implement a communist revolution?

 According to Bakunin, what must be done to implement an anarchist revolution?

 How are their revolutionary principles similar? How are they different?