International Workers Congresses of Paris, 1889

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Two congresses were held in Paris, beginning on July 14, 1889. They had been called for by the London International Trades Union Congress, meeting in London in November 1888, and the French Syndicalist Congress, meeting at the same time. Internecine conflicts within the French socialist movement, however, prompted the "possibilist" faction to hold its own congress at the same time. The larger assembly, the International Socialist Workers Congress of Paris, dubbed the "Marxist" congress resolved to arrange a second meeting at Zurich, and the Possibility one at Brussels. However the Marxist organizing committee decided to relent and the next congress met in Brussels in 1891.

"Marxist" Congress[edit]

The International Socialist Workers Congress of Paris was scheduled to meet at the Salle Petrelle, but soon had to move to larger accomendations at 42, rue Rochechouart. The delegate count was as follows.

Country # of delegates Remarks
Alsace-Lorraine 1 A representative of the Republican Socialist Union of Alsace-Lorraine
Argentina 1 Represented "Socialist group of Buenos Aires"
Austria 9
Belgium 14
Bohemia 1
Bulgaria 1 Represented by one of the Romanian delegates
Denmark 3 Representing the Socialist party of Denmark
Finland 1
France 221
Germany 81 Includes representatives of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Great Britain 20 Representing the Socialist League; Scottish Labour Party; Bloomsbury Socialist Society
Greece 1
Hungary 3
Italy 13
Netherlands 4
Norway 3
Poland 4
Portugal 1
Romania 5
Russia 6
Spain 2 Representing PSOE
Sweden 2
Switzerland 2
United States 5 Representing the Socialist Labor Party; German Workers Union of New York; United Hebrew Trades, "United Brothers League of Iowa"

For full list of delegates and the groups they represented, see below Protokoll des internationalen Arbeiter-congresses zu Paris p. 129-138.

The "Marxist" congress passed resolutions on the unity of the socialist movement (presented by Wilhelm Liebknecht), international labor legislation (the eight hour workday, night work, labor conditions for women and children), the abolition of permanent armies, and the various means to attain these goals. It also passed a resolution calling for an international demonstration for the eight hour working day on May 1.

"Possibilist" Congress[edit]

The International Workers Congress, or "possibilist" congress met at #10, rue de Langry. Its delegate count was as follows.

Country # of delegats Remarks
Austria 6
Belgium 8
Denmark 2
France 477
Great Britain 39
Hungary 6
Netherlands 2
Poland 1
Russia 1
Spain 5
Switzerland 1
United States 4

The posibilist congress passed resolutions on universal suffrage, trust, international labor legislation, and on the means of creating a permanent means of relation between the autonomous socialist and workers groups.

References[edit]

  • Haupt, Georges La Deuxième Internationale, 1889-1914: étude critique des sources, essai bibliographique
  • The Times, Wednesday, Jul 17, 1889; pg. 5; Issue 32753; col A (Gives details of the Possibilist Congress.)
  • William Morris, “Impressions of the Paris Congress” Commonweal, Vol 5, No. 185, 27 July 1889, p. 234; (Gives details of the Marxist Congress.)

External links[edit]