French Workers' Party

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French Workers' Party

Parti Ouvrier Français
FoundersJules Guesde
Paul Lafargue
Founded1880; 140 years ago (1880)
Dissolved1902; 118 years ago (1902)
Merged intoSocialist Party of France
Political positionLeft-wing
Colours     Red

The French Workers' Party (French: Parti Ouvrier Français, POF) was the French socialist party created in 1880 by Jules Guesde and Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx's son-in-law (famous for having written The Right to Be Lazy, which criticized labour's alienation). A revolutionary party, it had as aim to abolish capitalism and replace it with a socialist society.

The party originated with a secession from Federation of the Socialist Workers of France (FTSF), which was founded in 1879, after a split with Paul Brousse's possibilists. The party's programme, written by Guesde with input from Marx, Lafargue and Friedrich Engels, was approved at the opening congress. The party officially became the POF in 1893.

In 1902, the party merged with the Blanquist Central Revolutionary Committee (CRC) to form the Socialist Party of France and finally merged in 1905 with Jean Jaurès' French Socialist Party (FSP) to form the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO). Marcel Cachin, who would lead the split in 1920 which led to the creation of the French Communist Party (FCP) and edited L'Humanité newspaper, became a member of the POF in 1891.

The Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Loire and Allier were the principal bastions of POF electoral strength.

Principal members[edit]

See also[edit]



  • C. Willard C. (1965). Le Mouvement socialiste en France, 1893-1905. Les guesdistes. Ed. sociales.
  • J. Verlhac (1997). La formation de l’unité socialiste (1898-1905). L'Harmattan. Reissue of a memoir published in 1947

External links[edit]