Gotha Program

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The Gotha Program was the party platform adopted by the nascent Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) at its initial party congress, held in the town of Gotha in 1875. The program called for universal suffrage, freedom of association, limits on the working day, and for other laws protecting the rights and health of workers.[1] The Gotha Program was explicitly socialist: "the socialist labor party of Germany endeavors by every lawful means to bring about a free state and a socialistic society, to effect the destruction of the iron law of wages by doing away with the system of wage labor, to abolish exploitation of every kind, and to extinguish all social and political inequality".[1]

Karl Marx famously attacked the platform, which he had read in draft form, in his Critique of the Gotha Program.[2] The SPD's platform would become more explicitly Marxist toward the end of the 19th century, as indicated in its Erfurt Program of 1891.


  1. ^ a b Hanover Historical Texts Project (ed.). "The Gotha and Erfurt Programs: Excerpts from the Original Electronic Text at the web site of the Hanover Historical Texts Project". Hanover College. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Marx, Karl. "Critique of the Gotha Program". Retrieved January 28, 2013.

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