Second International

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The Second International (1889-1916) was an organization formed in 1889 (after several years of preparation) by socialist and labour parties who wished to work together for international socialism. It continued the work of the dissolved First International, though excluding the still-powerful anarcho-syndicalist movement and unions, and was in existence until 1916.

Among the Second International's most famous actions were its (1889) declaration of 1st May as International Labour Day and its (1910) declaration of 8th March as International Women's Day.

The International's permanent executive and information body was the International Socialist Bureau (I.S.B.), based in Brussels and formed after the International's Paris Congress of 1900. Emile Vandervelde and Camille Huysmans of the Belgian Labour Party were its chair and secretary. Lenin was a member from 1905.

The Second International dissolved during World War I, in 1916, as the separate national parties that composed it did not maintain a unified front against the war, instead generally supporting their respective nations' role. French socialist leader Jean Jaurès's assassination, a few days before the beginning of the war, symbolized the failure of the antimilitarism doctrine of the Second International. In 1915, at the Zimmerwald Conference, anti-war socialists attempted to maintain international unity against the social patriotism of the social democratic leaders. The International continued in skeleton form in neutral Switzerland through the war, known as the Berne International.

In 1920, the defunct Second International was reorganized. However, some European socialist parties refused to join the reorganized international, and decided instead to form the International Working Union of Socialist Parties (IWUSP) ("Second and a half International" or "Two-and-a-half International"), heavily influenced by Austromarxism. In 1923, IWUSP and the Second International merged to form the social democratic Labour and Socialist International. This international continued to exist until 1940. After World War II, the Socialist International was formed to continue the policies of the Labour and Socialist International, and it continues to this day.


[edit] Congresses of the Second International

  1. 1889 - Paris
  2. 1891 - Brussels
  3. 1893 - Zürich
  4. 1896 - London
  5. 1900 - Paris
  6. 1904 - Amsterdam
  7. 1907 - Stuttgart
  8. 1910 - Copenhagen
  9. 1912 - Basel (Extraordinary Congress)

[edit] Prominent Members of the Second International





The Netherlands:



[edit] See also

[edit] External links