UCSB > History Dept. > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133a > Lecture 14: Origins of Social Democracy

UCSB Hist 133A, Fall 2006 (133a homepage)
19th Century Germany, Nov. 1 , 2006

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)

Lecture 14:
The Origins of Social Democracy
(previous lecture, next lecture)


  • Survey of History majors beginning Nov. 5: when the e-mail comes, PLEASE participate!
  • 8 people still w/o approved proposals; complete draft due next Wednesday -- see me!

Guiding Question

  • How did "the people" or "the masses" mobilize to participate in the political process? (assoc., part. union)

Background/Timeline (see Kitchen pages 98-102)

  • 1820s egalitarian projects (Proudhon, Owen, Fourier); Marx 1848: "utopian" socialism
  • 1834: breakthrough for Krupp foundry with order for cast iron railroad wheels (est. 1811 in Essen)
  • 1861: Progressive Party founded (democrats from 1859 Nat'l Assoc.); 100 seats in Dec. election
  • 1863: General German Workers Association (ADAV) founded in Leipzig (Lassalle)
  • 1864: First International [Workers Association] in London
  • 1869: Social Democratic Workers Party (SDAP) founded in Eisenach
  • 1875: Gotha workers' congress: Leipzig (Lassallean) and Eisenach (Marxist) groups unite
  • 1878-1890: anti-socialist laws (prohibition of workers polit. parties, organizations, assemblies, printed matter)

Key Figures

  • Ferdinand Lassalle (1825-1864): 1848-49 New Rhine News; 1863 ADAV in Leipzig; 1864 duel
  • August Bebel (1840-1913): lathe operator, 1861 "Leipzig Trade Education Association;" 1865 chair; 1866 founded Saxony Peoples' Party; 1867 head of Association of German Workers Clubs and rep. in N. German Reichstag; 1869 Eisenach SDAP; 1875 Gotha, 1891 Erfurt program
  • Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826-1900): teacher at Fröbel school, fought in Baden; 1863-65 in ADAV;
    1866-1869 see Bebel; 1872 prison; 1874 Reichstag (during 1878-90 prohibition); 1891 Erfurt

The Gotha Program of 1875

  1. Labor is the source of all wealth, and of all civilization; and since it is only through society that generally productive labor is possible, the whole product of labor, where there is a general obligation to work, belongs to society, - that is, to all its members, by equal right, to each according to his reasonable needs.
  2. In the society of today the means of production are a monopoly of the capitalistic class; the dependence of the working classes which results from this is the cause of misery and of servitude in all its forms.
  3. The emancipation of labor requires the conversion of the means of production into the common property of society and the social regulation of all labor and its application for the general good, together with the just distribution of the products of labor.
  4. The emancipation of labor must be the task of the laboring class itself, [other classes won't do it for them]
  5. Proceeding from these principles, the Socialist Workers Party of Germany endeavors by every lawful means to bring about a free state and a socialistic society, …, and to extinguish all social and political inequality.
  6. [even if only national for now, remains committed to international agenda]
  7. The Socialist Workers Party of Germany, in order to prepare the way for the solution of the social question, demands the establishment of socialistic productive associations; with the support of the state and under the democratic control of the working people. These productive associations, for both industry and agriculture, are to be created to such an extent that the socialistic organization of all labor may result therefrom.
  8. [universal suffrage for all above twenty years of age, secret ballot, freedom of the press, free mandatory education, etc.,]: (1) the greatest possible extension of political rights and freedom in the sense of the above-mentioned demands; (2) a single progressive income tax, both state and local, instead of all the existing taxes, especially the indirect ones, which weigh heavily upon the people; (3) unlimited right of association; (4) a normal working day corresponding with the needs of society, and the prohibition of work on Sunday; …

Q5 due Friday (based on Schulze 89-101 and Kitchen 102-112)

  • For each of 6 "solutions to the German question," briefly explain 1-2 causal factors (use EIEIO/C) supporting or preventing the realization of that solution.
    (Hint: 5 are listed in Schulze plus the actual one)

Links (back to top)

prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Nov. 1, 2006, updated: 11/7/06
back to top; to UCSB Hist 133a homepage