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Q5. What were the consequences of Paris Commune on First International?

The International had organised support for the Commune and after its destruction was engaged in aiding the refugees from Paris. The extermination of the Commune was followed by systematic attempts to destroy the International in almost every country of Europe. Despite initial resistance it collapsed as a result of internal differences because of its inherent weaknesses. The International was not a homogeneous organisation represented by many different trends in the workers’ movement. Due to differences on aims and methods, it was split in 1872 and was formally dissolved in 1876. In the meantime, however, the socialist parties in many countries of Europe had begun to grow and after a few years they were to unite and form another International.

When the First International was formed, well-organised socialist parties did not exist. However, in the 1870′s and the 1880s in almost every country in Europe socialist parties were formed. Some of them became quite strong having lakhs of members and a large representation in the parliament. Strength and membership of the trade unions were also increasing. The German Socialist Party was the largest socialist party in Europe. In Britain, where the trade unions had a membership of a million had been formed the Social Democratic Federation, The Socialist League and the Fabian Society. Socialist parties were formed in USA, Japan and other countries in the Americas. The movement had become a mass movement.

On 14 July 1889, the centenary of the French Revolution of 1789, a Congress Second International was held in Paris to unite the socialist parties in various countries into an international organization. First May of every year was declared as a day of working class solidarity. It was decided to organise on that day a great international demonstration in such a way what “the in all lands and cities will simultaneously demand from the powers that be a limitation the working day to eight hours.

On the first May 1890, millions of workers all over Europe and America struck work and held massive demonstrations. Since then the first of May is observed as the international class day all over the world.

The socialist and workers’ movement had become a major force in almost every country of Europe.

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