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Q6. What were the achievements of 2nd international?

Second International’s campaign against militarism and war, asserting the principle of the basic equality of all peoples and their right to freedom and national independence were its most important achievements.

In last decade of the 19th century, Europe was divided into blocs due to struggle over Imperialistic expansion in colonies. War seemed imminent and every country in Europe was spending huge sums of money in militarization. The Second International and its socialist affiliates aimed to struggle against militarism and the prevention of war. They expressed the conviction that capitalism was the root cause of wars and they could be ended only with the destruction of capitalism. The second International also decided that the socialists should utilize the “economic and political crisis created by the war, to rouse the masses and thereby to hasten the downfall of capitalist rule”.

The socialist movement had made the international solidarity of workers as a fundamental principle. When Russia and Japan were warring on each other, the leader of the Japanese socialist group and the leader of the Russian socialists were made the joint presidents of the Second International at its Congress in 1904. The socialists in many countries called for strikes to prevent their countries from participating in wars. They suffered at the hands of their governments who were preparing for war. Jean Jaures, the great leader of the French socialists was assassinated on the eve of the First World War for campaigning against war.

The Second International also condemned colonialism and committed the socialist parties to oppose the exploitation and subjugation of colonial peoples. The 1904 Congress was attended by Dadabhai Naoroji, who pleaded the cause of India’s freedom. The President asked the Congress “to treat with the greatest reverence the statement of the Indian delegate, an old man of eighty, who had sacrificed fifty-five years of his life to the struggle for the freedom and happiness of his people”.

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