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Q7. Explore the differences of Second Congress which led to its disintegration?

In spite of its many achievements and its growing strength, the Second International suffered from many weaknesses. It was a loose federation of socialist parties of many countries. While the socialist parties in many countries had become mass parties, basic differences had arisen among them.

While some sections believed in a revolution to overthrow capitalism, others believed that socialism could be achieved through gradual reforms. Some sections in the socialist parties even favoured colonialism.

It was on the question of the war that the Second International and major differences. Many socialist parties had serious differences over strategy to be deployed during War. Some of them feared that if they organised opposition to the war, they would be crushed. When the First World War broke out, most of the socialist parties extended their support to their respective governments which split the socialist movement and an important phase in the history of the socialist movement came to a close.

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