Formation of the International Working Men’s Association

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The next important stage in the development of socialist movement was the formation of the International Working Men’s Association or the First International in 1864. This association was formed at a meeting attended by delegates from Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Switzerland. The inaugural address of the First International was drafted by Marx in which he made a plea that the emancipation of the working classes must be achieved by the working classes themselves.

It described its aim as abolition of all class rule. The formation of the First International aroused great suspicion in the minds of the European governments and in many countries this organization was declared as illegal After some time differences cropped up amongst members of the International regarding its aims and methods. Therefore, in 1876 the International was formally dissolved.

However, it cannot be denied that during the short span of its existence it exercised profound influence on the worker’s movements in Europe and North America. It promoted a sense of solidarity amongst the workers of various countries and often workers of one country offered assistance to the workers of other countries in their struggle.

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