German Social Democracy through British Eyes: A Documentary History, 1870–1914

By James Retallack

© 2021

On the eve of the First World War, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the largest and most powerful socialist party in the world. German Social Democracy through British Eyes examines the SPD’s rise using British diplomatic reports from Saxony, the third-largest federal state in Imperial Germany and the cradle of the socialist movement in that country.

Rather than focusing on the Anglo-German antagonism leading to the First World War, the book peers into the everyday struggles of German workers to build a political movement and emancipate themselves from the worst features of a modern capitalist system: exploitation, poverty, and injustice. The archival documents, most of which have never been published before, raise the question of how people from one nation view people from another nation. The documents also illuminate political systems, election practices, and anti-democratic strategies at the local and regional levels, allowing readers to test hypotheses derived only from national-level studies.

This collection of primary sources shows why, despite the inhospitable environment of German authoritarianism, Saxony and Germany were among the most important incubators of socialism.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Illustrations: 30
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

German Social Democracy through British Eyes uses diplomatic reports sent from Germany to Britain to document the rise of social democracy as well as efforts to repress it.

German Social Democracy through British Eyes: A Documentary History, 1870–1914

By James Retallack

© 2021

On the eve of the First World War, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the largest and most powerful socialist party in the world. German Social Democracy through British Eyes examines the SPD’s rise using British diplomatic reports from Saxony, the third-largest federal state in Imperial Germany and the cradle of the socialist movement in that country.

Rather than focusing on the Anglo-German antagonism leading to the First World War, the book peers into the everyday struggles of German workers to build a political movement and emancipate themselves from the worst features of a modern capitalist system: exploitation, poverty, and injustice. The archival documents, most of which have never been published before, raise the question of how people from one nation view people from another nation. The documents also illuminate political systems, election practices, and anti-democratic strategies at the local and regional levels, allowing readers to test hypotheses derived only from national-level studies.

This collection of primary sources shows why, despite the inhospitable environment of German authoritarianism, Saxony and Germany were among the most important incubators of socialism.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Illustrations: 30
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    James Retallack is a University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.
  • Table of contents

    List of Tables
    List of Figures
    List of Maps
    Preface
    Note on the Documents

    Introduction

    Historical Overview

    Documents

    Part I: 1870–1877
    Part II: 1878–1889
    Part III: 1890–1897
    Part IV: 1898–1909
    Part V: 1910–1914

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