phases of the german socialist labor movement


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PHASES OF THE GERMAN SOCIALIST LABOR MOVEMENT. Primitive/heroic (until 1890): The movement suffers repression; strikes are often acts of desperation, sometimes erupt in violence, and often fail. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • PHASES OF THE GERMAN SOCIALIST LABOR MOVEMENTPrimitive/heroic (until 1890): The movement suffers repression; strikes are often acts of desperation, sometimes erupt in violence, and often fail.Negative integration into society (1890-1914): The movement is tolerated and develops a skilled cadre of paid functionaries and a huge network of newspapers, workers libraries, consumers cooperatives, etc. Trade unions develop large strike chests, time their strikes carefully, and often achieve success. Socialists are still excluded, however, from any share of political power.Schism during World War I between democratic socialists who pursue positive integration and communists pursuing the dictatorship of the proletariat.

  • DISTRIBUTION OF THE GERMAN POPULATION BY SIZE OF MUNICIPALITYGermany crossed the threshold from a predominantly agricultural to a predominantly small town and urban society in the 1890s.

    Census YearUnder 20002-20,00020-100,000Over 100,000187163.9%23.6%7.7%4.8%188058.6%25.3%8.9%7.2%189053.0%26.3%9.3%11.4%190045.7%25.5%12.6%16.2%191040.0%25.3%13.4%21.3%192536.0%23.6%13.6%26.8%

  • THE GROWTH OF THE PROLETARIAT* Mostly wives working in their husbands farm or small business.** Workers paid a monthly salary, not hourly wages, including clerks, salespeople, technical employees, and foremen.

    Occupational status188219071925Self-employed28%20%17%Family helpers*10%15%17%White-collar worker**6%10%17%Blue-collar worker56%55%49%100%100%100%Total labor force(in millions)

  • FOLLOWING THE GREAT DEPRESSION A SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BEGAN IN THE MID 1890sThe Siemens Corporation and German General Electric began to electrify the country, while the automobile and petrochemical industries were born.

  • BUT REAL WAGES STAGNATED:Average rate of annual increase of nominal wages for workers, real wages, and the cost of livingThe food tariff increases of 1892 and 1902 depressed the living standard of German workers. Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Band III: 1849-1914 (Munich: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1995), p. 777.

    1883-18991899-1913N.W.R.W.COLN.W.R.W.COLGermany2.0%1.9%0.1%2.2%0.5%1.7%Great Britain0.9%2.0%-1.1%0.9%1.3%-0.3%France0.8%1.6%0.9%0.9%1.0%-0.1%USA0.7%1.8%-1.2%2.3%1.3%1.1%


    FoodUnitUnited KingdomFranceGermanySugarLbs.5.51.752.0EggsNo.121010CheeseLbs.0.750.00.5ButterLbs.

  • Johann Bahr, Accident in a Machine Factory (ca. 1890)

  • The AEG small motors factory, Berlin, 1908: The growth of large-scale enterprise created a true industrial proletariat

  • The AEG adding machine factory, Berlin, 1908:Women still comprised just 16% of the industrial work force and showed less interest than men in trade unions

  • HOURLY WAGES OF GERMAN SKILLED ANDUNSKILLED WORKERS IN 1913 (PENNIES)Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin discerned the rise of a labor aristocracy in the coal mines, steel mills, and metalworking factories.

    Skilled workersUnskilled workersDifferential (b as % of a)Mining81.135.944.3%Metal Industry66.242.564.2%Construction70.555.779.0%Printing61.048.579.5%Chemical Industry57.046.080.7%Textile Industry44.734.677.5%

  • Pickets before a mine entrance during the Ruhr coal miners strike of 1905, whenthe miners were united.

  • In 1912 Ruhr miners read a government decree authorizing the police to open fire on picketers

  • Unions and strikes remained illegal for government employees (such as these railway workers), servants, and farmworkers

  • A working-class neighborhood in Berlin with its Rent Barracks [Mietskasernen]

  • A working-class tenement house, Berlin, 1909

  • Street scene in a working-class neighborhood, Berlin, ca. 1903

  • RULES POSTED AT THE ENTRANCE OF A RESPECTABLE BERLIN HOUSE IN 1900Servants and delivery boys may only use the outside stairs.

    Main stairway only for ladies and gentlemen.

    Begging and peddling forbidden.

  • An old iron forge, now a dormitory for unmarried workers(Berlin, 1906)

  • A working-class kitchen, Berlin, 1907

  • Working-class children, on their own (Berlin, 1912)

  • The Prussian Drill Instructor (1885):Remember, you came here as civilians, but you will leave as MEN.(See Blackbourn, 285-88)

  • The People in Arms(SPD, 1896)The German loves the uniform,The saber and the gun,The spiked helmet is the norm,Thats how we have our fun.

    The judge, the prosecutor,The bankers son and pastor,They all take the floorAs a martial arts master.

  • In 1906 the cobbler Wilhelm Voigt disguised himself as a Guards captain, showed forged orders to a squad of soldiers, invaded the City Hall of Kpenick, arrested the mayor, and confiscated 4,000 gold marks in the city treasury for reasons of national security.

  • Anton von Werner, The 70th Birthday of CommercialCounsellor Valentin Manheimer (1887):Was this the dream of most proletarians?

  • Ludwig Knaus,The Malcontent(aka, The Social Democrat, 1877)

  • Robert Koehler,The Socialist (1885, finished in the USA)

  • Jens Birkholm, Gospel of the Poor (1900)

    SOURCE: John E. Knodel, The Decline of Fertility in Germany, 1871-1939 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), p. 207.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*SOURCE: Gerd Hardach, Klassen und Schichten in Deutschland, 1848-1970, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 3 (1977): pp. 510, 518.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*Advertisement for the German General Electric Company (AEG); chromo-lithograph, Berlin, 1888.The goddess of light sits on a wheel from a railroad car to symbolize technological progress.SOURCE: Hans Ottomeyer and Hans-Joerg Czech, eds., _Deutsche Geschichte in Bildern und Zeugnissen_ (Berlin: Deutsches Historisches Museum, 2007), p. 170.An early German automobile, from the year 1897.SOURCE: Deutscher Bundestag, ed., _Fragen an die deutsche Geschichte. Historische Ausstellung im Reichstagsgebaeude in Berlin: Katalog_, 7th edn (Bonn, 1981), IV/153.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*SOURCE: Carlo Cipolla, ed., Fontana Economic History of Europe, 6 vols (London: Collins, 1972-76), III:124.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*Johann Bahr, "Accident in a Machine Factory," painted around 1890.SOURCE: Michael Epkenhans and Andreas von Seggern, _Leben im Kaiserreich. Deutschland um 1900_ (Stuttgart, 2007), p. 116.COMMENTARY: Mechanization in the era of industrialization not only accelerated and rationalized manufacturing processes but also created new hazards for the workers who operated machinery. In Germany, both the rise of Social Democracy, which represented workers concerns, and Bismarcks introduction of a social insurance system, which included the legislation of accident insurance in 1884, helped raise public awareness of occupational safety. Thereafter, workers well-founded desire to avoid injury increasingly dovetailed with the interests of factory owners, who had a stake in keeping their qualified workforce healthy, and of authorities, who wanted to minimize social costs resulting from invalidity. Published in the Leipzig Illustrirte Zeitung, this graphic scene was a promotion for the Deutsche Allgemeine Ausstellung fr Unfallverhtung (the General German Exhibition for Accident Prevention) in Berlin. Elements of the scene would have been all too familiar to factory owners, workers, and their families the men who care for their injured colleague, the agitated workers who stand nearby, the men who inspect the machinery responsible for the accident, and most dramatic of all the injured mans wife, who accompanied by her child, had just arrived to bring her working husband some food, and now beholds him lying there lifeless on the ground, perhaps a cripple for life. (German Historical Museum, Bismarck: Preuen, Deutschland und Europa. Berlin, 1990, p. 423). This engraving was executed by artist Johann Bahr (1859-?), a former machine builder with plenty of relevant work experience to draw upon. Colored wood engraving, c. 1890. SOURCE: INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*The small motors factory of the AEG, the German General Electric Company, Berlin, 1908. From Dieter Vorsteher and Maike Steinkamp, eds, THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: PHOTOGRAPHS OF GERMAN HISTORY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE GERMAN HISTORICAL MUSEUM (Heidelberg: Wachter Verlag, 2004), p. 40.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*SOURCE: Proletariat, p. 32.Source: Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Band III: 1849-1914 (Munich: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1995), p. 778.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*Two pickets stand before the entrance of a mine during the great Ruhr coal miners' strike of 1905.SOURCE: dpa-Bildarchiv, dpa0411.jpgTHE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE GERMAN LABOR MOVEMENT*Striking miners in the Ruhr in 1912 read a government proclamation posted at the entrance to the pits, which authorized the police to open fire on anyone who sought to prevent those willing to work from entering the mines. The Christian miners' union opposed this strike (unlike the situation in 1905), and firm action by the authorities soon brought it to an end. SOURCE: Dietrich Mu"hlberg, ed., PROLETARIAT: CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE IN THE 19TH CENTURY (Leipzig: Edition Leipzig, 1988), p. 135.THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON THE G


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