Annie Besant’s interventions at the two conflicting inaugural Congresses of the Second International in Paris 1889 are now little remembered. Yet with other anti-socialist radical and trade union allies, she fought hard and successfully to prevent the two congresses (the Possibilist and the Marxist) from merging. And she worked equally hard, but this time unsuccessfully, to prevent the adoption of the statutory Eight Hour Working Day as a key Second International demand.
Annie Besant was the Pall Mall Gazette’s correspondent in Paris for the duration of the two inaugural Second International congresses and her heavily slanted reports reveal far more than she knew.
The talk is part of the two day conference at the School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK to be held on 15-16 February 2014.
Hosted by the UEA School of History, in conjunction with the journal Socialist History and the Institute of Working Class History (Chicago) are hosting a conference on “Workers’ Internationalism before 1914“.
Check website for details of the many other speakers