Morris Hillquit

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Hillquit, Morris


(real surname Hilkowitz). Born Aug. 1, 1869, in Riga; died Oct. 7, 1933. Activist in the Socialist Party (SP) of the USA. Reformist.

Hillquit emigrated to America in 1886 and joined the Socialist Labor Party of the USA in 1888; after the party’s split in 1899, Hillquit helped organize the Socialist Party (SP) of the USA in 1901 and headed its right-centrist wing. At the beginning of World War I, Hillquit was a pacifist. At the SP congress of April 1917 he expressed his solidarity with the left wing’s resolution opposing American participation in the war; in practice, however, he shunned the struggle to implement that resolution. In 1928, on Hillquit’s recommendation, the clause on recognition of the class struggle as a precondition for party membership was deleted from the SP bylaws. Hillquit became chairman of the SP in 1929.