British Socialist Party BSP

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

British Socialist Party (BSP)


founded in 1911 in Manchester at the constituent conference of representatives of the English Social Democratic Party, the Independent Labour Party, and other socialist groups.

Founded during an upsurge in the labor movement in Great Britain, the BSP was a Marxist political organization. Lenin called it a party that was “not opportunist, and really independent of the liberals …” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 23, p. 344). But, sectarian tendencies and weakness of numbers prevented the party from conducting extensive mass agitation. On the eve of and during World War I (1914-18), a social chauvinist group-appeared in the BSP. It was led by G. Hyndman (chairman of the party from 1911 to 1913). This group did not obtain party support. In 1913, Hyndman was not elected to the party’s governing body. At the April 1916 conference of the BSP, an overwhelming majority of delegates led by J. Maclean and A. Inkpin condemned Hyndman’s position again and forced him and his adherents to leave the party. From that time the BSP invariably opposed the imperialist war; it welcomed the October Revolution in Russia and actively struggled against the anti-Soviet intervention. From 1916 the BSP was collectively part of the Labour Party. In 1919 it joined the Third Communist International. The left wing of the BSP initiated the establishment of the Communist Party of Great Britain.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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