Le Havre Program

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Le Havre Program


the program of the French Workers’ Party (founded in 1879) adopted at the congress in Le Havre, which was held Nov. 16-22, 1880. It was worked out by J. Guèsde and P. Lafargue with the direct assistance of K. Marx and F. Engels. Marx wrote the introductory part of the program, which justified and substantiated the need for a political party of the working class and defined the tasks and goals of the struggle of the proletariat and its party. A minimum program was appended to the theoretical part of the Le Havre Program; this included the demands for freedom of expression, the press, and association; a weekly rest period for workers; and the eight-hour working day. Despite criticisms by Marx and Engels, Utopian and semianarchist demands were included in the Le Havre Program upon Guesdè’s insistence. Their inclusion reflected a certain theoretical immaturity of the leadership of the Workers’ Party. Nevertheless, the adoption of the Le Havre Program was a big step forward in the development of the French labor movement.


Guèsde, J., and P. Lafargue. Programma Rabochei partii, ee osnovaniia i kommentarii k net. Petrograd, 1917. (Translated from French.)
Marx, K. [“Pis’mo Zorge, 5 noiabria 1880 g.”] In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 34.
Engels, F. [“Pis’ma E. Bernshteinu, 25 okt. i 30 noiab. 1881 g.”] In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 35.
Bel kin, I. D. Zhiul’ Ged i bor’ba za rabochuiu partiiu vo Frantsii. Moscow, 1952. Pages 231-60.
Artem’eva, T. L. “Zashchita P. Lafargom programmy rabochei partii Frantsii v 1881-1882 godakh.” Nauchno-informatsionnyi biulleten’ sektora proizvedenii K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa, 1966, no. 15.


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