League of the Just

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

League of the Just


a secret organization of German political émigrés, primarily proletarianized artisans; a forerunner of the Communist League. The League of the Just was founded in Paris in 1836–37 by the most revolutionary groups that had left the League of Outlaws (founded 1834). The members of the League of the Just were influenced by the Blanquist branch of Babouvism, as well as other forms of Utopian socialism, including the doctrines of Saint-Simon, C. Fourier, and E. Cabet. Many of them were followers of W. Weitling, a prominent member of the league. The League of the Just had ties with Utopian socialist secret societies and took part in the Blanquist uprising of May 12, 1839. After the uprising was crushed, many of the league’s members emigrated, some to Switzerland and some to London, where the league became an international organization; in addition to Germans, the London branch had Scandinavian, Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, Yugoslav, Russian, and Alsatian members. The league maintained ties with French revolutionaries, English Chartists, and Polish democrats.

Personal contacts that prominent figures of the League of the Just—such as J. Moll and K. Schapper—had with K. Marx and F. Engels led them to the belief that an end should be put to the league’s conspiratorial traditions and helped them master the principles of scientific communism. In 1847, Marx and Engels agreed to join the league. They undertook a radical reorganization of the League of the Just to start the Communist League.


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