Social Democratic Labor Party of the Netherlands

Social Democratic Labor Party of the Netherlands


(SDLPN; Sociaal-Democratische Arbeiderspartij in Nederland), a party founded in 1894 by the parliamentarist group headed by P. J. Troelstra. A program modeled on the Erfurt Program of German Social Democracy was adopted in 1895. The party waged a struggle for universal suffrage and social legislation and against harsh forms of colonial exploitation. A considerable number of the leaders of the SDLPN, including Troelstra, H. van Kol, and W. Vliegen, assumed opportunist positions. In 1905 the opponents of opportunism obtained a majority in the party’s administrative board, but they were forced out of the leadership in 1906.

In October 1907 the newspaper De Tribune was founded by the leftists, who were from that time called the Tribunists. In 1909 the Tribunists were expelled from the party and established the Social Democratic Party of the Netherlands. In 1912, H. Roland-Hoist, who headed the group of centrists in the SDLPN, also left the party. In 1912 the Leiden Congress of the SDLPN adopted a new program that reflected the party’s revisionist evolution.

During World War I (1914-18), the leadership of the SDLPN proclaimed a “civil peace” and the party’s parliamentary faction voted for war credits. In the parliamentary elections of 1918, following the introduction in December 1917 of suffrage for all men aged 23 and over in the Netherlands, the SDLPN received 22 percent of the vote; it received approximately the same percentage in succeeding years. During the upsurge in the workers’ movement in the Netherlands, which culminated in the Red Week (Nov. 11-18, 1918), the reformist leaders of the SDLPN condemned revolutionary means of struggle at the congress of Nov. 16-17, 1918. During the 1920’s and early 1930’s, the SDLPN went over entirely to reformism, which resulted in the withdrawal of newly formed leftist elements. The new program of the SDLPN, adopted in 1937, established anticommunist policies. In August 1939 two members of the party joined the bourgeois government.

When fascist German troops occupied the Netherlands in May 1940, the party, which by then had approximately 90,000 members, disbanded. It was formally banned in July 1941. Many Social Democrats participated in the resistance movement. After the Netherlands was liberated from the fascist occupiers in May 1945, the Netherlands Labor Party was established in February 1946 to replace the SDLPN and a number of petit-bourgeois organizations.


Lenin, V. I. “Kak burzhuaziia ispol’zuet renegatov.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 39.
Leerboek voor de arbeidersbeweging, 4th ed. Amsterdam, 1954.


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