Socialist Labor party

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Socialist Labor party,

in the United States, begun in 1877 by New York City socialists. Its membership came largely from German-American workingmen. During the 1880s a national organization was established and the party concentrated, unsuccessfully, on electoral politics. The depression conditions of the 1890s brought it renewed strength, and, under the leadership of Daniel De LeonDe Leon, Daniel
, 1852–1914, American socialist leader. Born on the island of Curaçao of Spanish-American parents, he was educated in Germany and the Netherlands before going (1872) to New York City. There he edited a Spanish newspaper, studied law at Columbia (LL.B.
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, a Marxist revolutionary, it emphasized militant labor activities and organized (1896) its own union. After many members who opposed the leadership of De Leon withdrew (1899) and joined the less militant Social Democratic party (see Socialist partySocialist party,
in U.S. history, political party formed to promote public control of the means of production and distribution. In 1898 the Social Democratic party was formed by a group led by Eugene V. Debs and Victor Berger.
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), the Socialist Labor party did not regain its previous importance.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Socialist Labor Party


(SLP), a socialist party of the USA, founded in 1876; called the Workingmen’s Party of America until 1877. In the late 1870’s the leading positions in the Socialist Labor Party were seized by the Lassalleans. A change in the SLP’s political line became noticeable in the late 1880’s, as the party cultivated closer ties with the labor movement. However, in the late 1890’s, sectarian and syndicalist elements again became dominant. The revolutionary wing of the SLP welcomed Russia’s October Revolution but the party’s leaders called the revolution “premature.” The revolutionary wing then left the SLP to join the communist movement. Subsequently, membership of the SLP declined and the party was mainly linked with the intelligentsia.

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