Workers' movement

the workers' movement is a recapitulatory term for unions and organizations, which formed since beginning of the industrialization, in order to worry about the interests of the workers. Their goal is main to improve the economic situation of the workers and their families to organize in addition, the workers for the transformation of the society by revolution (socialism) or reforms (social-democracy).

A party, trade unions and proletarian self-help organizations are called also the “3 columns of the workers' movement ”. These left organizations were often linked or with the adjective “freely”.

The Maschinenstürmer of the Luddites in the England of the Industriellen revolution formed at the beginning of the workers' movement.

The emergence of the workers' movement is closely connected with the barricade fights of the revolutions of the 1840er years in different European countries. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were the theoreticians of the socialist-communist current within the workers' movement. They stated the 1847 in London from the federation of the fair ones come out federation of the communists , in whose order they published the communist manifesto of the communist party in February 1848. This communist manifesto with its internationalist requirement under the slogan „proletarians of all countries, combines you!“to the basis of the party-politically organized socialist and/or. later explicitly communist workers' movement.

In the German federation Ferdinand created leave 1863 with the general German worker association (ADAV) first, still genossenschaftlich oriented labour party of Germany. William dear farmhand and August Bebel justified 1869 with the social-democratic labour party (SDAP) a social-democratic party aligned at the Marxist theory. ADAV and SDAP united 1875 to the socialist labour party of Germany (SAP), from which 1890 the SPD came out. End 19. /Anfang 20. Century was still closely linked the social-democracy in Germany and most other states with the still recent trade union movement, and in its substantial contents still clearly at the Marxist theory aligned.

At the beginning 20. Century were there social-democratic, church, as well as socialist, communist and anarchist female worker associations. To their important founder inside pink Luxembourg, Clara Zetkin, Luise Zietz and Marie Juchacz belongs.

Table of contents


to the most important demands of the early workers' movement belonged a human being-worthy existence, thus minimum wages, the “eight hours' working day “, the “five-day week”, industrial safety, the protection against dismissal and the security with illness and unemployment. These achievements were piece by piece fought for by negotiations, public work, in addition, by strikes .

see also

to countries


  • Wolfgang Abendroth: Introduction to the history of the workers' movement. From the beginnings to 1933 thistle publishing house, 2. Edition, Heilbronn 1988, ISBN 3923208197
  • Peter Decker/Konrad Hecker: The Proletariat, ISBN 3-929211-05-X
  • Arno Klönne: The German workers' movement. History - a goal - effects, paperback - 390 sides - DTV, Mchn. ISBN 3423110732
  • Beverly Silver: Forces OF laboratory. Workers' movements and globalization since 1870. Association A, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-935936-32-X

  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)