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Title: British Marxist Socialism and Trade Unionism : The Attitudes, Experiences and Activities of the Social-Democratic Federation (1884-1901).
Author: Rabinovitch, V.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3504 1281
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1977
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This thesis examines the attitudes, experiences and activities of Britain's first marxist socialist organization, the Social-Democratic Federation, and how its relationship with trade unionism emerged and evolved in the period from 1884 to 1901. The objectives of this study are two-fold. First, it attemrts to provide certain general insights into the issues and problems involved in the analysis of trade unionism, with Farticular emphasis on the various marxist socialist tendencies in political thought which were present in the SDF. Second, it attempts to provide a detailed understanding of the ideas and activities of various SDF members who made important contributions to the development of British trade unionism during the final two decades of the 19th century. To achieve these objectives a number of questions are raised, and answers to them suggested. These include: What basic analysis of trade unionism did Marx and Engels develop in their basic texts which were available to the British SDF? How did the Social-Democratic strategic and theoretical analysis develop over the years until 1901? What specific issues and alternatives strategies were examined in the course of Social-Democratic debates on unionism? In what activities and organisational ventures did SDF members become involved? How did British SDF attitudes compare to those expressed by marxist socialists in other parties and countries? The answers suggested to these questions lead to a brief discussion of a central issue in labour political theory, namely, the nature of the complex relationship between the broad objectives of social revolution and the gradualist perspective of general trade unionism. _ý, s .n The information in this thesis is derived from a detailed study of publications produced by SDF members during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Particular attention was given to a close reading of the weekly SDF newspaper, Justice. These sources were the primary medium to which SDF debates took place, advice given and activities reported. These main sources of information are supplemented by reference to secondary studies on the social, economic, political biographic and trade union contexts to the study. Extensive references are also made to the comments and reports of other contemporary socialist and radical groups, and to many local and national commercial publications, as well as to certain memoirs and unpublished materials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available