Contemporary Thought on Nineteenth Century Socialism  book cover
1st Edition

Contemporary Thought on Nineteenth Century Socialism

Edited By

Kevin Morgan

ISBN 9781138321052
Published December 15, 2020 by Routledge
494 Pages

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Book Description

For historians of the international labour movement, the decades before 1914 were the golden age of Marxist thought. In this flowering of socialist thinking, Britain seemingly had no part, and the question has been asked instead: ‘Why was there was no Marxism in Britain?’ The selections in this volume confirm that Marxist ideas in Britain were not always pitched at the highest theoretical level. There are also examples of the reductionism to which leading exponents were sometimes prone. Nevertheless, there is also a richness and outspokenness across wide and varied themes that belies the caricature of arid economic determinism. Marxists believed they carried on the tradition of home-grown movements of struggle such as Chartism. They also identified with the new spirit of internationism whose ideas and personalities filled the pages of their periodicals. Behind such well-known names as William Morris, James Connolly and Tom Mann, a wider movement of contrarians remains to be discovered.

Table of Contents


Volume 4. Anglo-Marxists

Part 1. The idea of socialism

1. Socialism Made Plain. Being the Social and Political Manifesto of the Democratic Federation, Democratic Federation, 1883

2. ‘The Manifesto of the Socialist League’, Commonweal, February 1885, pp. 1-2

3. Charlotte Wilson, ‘Anarchism’, Justice, 8, 22, 29 November and 6 December 1884.

4. William Morris, ‘Why Not?’, Justice, 12 April 1884.

5. John Burns, The Man with the Red Flag, (London, Twentieth Century Press, 1886), pp. 3-12

6. Walter Crane, ‘How I became a socialist’, Justice, 30 June 1894

7. H.W. Hobart, Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism, Social Democratic Federation: Salford District Council, 1895, pp. 3-6, 12, 15-16.

8. H.M. Hyndman, ‘Social-democrat or socialist?’, Social Democrat, August 1897, pp. 228-231.

9. Jack C. Squire, Socialism and Art, Social Democratic Federation, 1907, pp. 5-16.


Part 2. Concepts of political change

10. William Morris, extract rom ‘How the Change Came’ from News from Nowhere, reprinted in Commonweal, 17, 24 and 31 May 1890.

11. Joseph Lane, An Anti-statist, Communist Manifesto, International Revolutionary Library, 1887, pp. 2-22.

12. Harry Quelch, The Co-Partnership Snare, Twentieth Century Press, c.1913, pp. 1-3, 14-16.

13. George Lansbury, ‘Social-democrats and the Administration of the Poor Law’, Social Democrat, January 1897, pp. 14-18.

14. Edward Carpenter, ‘Long Live Syndicalism!’, The Syndicalist, May 1912,


Part 3. Political economy

15. H.M. Hyndman, ‘The Iron Law of Wages’, Justice, 15 March 1884, p. 3.

16. H.M. Hyndman, Socialism and Slavery (1884), Social Democratic Federation, 1899 edn, pp. 3-15.

17. William Morris, Useful Work Versus Useless Toil (1885), Hammersmith Socialist Society, 1893 edn., pp. 3-12, 19.

18. William Morris, ‘The Reward of "Genius"’, Commonweal, 25 September 1886, pp. 205-206.

19. Robert Tressell, extract from ‘The Great Money Trick’ in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914).

Part 4. Work and social conditions

20. Tom Mann, What a Compulsory Eight-hour Day Means to the Workers, London, Modern Press, 1886.

21. Countess of Warwick, Unemployment: Its Causes and Consequences, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1906, pp. 5-16.

22. Dora B. Montefiore, Prison Reform from a Social-Democratic Point of View, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1909, pp. 1-14.

23. F.O. Pickard-Cambridge, Social-Democracy and the Housing Problem, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1900, pp. 3-4, 6-7, 22-24.

Part 5. Ways of organising

24. Thomas Binning, ‘Organised Labour. The Duty of the Trades Unions in Relation to Socialism’, Commonweal, 14, 21 and 28 August 1886.

25. Harry Quelch, ‘Social Democracy and Industrial Organisation’, Social Democrat, 15 April 1910.

26. Tom Mann, ‘Prepare for Action’, Industrial Syndicalist, July 1910, pp. 31-54.

27. T. Hunter, ‘Leadermania’, Justice, 13 November 1897, p. 2.

Part 6. Democracy and the state

28. Ernest Belfort Bax, ‘The Will of the Majority’, in The Ethics of Socialism, London: Swann Sonnenschein, 1889, pp. 120-128.

29. [Henry Salt], ‘Workmen’s Jubilee Ode’, Social Democrat, February 1897.

30. ‘After the Jubilee’, Justice, 16 October 1897, p. 2.

31. Ernest Belfort Bax, ‘The "Monstrous Regiment" of Womanhood’, Essays in Socialism New and Old, London, Grant Richards, 1906, pp. 276-279, 282-294.

32. Dora Montefiore, ‘Why I Am Opposed to Female Suffrage’, Social Democrat, April 1909.

Part 7. The new religion and the old

33. E. Belfort Bax and H. Quelch, ‘The socialist conception of ethics’ from A New Catechism of Socialism, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1902, pp. 22-30.

34. Herbert Burrows, ‘A Christmas Sermon which the Bishop of London has been asked to Preach in Westminster Abbey on Sunday, December 25’, Justice, 24 December 1887, p. 4

35. J. Connell, Socialism and the Survival of the Fittest, London, Twentieth Century Press (c. 1891), third edition, 1910, pp. 1-17

36. James Leatham, Was Jesus a Socialist? (1891), Worker Office, Huddersfield, , London, Twentieth Century Press, c. 1908, pp. 1-15.

37. Edward Carpenter, ‘Simplification of Life’, from England’s Ideal, Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey & Co, 1887, pp. 79-99.

Part 8. Gender, sexuality, family and personal relations

38. Ernest Belfort Bax, ‘The Commercial Hearth’, Commonweal, 8 May 1886, p. 42 and 15 May 1886, p. 50.

39. Dora B. Montefiore, Some Words to Socialist Women, Social Democratic Party Women’s Committee, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1908, pp. 5-16.

40. Herbert Burrows, The Future of Woman, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1909, pp. 1-14.

41. George Whitehead, Socialism and Eugenics, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1911, pp. 1-15.

Part 9. War, peace and internationalism

42. Manifesto of the Socialist League on the Soudan War, Socialist League, 1885

43. R.B. Cunninghame Graham, The Imperial Kailyard. Being a Biting Satire on English colonisation, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1896, pp. 3-15.

44. H.M. Hyndman, The Approaching Catastrophe in India, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1897, pp. 3-16

45. John R. Widdup, ‘Socialism and Colonial Development’, Social Democrat, July 1898, pp. 208-211.

46. Harry Quelch, Social-Democracy and the Armed Nation, London, Twentieth Century Press, 1900, pp. 3-14, 16.

47. Dora Montefiore, Anti-militarism from the workers' point of view: why every working man and woman should be an anti-militarist, Workers’ Anti-Militarist Committee, 1913, pp. 1-7.

48. James Connolly, ‘A Continental Revolution’, Forward, 15 August 1914, pp. 38-42.

Part 10. The sense of the past

49. Edward Aveling, ‘George Julian Harney: A Straggler of 1848’, Social Democrat, January 1897, pp. 3-8.

50. R.B. Cunninghame Graham, ‘Bloody Niggers’, Social Democrat, April 1897, pp. 104-109.

51. Theodore Rothstein, ‘Why is Socialism in England at a Discount?’, Social Democrat, March 1898, pp. 69-74 and April 1898, pp. 112-17.

52. H.W. Lee, The First of May: The International Labour Day (1900), London, Twentieth Century Press, 1904, pp. 3-16.

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Kevin Morgan is Professor of Politics and History at the University of Manchester, UK.