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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: February 2013

9 - Association: socialist hopes in the Second Republic

Summary

In the aftermath of the unexpected revolution of February 1848 and the declaration by a tiny group of republicans of a democratic republic, the opportunity seemed to have arrived for socialist dreams to become reality. All the major socialists were very visible in the early months of the republic. Louis Blanc was made secretary of the government and president of the Commission of Workers. Three Saint-Simonians/Fourierists, Duveyrier, Vidal and Pecqueur, joined him together with Considérant. The artisan editor of L'Atelier, Corbon, became Buchez's assistant as deputy mayor of Paris. They were both elected to the National Assembly, with other artisans, notably Nadaud, Perdiguier and Pelletier. Buchez became president of the Asssembly. Cabet, Blanqui, Barbès and Raspail were active in the explosion of political associations after the revolution. Considérant, Leroux, and Proudhon conducted vigorous press campaigns to encourage worker associations and were elected to the new National Assembly. Considérant was made a member of the committee set up to write a new constitution, as well as the workers and national workshops committees. Few leading socialists of the July Monarchy excluded themselves, two outstanding absentees being Enfantin, whose work as a railway engineer left him no time for politics, and Michel Chevalier, who had become a passionate anti-socialist. With such a roll-call, action over emblematic issues like the right to work and the right of association was on the cards.

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French Socialists before Marx
  • Online ISBN: 9781844653249
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9781844653249
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