The International Workingmen’s Association. Wilhelm Eichhoff 1869
The Central Council (later named the General Council) elected at the meeting in St. Martin’s Hall had decided to hold the first Congress of the International Working Men’s Association in Brussels at the beginning of September 1865. Later, it found this decision to be ill-advised, because, on the one hand, there had not been time enough for the Association to sink deeper roots, while on the other, the Belgian Government, which bows to orders from Paris in matters of internal policy, renewed the law that permits it to expel foreigners at will. Instead of a general Congress in Brussels, the Central Council therefore convened a preliminary conference in London. Only delegates of the few leading committees from the Continent could take part in it.
The London Conference determined what questions would be discussed at the next general Congress in September 1866. Geneva was chosen as the place of the Congress.