The International Workingmen’s Association. Wilhelm Eichhoff 1869

11. Growth of the Association

In England, some fifty trades unions with their branch societies in the United Kingdom have joined the International Working Men’s Association since the resolution of the Trades Union Congress at Sheffield in 1866. Among the new members are workmen’s groups, such as the 30,000 railway excavators, which never before participated eit her in trades unions or in any other movements.

In Ireland, a section exists in Dublin.

In the United States of North America, the National Labour Congress which met in Chicago resolved on August 20, 1867’ to establish relations with the International Association for joint action. Since then, the General Council at London has been corresponding with the General National Labour Union of the United States. It will be represented by a special delegate at this year’s Congress in Brussels.

In France the groups that correspond directly and exclusively with London are great in number. Sections exist in Paris, Rouen, Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lille, Roubaix, Argentan (Orne), Caen, Digne (Basses-Alpes), Fleurieux (sur Saône), Fuveau (Bouches-du-Rhône), Flers (Orne), Granville (Manche), Harcourt, Thierry (Calvados), Havre, Lisieux, Neuville (sur Saone), Nantes, Neufchâteau (Vosges), Orleans, Crets (Bouches-du-Rhône), Villefranche (Rhône), Vienne (Isère), and other places. It is noteworthy that several French rural communities have also adhered to the Association. In the French colonies, a group exists in Algiers and another in Guadeloupe.

In Belgium the main seats of the Association are in Brussels, Liège, Verviers, and Louvain. Mass adherence to the Association has been witnessed among coalminers and ironworkers this year.

In Holland two sections exist, in Rotterdam and in Amsterdam.

In Spain a section in Barcelona.

In Italy, the general association of labour with its main seat in Naples and Milan, consisting of 600 workmen’s societies, has the same kind of cartel with the International Association as the trades unions in England and the National Labour Union in the United States. Besides, special groups of the International Association exist in Genoa and Bologna.

In Switzerland working men have been seeking admission en masse since the Geneva strike. The main groups are in the towns of the Basle and Berne cantons, where communities in the villages de la montagne des Bois have also adhered; Geneva, where the society in the city alone numbers more than 6,000 members, and the cantons Neufchâtel, Vaud, and Zurich. The Swiss Grütli Union [442] and the various German workers’ educational societies in Switzerland are affiliated to the Association.

In Germany there are several groups. But most of these have declared that despite their sympathies they are unable to join officially owing to the absence of legal authorisation. [443] The connections with Germany are therefore still deficient. The special Central Bureau for Germany is the same as that for the German-speaking Swiss, and is located at Geneva under Joh. Phil. Becker at Pré-l'Evêque 33. In the General Council at London, Germany is represented by Karl Marx, Secretary for Germany, resident at 1 Modena Villas, Maitland Park, Haverstock Hill, London N. W., and by George Eccarius, General Secretary of the Association.

The periodicals of the Association are:

The Bee-Hive Newspaper in London.

The Workmen’s Advocate in Chicago.

Le Courrier Français in Paris. Le Siècle, La Liberté, and L'Opinion Publique also publish the resolutions and other material of the Association.

The democratic organs in Lyons, Rouen, Bordeaux, and other cities.

La Voix de l'Avenir in Lausanne.

Der Vorbote in Geneva.

The Demokratische Wochenblatt in Leipzig, which, though not an organ of the Association, voices its principles.

La Tribune du peuple, La Liberté, L'Espiègle, Le Devoir, Le Mirabeau, La Cigale, l'Ingenu, Le Peuple Belge, all in Belgium (Brussels, Verviers, and elsewhere).

Finally, the labour newspapers in Italy.