MIA: History: USA: Publications: The Class Struggle/Advance

The Class Struggle/Advance

1896-1902


Introduction

Class Struggle

The Class Struggle began as the official organ of Section San Francisco of the Socialist Labor Party, believed to have been launched as a weekly in 1896. A four-page broadsheet of limited circulation, no early copies are known to have been survived. A single 1900 issue bearing the original name of the publication, preserved in the newspaper scrapbooks of Eugene V. Debs, is presented here.

On October 7, 1899 a five person group headed by San Francisco printer George B. Benham bought the paper, keeping it tightly allied with the dissident elements of the SLP opposed to the party's New York City leadership and party editor Daniel DeLeon. The paper followed the dissidents into orbit of the Social Democratic Party with headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1900.

On June 23, 1900 the paper was sold to the Social Democratic Party of California for $460 and Emil Liess was named its new editor. The name of the publication was changed to The Advance shortly thereafter and a greater national presence began to be exerted, with ads soliciting subscriptions placed in various east coast socialist publications.

In 1901 the paper was transformed into a 16-page tabloid, apparently becoming a subsidized appendage of the San Francisco Labor Council, the local federation of trade unions. As the official organ of Local San Francisco, the paper remained formally allied with the Socialist Party of America with its establishment in the summer of 1901, it goes without saying.

Early in 1902 the paper began to experience problems, both with personnel and finances. Emil Liess retired from active editorship of the paper and it was found that two people were needed to take care of the work he had previously done. The job was taken over by comrades named Noel, handling the editorial task, and Treft, handling business management. The cost of production increased commensurately with this doubling of staff.

At the same time that editorial costs were necessarily increased, revenue began to fall, with the launch of the California socialist papers Undercurrent and the Los Angeles Socialist. "Bills are due and must be paid," the Editorial Board warned in January 1902, otherwise "it will be necessary...to cripple the paper's power by greatly reducing its size or else to suspend publication altogether."

At its peak, circulation of Advance did not exceed 10,000 copies — and was perhaps substantially less than that.

The surviving run of Advance is virtually complete for the years 1901 and 1902, thereby providing a unique and valuable resource for study of the history of the Bay Area socialist and labor movement. No issues of Advance dated after Dec. 27, 1902 are known to exist, although the possibility that additional issues were produced can not be discounted.

Tim Davenport
Corvallis, OR
December 2018


1900

March 17, 1900, 1901, Whole No. 293

September 8, 1900, 1901, Whole No. 318

1901

January 5, 1901, Whole No. 335

January 12, 1901, Whole No. 336

January 19, 1901, Whole No. 337

January 26, 1901, Whole No. 338

February 2, 1901, Whole No. 339

February 9, 1901, Whole No. 340

February 16, 1901, Whole No. 341

February 23, 1901, Whole No. 342

March 2, 1901, Whole No. 343

March 9, 1901, Whole No. 344

March 16, 1901, Whole No. 345

March 23, 1901, Whole No. 346

March 30, 1901, Whole No. 347

April 6, 1901, Whole No. 348

April 13, 1901, Whole No. 349

April 20, 1901, Whole No. 350

April 27, 1901, Whole No. 351

May 4, 1901, Whole No. 352

May 11, 1901, Whole No. 353

May 18, 1901, Whole No. 354

May 25, 1901, Whole No. 355

June 1, 1901, Whole No. 356

June 8, 1901, Whole No. 357

June 15, 1901, Whole No. 358

June 22, 1901, Whole No. 359

June 29, 1901, Whole No. 360

July 6, 1901, Whole No. 361

July 13, 1901, Whole No. 362

July 20, 1901, Whole No. 363

July 27, 1901, Whole No. 364

August 3, 1901, Whole No. 365

August 10, 1901, Whole No. 366

August 17, 1901, Whole No. 367

August 24, 1901, Whole No. 368

August 31, 1901, Whole No. 369

September 7, 1901, Whole No. 370

September 14, 1901, Whole No. 371

September 21, 1901, Whole No. 372

September 28, 1901, Whole No. 373

October 5, 1901, Whole No. 374

October 12, 1901, Whole No. 375

October 19, 1901, Whole No. 376

October 26, 1901, Whole No. 377

November 2, 1901, Whole No. 388

November 9, 1901, Whole No. 389

November 16, 1901, Whole No. 380

November 23, 1901, Whole No. 381

November 30, 1901, Whole No. 382

December 7, 1901, Whole No. 383

December 14, 1901, Whole No. 384

December 21, 1901, Whole No. 385

December 28, 1901, Whole No. 386

1902

January 4, 1902, Whole No. 387

January 11, 1902, Whole No. 388

January 18, 1902, Whole No. 389

January 25, 1902, Whole No. 390

February 1, 1902, Whole No. 391

February 15, 1902, Whole No. 392

February 22, 1902, Whole No. 394

March 1, 1902, Whole No. 395

March 8, 1902, Whole No. 396

March 15, 1902, Whole No. 397

March 29, 1902, Whole No. 399

April 5, 1902, Whole No. 400

April 19, 1902, Whole No. 402

April 426, 1902, Whole No. 403

May 3, 1902, Whole No. 404

May 10, 1902, Whole No. 405

May 17, 1902, Whole No. 406

May 24, 1902, Whole No. 407

May 31, 1902, Whole No. 408

October 11, 1902, Whole No. 427

October 18, 1902, Whole No. 428

October 25, 1902, Whole No. 429

November 1, 1902, Whole No. 430

November 8, 1902, Whole No. 431

November 15, 1902, Whole No. 432

November 22, 1902, Whole No. 433

November 29, 1902, Whole No. 434

December 6, 1902, Whole No. 435

December 13, 1902, Whole No. 436

December 20, 1902, Whole No. 437

December 27, 1902, Whole No. 438


Last updated on 11 December 2018