Lecture 14 - Radicals

author: John Merriman, Department of History, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 16, 2010,   recorded: October 2008,   views: 2750
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Socialism in the nineteenth century can be divided into two different strains of thought: reformist and revolutionary. While reformist socialists believed in changing the State through legal activity, such as voting, revolutionary socialists viewed such measures as ineffective and perhaps even complicit in maintaining the status quo. Along the spectrum of leftwing political thought, syndicalists and anarchists shared the conviction that the State could not be reformed from within. In some cases, this conviction resulted in acts of violence, so-called propaganda by the deed. Émile Henry, a French anarchist, was among the first militants to target civilian rather than official targets; as such, he can be seen as one of the first modern terrorists.

Reading assignment:

Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, pp. 814-897

Zola, Emile. Germinal

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