Early Dutch Labour History

Book ann: Kelderuitgeverij

Kelderuitgeverij just published a new edition of Jacques Giele's classical study of the development of the Dutch workers movement 1868-1876 and its contact with the first International.

Bert Altena wrote a new introduction.

Jacques J. GieleDe Eerste Internationale in Nederland 1868-1876Een onderzoek naar het ontstaan van de Nederlandse Arbeidersbeweging van 1868-1876.Met een Inleiding van Bert AltenaUtrecht, Kelderuitgeverij 2008276p ill.22.50 euro

The beginning of workers activity is marked by debates in the Freethinkersmovement 'De Dageraad" and by strikes of workers, starting at the Amsterdam docks and later with strikes of the typographers.

Contact with the First International brought for the first time socialist ideas to the Netherlands. A large number of unions joined the International in the years 1870 and 1871 but contacts between the Dutch section and the London Central Council never became intensive. At the famous The Hague Congress in 1972 when the Dutch had to choose between the centralising organisational ideas of Karl Marx and the federative ideals of Michael Bakunin they chose Bakunin. Not because they were anarchists but because they thought bottom up, from local autonomy.

Socialist ideas were fruitful. Later, in the 1880's the Sociaal-Demokratische Bond under leadership of F. Domela Nieuwenhuis could develop into a revolutionary mass-movement.

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