The Yankee International: Marxism and the American Reform Tradition, 1848-1876

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Univ of North Carolina Press, 1998 - History - 319 pages
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Examining the social and intellectual collision of the American
reform tradition with immigrant Marxism during the Reconstruction
era, Timothy Messer-Kruse charts the rise and fall of the
International Workingman's Association (IWA), the first
international socialist organization. He analyzes what attracted
American reformers--many of them veterans of antebellum crusades for abolition, women's rights, and other radical causes--to the IWA, how their presence affected the course of the American Left, and why they were ultimately purged from the IWA by their orthodox Marxist comrades.
Messer-Kruse explores the ideology and activities of the
Yankee Internationalists, tracing the evolution of antebellum
American reformers' thinking on the question of wage labor and
illuminating the beginnings of a broad labor reform coalition in
the early years of Reconstruction. He shows how American
reformers' priority of racial and sexual equality clashed with
their Marxist partners' strategy of infiltrating trade unions.
Ultimately, he argues, Marxist demands for party discipline and
ideological unity proved incompatible with the Yankees' native
republicanism. With the expulsion of Yankee reformers from the
IWA in 1871, American Marxism was divorced from the American
reform tradition.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
The American Reform Tradition
6
Marx and the Republican Tradition
45
The New Democracy
71
The Rise of the Yankee International
94
Marxism Civil Rights and the Sources of Division in the American International
128
The Marxist Coup and the Splitting of the American International
157
Race and Class in the Two Internationals
187
The International the Working Class and the Trade Unions
217
The Legacy of the Yankee International
247
Notes
261
Bibliography
291
Index
309
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Timothy Messer-Kruse is assistant professor of labor history at the University of Toledo.

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