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 Jules Guesde

Jules Guesde

Birth
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 28 Jul 1922 (aged 76)
Saint-Mande, Departement du Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Division 87 (columbarium), urn 6323
Memorial ID 7655 · View Source
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French Socialist, Journalist and Politician. Born in Paris, France, he began his career as a clerk in the French Interior Ministry. He fled to Geneva, Switzerland in 1871 after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, stemming from a prosecution instituted on account of articles which had appeared in his paper in defense of the Paris Commune, a socialistic government that briefly ruled Paris from March until May 1871. After studying the works of German revolutionary socialist Karl Marx, he returned to Paris in 1876 and became one of the chief French advocates of Marxism, being imprisoned for six months in 1878 for taking part in the first Parisian International Congress. He edited at different times the newspapers Les Droits de l'Homme, Le Cri du peuple, and Le Socialiste, but was best-known work was with the weekly Egalite. A close associate with French socialist and political activist Paul Lafargue, he became acquainted with Karl Marx, whose daughter Lafargue had married. It was in conjunction with Marx and Lafargue that he drew up the plan of action accepted by the National Congress of the French Workers' Party at Le Havre, France in 1880, which laid stress on the formation of an international labor party working by revolutionary methods. The following year, at the Reims Congress, his orthodox Marxian plan was opposed by the "possibilists," who rejected him in favor of the reformist policy of Benoit Malon. At the Congress of Saint-Etienne, the difference developed into separation. Those who refused all compromise with a capitalist government followed him, while the reformists formed several other groups. In 1893 he was elected to the French Parliament for the city of Lille, France, with a large majority over the Christian Socialist and Radical candidates. He brought forward various proposals in social legislation forming the agenda of the Workers' Party, without reference to the divisions among the Socialists. In 1902 he was not re-elected, but resumed his seat in 1906. In 1903 there was a formal reconciliation at the Reims Congress of the sections of the party, which then took the name of the Socialist Party of France. All socialist tendencies were then unified in 1905 in the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), the French section of the Second International, an organization of socialist and labor parties formed in Paris in July 1889. He continued to oppose the reformist policy of French socialist leader Jean Jaures, whom he denounced for supporting one "bourgeois" party against another. His defense of the principle of freedom of association led him to support the religious Congregations against French Prime Minister Emile Combes. In July 1914 the outbreak of World War I threatened France's existence, and it changed his uncompromising attitude. In August of that year, he was included in the national unity government of René Viviani as a Minister without Portfolio, and continued to serve in that role until the end of 1916. During this period he adopted patriotic positions and sometimes even nationalist views. He died in Saint-Mande (a suburb of Paris), France at the age of 76. Besides his numerous political and socialist pamphlets, he published two volumes of his speeches in the Chamber of Deputies in 1901 entitled "Quatre ans de lutte de classe 1893-1898" (Four years of class struggle).

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 Dec 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7655
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jules Guesde (12 Nov 1845–28 Jul 1922), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7655, citing Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .