Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library

Before the ‟Communist Manifesto”-in London

Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library (1978), 86, (1), 6–8.


Hi!'1 Brooks, C'hrl,s Hruncl. Monty JOhll~lUII':. Ian Mordant. Uu,rdull SJha,lfer and John Stratford were elected to tilrl the six vacancies whi,ch existed on the Cornrrrittec. E.H.D. Notc : o! the Report tll '.h~ I"Url~ -hlLh Annual venera I Mceung and ul the Statement of Accounts may be obtained on request to the Secretarv , M M I 37a Clerk en well Green. London EC I nDU. CUPI~~ Before the ~~~ommonist Manifesto'~-in I.~ondon The foUow,ing documents. pointed ina collection produced jointly by the two Institutes of Marxism-Lendnism (,in tlhe USSR and the GDR). throw an interesting light on the pre-history of the Communist League -the organisation for whilch Marx and Engels produced the;,r h;:stOl~ic "Manifesto of the Communist Party" in February 1848. The German Workers' Educationai Society referred to was founded in London in 1840 by refugees f'DOin1 iperseoution 15011' 1Jhe':~r revolutionaey activity in Germany and France dn tlhe 1830'\s--Kia,111 Schapper, a former student a,n!d compositor : Heinoich Bauer, a shoemaker : and Joseph Mo,~I. a watchmaker, with other workers whom they recruited. More about the Society can be round in Engels' History of the Communist League, Wlhl!:Cih is printed in Marx and Engels' Selected Works. Within the Society the three members mentioned propagated the ideas of Communism. and maintained contact with theIJr syrnpathisers abroad. who included Marx and Engels. Moreover. in Engjand they he.llped in t!:1C c9taib1iisihment of the "Fraterned Democrats"--,Ieft-wling Chartists led by Ju'lian Harney and Ernest Jones (for whom readers may usefully consult Ernest Jones, Chartist by John Saville. which we have j,n the Libraoy, 'and A. R. Schoyen, The Chartist Challenge, which we have not). Both Mla,rx and Engeds wrote more than once that it was the work which their supporters dliidin the G.W.E.S. that made it possible to hold the two Congresses of the Communist League in London (June 'and November. 1847). thlUs leading to the production of the Manifesto. Sohapper's letter to Marx gives a vivid picture of the practice! work of the Societyjn humble conditions. of the broad educational work of its leaders. and at the same time of theilr deep feeling 0,1' working-class intemationatiem. A.R.

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, A.R.