Second International - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

Second International

by Devender

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The First International didn't organize socialist parties because there were only a few groups. After 1870, socialist parties emerged in almost every country of Europe. They also participated in national elections and even came into representation in parliament.

The second International

Trade unions' strength also increased and they also created many strikes.

  • Even though the First International was dissolved, the movement became a mass movement
  • A congress was held in Paris in 1889 to unite socialist parties under a single International organization
  • After the formation of the Second International, the strength of Socialist parties and Trade unions also increased
  • These movements became a major force in every country in Europe

  • Achievements of the Second International
  • One of the most significant achievements of Second International was its campaign against militarism and war.

  • It inserted the idea of equality of all people, right to freedom and independence
  • They said capitalism is the root cause of wars and wars can be stopped by the destruction of capitalism
  • They wanted to arose the public and end the capitalist rule
  • International solidarity became a basic and fundamental principle of socialist movements
  • When Russia and Japan were preparing for war, the leaders of socialist groups from both countries were made president of a congress held in 1904. They demanded a strike to stop their countries from going to war but suffered at the hands of their governments who were prepared for war.


  • Second International's cry against Colonialism:
  • The Second International also stood firm against Colonialism and condemned the robbery & subduction of colonial people.

  • The congress held in 1904 was also attended by Dadabhai Naoroji, who put the idea of India's freedom among others
  • He got support from Britishers who were present at the congress
  • The President asked Congress "to treat with the greatest reverence the statement of the Indian delegate, an old man of eighty, who had sacrificed fifty-five years of his life to the struggle for the freedom and happiness of his people".

  • Limitations of Second International:
  • The Second International had many weaknesses despite all its achievements and strength. Differences were growing between socialist parties.

  • Some people believed the need for a revolution to overthrow Capitalism, others have different ideas
  • The people who didn't believe in the revolution were willing to support the government under some conditions
  • Some sections of Second International even favored Colonialism
  • Many socialist groups were afraid to organize opposition to war as they thought they will be crushed while the Attitude of Second International was clear
  • These socialist groups were also not ready to revolt when war was over and the government was weak
  • Due to these limitations, Second International suffered a fatal blow. When the first world war started, most socialist groups gave their support to their governments.

    It had serious consequences on the socialist movements. The first world war became the end of the socialist movement and Second International ceased to function while socialist groups were split in every country.



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