Second International

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The Second International was an international organization of socialist parties that existed from 1889 to 1916. It was formed in Paris on the July 14, 1889 where delegations from 20 different countries participated. The Second International continued the work of the dissolved First International. It did not support the various Anarcho-Syndicalist movements that existed at the period.

The Second International fought fiercely for worker's rights, and some of its famous deeds include the 1889 Declaration of May 1st as the International Workers' Day, 1910 Declaration of March 8th as International Women's Day and its international campaign for 8-hour working day.

The International's permanent executive and information body was the International Socialist Bureau (ISB), based in Brussels and formed after the International's Paris Congress of 1900. Emile Vandervelde and Camille Huysmans of the Belgian Labour Party were its chair and secretary. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a member from 1905.

The Second International dissolved during World War I, in 1916, as the separate national parties that composed it did not maintain a unified front against the war, instead generally supporting their respective nations' role. French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) leader Jean Jaurès's assassination, a few days before the beginning of the war, symbolized the failure of the antimilitarist doctrine of the Second International. In 1915, at the Zimmerwald Conference, anti-war socialists attempted to maintain international unity against the social patriotism of the social democratic leaders. The International continued in skeleton form in neutral Switzerland through the war, as the Berne International.

In 1920, the defunct Second International was reorganized. However, some European socialist parties refused to join the reorganized international, and decided instead to form the International Working Union of Socialist Parties (IWUSP) ("Second and a half International" or "Two-and-a-half International"), heavily influenced by Austromarxism. In 1923, IWUSP and the Second International merged to form the Labour and Socialist International. This international continued to exist until 1940. After World War II, the Socialist International was formed to continue the policies of the Labour and Socialist International, and it continues to this day.

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