Spartacus League  

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-The '''Spartacus League''' ({{lang-de|Spartakusbund}}) was a [[Marxism|Marxist]] revolutionary movement organized in Germany during World War I. The League was named after [[Spartacus]], leader of the largest slave rebellion of the [[Roman Republic]]. It was founded by [[Karl Liebknecht]], [[Rosa Luxemburg]], [[Clara Zetkin]], and others. The League subsequently renamed itself the [[Communist Party of Germany|Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands]] (KPD), joining the [[Comintern]] in 1919. Its period of greatest activity was during the [[German Revolution]] of 1918, when it sought to incite a revolution by circulating the newspaper ''Spartacus Letters.''{{citation needed|date=February 2012}}+The '''Spartacus League''' was a [[Marxism|Marxist]] revolutionary movement organized in Germany during World War I. The League was named after [[Spartacus]], leader of the largest [[slave rebellion]] of the [[Roman Republic]]. It was founded by [[Karl Liebknecht]], [[Rosa Luxemburg]], [[Clara Zetkin]], and others. The League subsequently renamed itself the [[Communist Party of Germany|Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands]] (KPD), joining the [[Comintern]] in 1919. Its period of greatest activity was during the [[German Revolution]] of 1918, when it sought to incite a revolution by circulating the newspaper ''Spartacus Letters.''
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-==History==+
-[[File:Spartakus bei der Arbeit LCCN2004665806.jpg|thumb|"Spartakus at work", propaganda poster against the Spartacus League, 1919.]]+
-Luxemburg and Liebknecht—the son of SPD founder [[Wilhelm Liebknecht]]—became prominent members of the left-wing faction of the [[Social Democratic Party of Germany]] (SPD). They moved to found an independent organization after the SPD supported [[Imperial Germany]]'s declaration of war on the [[Russian Empire]] in 1914 at the start of [[World War I]]. Besides their opposition to what they saw as an [[imperialism|imperialist]] war, Luxemburg and Liebknecht maintained the need for [[revolutionary]] methods, in contrast to the leadership of the SPD, who participated in the parliamentary process. The two were imprisoned from 1916 until 1918 for their roles in helping to organize a [[public demonstration]] in Berlin [[anti war movement|against German involvement in the war]].+
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-After two years of war, opposition to the official party line grew inside the SPD. More and more members of parliament refused to vote for [[war bond]]s and were expelled, which ultimately led to the formation of the [[Independent Social Democratic Party]] (ISPD). The Spartacus League was part of the USPD in its formation period.<ref>+
-On the relationship of Spartakusbund and USPD see Ottokar Luban: "Die Rolle der Spartakusgruppe bei der Entstehung und Entwicklung der USPD Januar 1916 bis März 1919", in: ''[[Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung]]'', No. II/2008.+
-</ref>+
-After the [[Russian Revolution of 1917]], the Spartacus League began agitating for a similar course: a government based on local [[workers' councils]], in Germany. After the abdication of the [[Kaiser]] in the [[German Revolution]] of November 1918, a period of instability began, which lasted until 1923. On 9 November 1918, from a balcony of the Kaiser's [[Berliner Stadtschloss]], Liebknecht declared Germany a "[[socialist republic|Free Socialist Republic]]". However, earlier on the same night, [[Philipp Scheidemann]] of the SPD had declared a republic from the [[Reichstag (building)|Reichstag]].+
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-In December 1918, the Spartakusbund formally renamed itself the [[Communist Party of Germany]] (KPD). In January 1919, the KPD, along with the [[Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany|Independent Socialists]], launched the [[Spartacist uprising]]. This included staging massive street demonstrations intended to destabilize the [[Weimar Republic|Weimar government]], led by the [[Centrist Marxism|centrists]] of the SPD under [[Chancellor of Germany#Chancellor of the Weimar Republic (1919–1933)|Chancellor]] [[Friedrich Ebert]]. The government accused the opposition of planning a [[general strike]] and [[communist revolution]] in Berlin. With the aid of the [[Freikorps]] (Free corps), Ebert's administration quickly crushed the uprising. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were taken prisoner and killed in custody .+
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-==The Spartacist Manifesto of 1918==+
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-An excerpt from the Spartacist Manifesto (published in 1918):+
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-<blockquote>The question today is not [[democracy]] or [[dictatorship]]. The question that history has put on the agenda reads: [[bourgeois democracy]] or [[Democratic socialism|socialist democracy]]. For the [[dictatorship of the proletariat]] does not mean bombs, [[coup d'etat|putsches]], riots and anarchy, as the agents of capitalist profits deliberately and falsely claim. Rather, it means using all instruments of political power to achieve socialism, to expropriate the [[capitalism|capitalist]] class, through and in accordance with the will of the revolutionary majority of the [[proletariat]].</blockquote>+
==Prominent members== ==Prominent members==

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Spartacus League was a Marxist revolutionary movement organized in Germany during World War I. The League was named after Spartacus, leader of the largest slave rebellion of the Roman Republic. It was founded by Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, and others. The League subsequently renamed itself the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (KPD), joining the Comintern in 1919. Its period of greatest activity was during the German Revolution of 1918, when it sought to incite a revolution by circulating the newspaper Spartacus Letters.

Prominent members





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