The International Workingmen's Association


Written: by Marx on April 13, 1865;
First published: in Der weibe Adler No. 48, April 22, 1865;
Translation: The General Council of the First International. 1864-66, Moscow, 1962;
Transcribed: by

After the two motions of Messrs. Beales and Leverson, mentioned in No. 30 of your newspaper, had been carried by the Polish meeting in London on March 1, Mr. Peter Fox (an Englishman), on behalf of the International Working Men's Association, proposed

"that an integral and independent Poland is an indispensable condition of democratic Europe, and that so long as this condition is unfulfilled, revolutionary triumphs on the Continent are short-lived [...] preludes to prolonged periods of counter-revolutionary rule."

After briefly outlining the history of the evils which had befallen Europe as a result of the loss of liberty by Poland, and of Russia's policy of conquest, Mr. P. Fox said that the stand of the Liberal party on this question did not coincide with that of the democratic society for which he was speaking. The motto of conservative Europe was: an enslaved Europe with an enslaved Poland as a basis. The motto of the International Working Men's Association was, on the contrary: a free Europe based upon a free and independent Poland.

Mr. Eccarius (a German worker, Vice-President of the International Working Men's Association) seconded the motion, referring in detail to the share Prussia had taken in the various partitions of Poland. In conclusion he said:

"The downfall of the Prussian monarchy is the conditio sine qua non for the establishment of Germany and the re-establishment of Poland."

Mr. Le Lubez, a French member of the International Working Men's Association, likewise spoke in support of the motion, which was carried unanimously, amid the continuous cheering of the meeting.

The Daily News and a few other "liberal" London dailies omitted this part of the report, being vexed by the triumph of the International Working Men's Association, without whose collaboration, incidentally, the Polish meeting at St. Martin's Hall could not have taken place at all. On behalf of the International Working Men's Association, I request you to print this correction.

London, etc.

H. Jung,
Corresponding Secretary
of the International Working Men's Association for Switzerland


On March 1 1865, a mass meeting was held in St. Martin's Hall, London, to mark the anniversary of the Polish national liberation insurrection of 1863-64. In its special resolution of February 21 1865, the Association's Central Council called upon its members and adherents to lend support to the meeting and contributed much to preparing and conducting it. The British bourgeois press -- the London liberal Daily News included -- covered the speeches of bourgeois radicals at the meeting, but passed over in silence a resolution submitted on behalf of the International and the speeches of Peter Fox and Georg Eccarius -- the Central Council members.

A full report of the meeting appeared in The Bee-Hive newspaper (No. 177), March 4 1865, and it was used by Marx when writing this note intended for the Zurich Der wiebe Adler, which reproduced in issue No. 30 of March 11 1865 a garbled report from the British bourgeois newspapers.

The original of this note has survived. It was enclosed in a letter which Marx sent to Hermann Jung on April 13 1865 -- who, in his capacity of Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland, dispatched it to the newspaper with a covering letter. With minor changes the note was printed over Jung's signature.