Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany

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Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_table_infobox_0

Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany

Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei DeutschlandsIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_0_0

FoundedIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_1_0 1917Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_1_1
DissolvedIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_2_0 1931Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_2_1
Split fromIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_3_0 Social Democratic Party of GermanyIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_3_1
Succeeded byIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_4_0 Socialist Workers' Party of GermanyIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_4_1
NewspaperIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_5_0 Die FreiheitIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_5_1
MembershipIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_6_0 120,000 (January 1918)

750,000 (Spring 1920)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_6_1

IdeologyIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_7_0 Centrist Marxism

Democratic socialism PacifismIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_7_1

Political positionIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_8_0 Left-wingIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_8_1
International affiliationIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_9_0 International Working Union of Socialist PartiesIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_9_1
ColorsIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_0_10_0 RedIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_0_10_1

The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (German: Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, USPD) was a short-lived political party in Germany during the German Empire and the Weimar Republic. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_0

The organization was established in 1917 as the result of a split of left wing members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_1

The organization attempted to chart a centrist course between electorally oriented revisionism on the one hand and Bolshevism on the other. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_2

The organization was terminated in 1931 through merger with the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAPD). Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_3

Organizational history Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_0

Formation Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_1

On 21 December 1915, several SPD members in the Reichstag, the German parliament, voted against the authorization of further credits to finance World War I, an incident that emphasized existing tensions between the party's leadership and the left-wing pacifists surrounding Hugo Haase and ultimately led to the expulsion of the group from the SPD on 24 March 1916. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_4

To be able to continue their parliamentary work, the group formed the Social Democratic Working Group (Sozialdemokratische Arbeitsgemeinschaft, SAG). Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_5

Concerns from the SPD leadership and Friedrich Ebert that the SAG was intent on dividing the SPD then led to the expulsion of the SAG members from the SPD on 18 January 1917. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_6

On 6 April 1917, the USPD was founded at a conference in Gotha, with Hugo Haase as the party's first chairman. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_7

The Spartakusbund also merged into the newly founded party, but it retained relative autonomy. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_8

To avoid confusion, the existing SPD was typically called the Majority Social Democratic Party of Germany (Mehrheits-SPD or MSPD, majority-SPD) from then on. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_9

Luise Zietz was one of the main agitators in favor of a split in the party in 1917. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_10

She became a leader in the creation of the USPD's women's movement. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_11

Following the Januarstreik in January 1918, a strike demanding an end to the war and better food provisioning that was organized by revolutionaries affiliated with the USPD and officially supported by the party, the USPD quickly rose to about 120,000 members. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_12

Despite harsh criticism of the SPD for becoming part of the government of the newly formed German republic during the Oktoberreform, the USPD reached a settlement with the SPD as the German Revolution began and even became part of the government in the form of the Rat der Volksbeauftragten (Council of People's Deputies) which was formed on 10 November 1918 and mutually led by Ebert and Haase following the German Revolution. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_13

However, the agreement did not last long as Haase, Wilhelm Dittmann and Emil Barth left the council again on 29 December 1918 to protest the SPD's actions during the soldier mutiny in Berlin on 23 November 1918. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_14

At the same time, the Spartakusbund, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, separated from the USPD again as well to merge with other left-wing groups and form the Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD). Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_15

Development Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_2

During the elections for the National Assembly on 19 January 1919 from which the SPD emerged as the strongest party with 37.9% of the votes, the USPD only managed to attract 7.6%. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_16

Nevertheless, the party's strong support for the introduction of a system of councils (Räterepublik) instead of a parliamentary democracy attracted many former SPD members and in spring 1920 the USPD had grown to more than 750,000 members, managing to increase their share of votes to 17.9% during the parliamentary elections on 6 June 1920 and becoming one of the largest factions in the new Reichstag, second only to the SPD (21.7%). Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_17

During that period, the SPD briefly published a newspaper, Arbeiterpost. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_18

Debate over joining the Communist International Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_3

In 1920, four delegates from the USPD (Ernst Däumig, Arthur Crispien, Walter Stoecker and Wilhelm Dittmann) attended the 2nd World Congress of the Comintern to discuss participating in the Comintern. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_19

Whilst Däumig and Stoecker agreed with the International's 21 conditions of entry, Crispien and Dittmann opposed them, leading to a controversial debate over joining the Comintern to break out in the USPD. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_20

Many members felt that the necessary requirements for joining would lead to a loss of the party's independence and a perceived dictate from Moscow while others, especially younger members such as Ernst Thälmann, argued that only the joining of the Comintern would allow the party to implement its socialist ideals. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_21

Ultimately, the proposition to join the Comintern was approved at a party convention in Halle in October 1920 by 237 votes to 156, with various international speakers including Julius Martov, Jean Longuet and Grigory Zinoviev. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_22

The USPD split up in the process, with both groups seeing themselves as the rightful USPD and the other one as being outcast. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_23

On 4 December 1920, the left-wing of the USPD with about 400,000 members merged into the KPD, forming the United Communist Party of Germany (Vereinigte Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, VKPD) while the other half of the party, with about 340,000 members and including three quarters of the 81 Reichstag members, continued under the name USPD. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_24

Led by Georg Ledebour and Arthur Crispien, they advocated a parliamentary democracy. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_25

The USPD was instrumental in the creation of the 2½ International in 1921. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_26

Move to merger Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_4

Over time, the political differences between SPD and USPD dwindled and following the assassination of foreign minister Walther Rathenau by right-wing extremists in June 1922 the two parties' factions in the Reichstag formed a common working group on 14 July 1922. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_27

Two months later on 24 September, the parties officially merged again after a joint party convention in Nürnberg, adopting the name of United Social Democratic Party of Germany (Vereinigte Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, VSPD) which was shortened again to SPD in 1924. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_28

The USPD continued as an independent party by Georg Ledebour and Theodor Liebknecht, who refused to work with the SPD, but it never attained any significance again and merged into the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschland, SAPD) in 1931. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_29

The party got 20,275 votes in the 1928 Reichstag election, but it won no seats. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_30

Electoral results Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_5

Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_table_general_1

YearIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_0_0 LeaderIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_0_1 VotesIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_0_2 %Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_0_3 SeatsIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_0_4 +/–Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_0_5
1919Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_1_0 Hugo HaaseIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_1_1 2,317,290 (5th)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_1_2 7.62Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_1_3 22 / 423Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_1_4 NewIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_1_5
1920Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_2_0 Arthur CrispienIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_2_1 5,046,813 (2nd)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_2_2 17.90Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_2_3 84 / 459Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_2_4 62Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_2_5
May 1924Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_3_0 Georg Ledebour

Theodor LiebknechtIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_3_1

235,145 (13th)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_3_2 0.79Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_3_3 0 / 472Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_3_4 84Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_3_5
December 1924Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_4_0 98,842 (14th)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_4_1 0.32Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_4_2 0 / 493Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_4_3 Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_4_4
1928Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_5_0 20,815 (25th)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_5_1 0.06Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_5_2 0 / 491Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_5_3 Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_5_4
1930Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_header_cell_1_6_0 11,690 (22nd)Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_6_1 0.03Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_6_2 0 / 577Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_6_3 Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_cell_1_6_4

Important USPD members Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_section_6

See also: List of Independent Social Democratic Party politicians Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany_sentence_31


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany.