Rosa Luxemburg was a Polish Marxist theorist, economist, anti-war activist and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. Successively, she was a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Independent Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party of Germany. After the SPD supported German involvement in World War I in 1915, she and Karl Liebknecht co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League, which became the KPD. During the November Revolution, she co-founded the newspaper Die Rote Fahne, the central organ of the Spartacist movement. Luxemburg considered the Spartacist uprising of January 1919 a blunder, but supported it as events unfolded. Friedrich Ebert's majority Social Democratic government crushed the revolt and the Spartakusbund by sending in the Freikorps. Freikorps troops summarily executed Luxemburg and Liebknecht during the rebellion. Luxemburg's body was thrown in the Landwehr Canal in Berlin.
Due to her pointed criticism of both the Leninist and the more moderate social democratic schools of socialism, Luxemburg has had a somewhat ambivalent reception among scholars and theorists of the political left. Nonetheless and Liebknecht were extensively idolized as communist martyrs by the East German communist regime; the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution notes that idolization of Luxemburg and Liebknecht is an important tradition of German far-left extremism. Luxemburg was born on 5 March 1871 in Zamość; the Luxemburg family were Polish Jews living in Russian-controlled Poland. She was the youngest child of timber trader Eliasz Luxemburg and Line Löwenstein. Luxemburg stated that her father imparted an interest in liberal ideas in her, while her mother was religious and well read with books kept at home; the family spoke German and Polish, Luxemburg learned Russian. The family moved to Warsaw in 1873. After being bedridden with a hip ailment at the age of five, she was left with a permanent limp.
In 1884 she enrolled at a gymnasium in Warsaw, which she attended till 1887. The "Zweite Frauengymnasium" was a school that only accepted Polish applicants: acceptance of Jewish children was more exceptional; the children were only permitted to speak Russian. From 1886 Luxemburg belonged to the Polish left-wing Proletariat Party, she began political activities by organizing a general strike. In 1887, she passed her Matura examinations. After fleeing to Switzerland to escape detention in 1889, she attended the University of Zurich, where she studied philosophy, politics and mathematics, she specialized in Staatswissenschaft, the Middle Ages, economic and stock exchange crises. Her doctoral dissertation, "The Industrial Development of Poland", was presented in the spring of 1897 at the University of Zurich, which awarded her a Doctor of Law degree, her dissertation was published by Duncker and Humblot in Leipzig in 1898. She was an oddity in Zurich as she was one of the few women with a doctorate.
She plunged into the politics of international Marxism, following in the footsteps of Georgi Plekhanov and Pavel Axelrod. In 1893, with Leo Jogiches and Julian Marchlewski, Luxemburg founded the newspaper Sprawa Robotnicza, which opposed the nationalist policies of the Polish Socialist Party. Luxemburg believed that an independent Poland could arise and exist only through socialist revolutions in Germany and Russia, she maintained. Her position of denying a national right of self-determination under socialism provoked a philosophic disagreement with Vladimir Lenin, she and Leo Jogiches co-founded the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania party, after merging Congress Poland's and Lithuania's social democratic organizations. Despite living in Germany for most of her adult life, Luxemburg was the principal theoretician of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland, led the party in a partnership with Jogiches, its principal organizer. Luxemburg wanted to move to Germany to be at the centre of the party struggle, but she had no way of obtaining permission to remain there indefinitely.
In April 1897 she married the son of an old friend, Gustav Lübeck, in order to gain a German citizenship. They never lived together and they formally divorced five years later, she returned to Paris moved permanently to Berlin to begin her fight for Eduard Bernstein's constitutional reform movement. Luxemburg hated the stifling conservatism of Berlin, she despised Prussian men and resented what she saw as the grip of urban Capitalism on social democracy. In the Social Democratic Party of Germany's women's section she met Clara Zetkin, of whom she made a lifelong friend. Between 1907 and his conscription in 1915, she was involved in a love affair with Clara's younger son, Kostja Zetkin, to which 600 surviving letters bear testimony. Lu
The Roman Republic was the era of classical Roman civilization beginning with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom, traditionally dated to 509 BC, ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was during this period that Rome's control expanded from the city's immediate surroundings to hegemony over the entire Mediterranean world. Roman society under the Republic was a cultural mix of Latin and Greek elements, visible in the Roman Pantheon, its political organisation was influenced by the Greek city states of Magna Graecia, with collective and annual magistracies, overseen by a senate. The top magistrates were the two consuls, who had an extensive range of executive, judicial and religious powers. Whilst there were elections each year, the Republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy, as a small number of large families monopolised the main magistracies. Roman institutions underwent considerable changes throughout the Republic to adapt to the difficulties it faced, such as the creation of promagistracies to rule its conquered provinces, or the composition of the senate.
Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours as well as the Gauls, who sacked the city in 387 BC; the Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic. After the Gallic Sack, Rome indeed conquered the whole Italian peninsula in a century, which turned the Republic into a major power in the Mediterranean; the Republic's greatest enemy was doubtless Carthage, against. The Punic general Hannibal famously invaded Italy by crossing the Alps and inflicted on Rome two devastating defeats at the Lake Trasimene and Cannae, but the Republic once again recovered and won the war thanks to Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. With Carthage defeated, Rome became the dominant power of the ancient Mediterranean world, it embarked in a long series of difficult conquests, after having notably defeated Philip V and Perseus of Macedon, Antiochus III of the Seleucid Empire, the Lusitanian Viriathis, the Numidian Jugurtha, the great Pontic king Mithridates VI, the Gaul Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.
At home, the Republic experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several violent civil wars. At first, the Conflict of the Orders opposed the patricians, the closed oligarchic elite, to the far more numerous plebs, who achieved political equality in several steps during the 4th century BC; the vast conquests of the Republic disrupted its society, as the immense influx of slaves they brought enriched the aristocracy, but ruined the peasantry and urban workers. In order to solve this issue, several social reformers, known as the Populares, tried to pass agrarian laws, but the Gracchi brothers, Saturninus, or Clodius Pulcher were all murdered by their opponents, the Optimates, keepers of the traditional aristocratic order. Mass slavery caused three Servile Wars. In this context, the last decades of the Republic were marked by the rise of great generals, who exploited their military conquests and the factional situation in Rome to gain control of the political system.
Marius Sulla dominated in turn the Republic. These multiple tensions lead to a series of civil wars. Despite his victory and appointment as dictator for life, Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. Caesar's heir Octavian and lieutenant Mark Antony defeated Caesar's assassins Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC, but turned against each other; the final defeat of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, the Senate's grant of extraordinary powers to Octavian as Augustus in 27 BC – which made him the first Roman emperor – thus ended the Republic. Since the foundation of Rome, its rulers had been monarchs, elected for life by the patrician noblemen who made up the Roman Senate; the last Roman king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. In the traditional histories, Tarquin was expelled in 509 because his son Sextus Tarquinius had raped the noblewoman Lucretia, who afterwards took her own life. Lucretia's father, her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Tarquin's nephew Lucius Junius Brutus mustered support from the Senate and army, forced Tarquin into exile in Etruria.
The Senate agreed to abolish kingship. Most of the king's former functions were transferred to two consuls, who were elected to office for a term of one year; each consul had the capacity to act as a check on his colleague, if necessary through the same power of veto that the kings had held. If a consul abused his powers in office, he could be prosecuted. Brutus and Collatinus became Republican Rome's first consuls. Despite Collatinus' role in the creation of the Republic, he belonged to the same family as the former king, was forced to abdicate his office and leave Rome, he was replaced as co-consul by Publius Valerius Publicola. Most modern scholarship describes these events as the quasi-mythological detailing of an aristocratic coup within Tarquin's own family, not a popular revolution, they fit a narrative of a personal vengeance against a tyrant leading to his overthrow, common among Greek cities and theorised by Aristotle
A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war, minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, is linked to the goal of achieving world peace. Means to achieve these ends include advocacy of pacifism, non-violent resistance, boycotts, peace camps, moral purchasing, supporting anti-war political candidates, legislation to remove the profit from government contracts to the Military–industrial complex, banning guns, creating open government and transparency tools, direct democracy, supporting Whistleblowers who expose War-Crimes or conspiracies to create wars and national political lobbying groups to create legislation; the political cooperative is an example of an organization that seeks to merge all peace movement organizations and green organizations, which may have some diverse goals, but all of whom have the common goal of peace and humane sustainability. A concern of some peace activists is the challenge of attaining peace when those that oppose it use violence as their means of communication and empowerment.
Some people refer to the global loose affiliation of activists and political interests as having a shared purpose and this constituting a single movement, "the peace movement", an all encompassing "anti-war movement". Seen this way, the two are indistinguishable and constitute a loose, event-driven collaboration between groups with motivations as diverse as humanism, veganism, anti-racism, anti-sexism, hospitality, ideology and faith. There are different ideas over what "peace" is, which results in a plurality of movements seeking diverse ideals of peace. "anti-war" movements have short-term goals, while peace movements advocate an ongoing life-style and proactive government policy. It is not clear whether a movement or a particular protest is against war in general, as in pacifism, or against one's own government's participation in a war. Indeed, some observers feel that this lack of clarity or long term continuity has represented a key part of the strategy of those seeking to end a war, e.g. the Vietnam War.
Global protests against the U. S. invasion of Iraq in early 2003 are an example of a more specific, short term and loosely affiliated single-issue "movement" —with scattered ideological priorities, ranging from absolutist pacifism to Islamism and Anti-Americanism. Nonetheless, some of those who are involved in several such short term movements and build up trust relationships with others within them, do tend to join more global or long-term movements. By contrast, some elements of the global peace movement seek to guarantee health security by ending war and assuring what they see as basic human rights including the right of all people to have access to air, food and health care. A number of activists seek social justice in the form of equal protection under the law and equal opportunity under the law for groups that have been disenfranchised; the Peace movement is characterized by a belief that humans should not wage war on each other or engage in violent ethnic cleansings over language, race or natural resources or ethical conflict over religion or ideology.
Long-term opponents of war preparations are characterized by a belief that military power is not the equivalent of justice. The Peace movement tends to oppose the proliferation of dangerous technologies and weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons and biological warfare. Moreover, many object to the export of weapons including hand-held machine guns and grenades by leading economic nations to lesser developed nations. Some, like SIPRI, have voiced special concern that artificial intelligence, molecular engineering and proteomics have more vast destructive potential, thus there is intersection between peace movement elements and Neo-Luddites or primitivism, but with the more mainstream technology critics such as the Green parties and the ecology movement they are part of. It is one of several movements that led to the formation of Green party political associations in many democratic countries near the end of the 20th century; the peace movement has a strong influence in some countries' green parties, such as in Germany reflecting that country's negative experiences with militarism in the 20th century.
The first mass peace movements in history were the Peace of God, being first proclaimed in AD 989 at the Council of Charroux, the Truce of God evolving out of it and being first proclaimed in 1027. The Peace of God originated as a response to increasing violence against monasteries in the aftermath of the fall of the Carolingian dynasty, spearheaded by bishops and "was promoted at a number of subsequent councils, including important ones at Charroux, Limoges and Bourges"; the Truce of God sought to restrain violence by limiting the number of days of the week and times of the year where the nobility were able to practice violence. These peace movements "set the foundations for modern European peace movements." Beginning in the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation gave rise to a variety of new Christian sects, including the historic peace churches. Foremost among them were the Religious Society of Friends, Amish and Church of the Brethren; the Quakers were prominent advocates of pacifism, who as early as 1660 had repudiated violence in all forms and adhered to a pacifist interpretation of Christianity.
Throughout the many 18th century wars in which Britain participated, the Quak
Far-left politics are political views located further on the left of the left-right spectrum than the standard political left. The term has been used to describe ideologies such as: communism, anarcho-communism, left-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, Marxism–Leninism and Maoism. Since 2016, the term Alt-left has been used as a pejorative to refer to political views at the extreme end of this spectrum, to those who adhere to such views. Luke March of the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh defines the far-left in Europe as those who position themselves to the left of social democracy, which they see as insufficiently left-wing; the two main sub-types are called the radical left, who desire fundamental changes to the capitalist system yet remain accepting of liberal democracy, the extreme left, who are more hostile to liberal democracy and denounce any compromise with capitalism. March specifies four major subgroups within contemporary European far-left politics: communists, democratic socialists, populist socialists and social populists.
Vít Hloušek and Lubomír Kopeček add secondary characteristics to those identified by March and Mudde, such as anti-Americanism, anti-globalization, opposition to NATO and rejection of European integration. In France, the term extrême-gauche is a accepted term for political groups that position themselves to the left of the Socialist Party, such as Trotskyists, anarcho-communists and New Leftists. Some, such as political scientist Serge Cosseron, limit the scope to the left of the French Communist Party, but there is no real consensus. There were many far-left militant organizations formed from existing political parties in the 1960s and 1970s, such as the Red Brigades and the Red Army Faction; these groups aimed to overthrow capitalism and the wealthy ruling classes. Anarchism Hard left List of anti-capitalist and communist parties with national parliamentary representation Moonbat Alt-right Media related to Far-left politics at Wikimedia Commons
The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917. Alongside it arose grassroots community assemblies which contended for authority. In the second revolution that October, the Provisional Government was toppled and all power was given to the Soviets; the February Revolution was a revolution focused around Petrograd, the capital of Russia at that time. In the chaos, members of the Imperial parliament assumed control of the country, forming the Russian Provisional Government, dominated by the interests of large capitalists and the noble aristocracy; the army leadership felt they did not have the means to suppress the revolution, resulting in Tsar Nicholas's abdication. The Soviets, which were dominated by soldiers and the urban industrial working class permitted the Provisional Government to rule, but insisted on a prerogative to influence the government and control various militias.
The February Revolution took place in the context of heavy military setbacks during the First World War, which left much of the Russian Army in a state of mutiny. A period of dual power ensued, during which the Provisional Government held state power while the national network of Soviets, led by socialists, had the allegiance of the lower classes and the left-leaning urban middle class. During this chaotic period there were frequent mutinies and many strikes. Many socialist political organizations were engaged in daily struggle and vied for influence within the Duma and the Soviets, central among which were the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin who campaigned for an immediate end to the war, land to the peasants, bread to the workers; when the Provisional Government chose to continue fighting the war with Germany, the Bolsheviks and other socialist factions were able to exploit universal disdain towards the war effort as justification to advance the revolution further. The Bolsheviks turned workers' militias under their control into the Red Guards over which they exerted substantial control.
In the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks led an armed insurrection by workers and soldiers in Petrograd that overthrew the Provisional Government, transferring all its authority to the Soviets with the capital being relocated to Moscow shortly thereafter. The Bolsheviks had secured a strong base of support within the Soviets and, as the now supreme governing party, established a federal government dedicated to reorganizing the former empire into the world's first socialist republic, practicing Soviet democracy on a national and international scale; the promise to end Russia's participation in the First World War was honored promptly with the Bolshevik leaders signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918. To further secure the new state, the Cheka was established which functioned as a revolutionary security service that sought to weed out and punish those considered to be "enemies of the people" in campaigns consciously modeled on similar events during the French Revolution.
Soon after, civil war erupted among the "Reds", the "Whites", the independence movements and the non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for several years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists and thereafter reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. While many notable historical events occurred in Moscow and Petrograd, there was a visible movement in cities throughout the state, among national minorities throughout the empire and in the rural areas, where peasants took over and redistributed land; the Russian Revolution of 1905 was said to be a major factor contributing to the cause of the Revolutions of 1917. The events of Bloody Sunday triggered nationwide protests and soldier mutinies. A council of workers called. While the 1905 Revolution was crushed, the leaders of the St. Petersburg Soviet were arrested, this laid the groundwork for the Petrograd Soviet and other revolutionary movements during the lead up to 1917.
The 1905 Revolution led to the creation of a Duma, that would form the Provisional Government following February 1917. The outbreak of World War I prompted general outcry directed at Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanov family. While the nation was engaged in a wave of nationalism, increasing numbers of defeats and poor conditions soon flipped the nation's opinion; the Tsar attempted to remedy the situation by taking personal control of the army in 1915. This proved to be disadvantageous for the Tsar, as he was now held responsible for Russia's continuing defeats and losses. In addition, Tsarina Alexandra, left to rule in while the Tsar commanded at the front, was German born, leading to suspicion of collusion, only to be exacerbated by rumors relating to her relationship with the controversial mystic Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin's influence led to disastrous ministerial appointments and corruption, resulting in a worsening of conditions within Russia; this led to general dissatisfaction with the Romanov family, was a major factor contributing to the retaliation of the Russian Communists against th
Freikorps were German military volunteer units that existed from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, which fought as mercenary or private armies, regardless of their own nationality. In German-speaking countries, the first so-called Freikorps were formed in the 18th century from native volunteers, enemy renegades and deserters; these sometimes exotically equipped units served as infantry and cavalry, sometimes in just company strength, sometimes in formations up to several thousand strong. The Prussian von Kleist Freikorps included infantry, jäger and hussars; the French Volontaires de Saxe combined dragoons. In the aftermath of World War I and during the German Revolution of 1918–19, Freikorps consisting of World War I veterans were raised as right-wing paramilitary militias, ostensibly to fight on behalf of the government against the Soviet-backed German Communists attempting to overthrow the Weimar Republic. However, the Freikorps largely despised the Republic and were involved in assassinations of its supporters.
The first Freikorps were recruited by Frederick the Great during the Seven Years' War. On 15 July 1759, Frederick ordered the creation of a squadron of volunteer hussars to be attached to the 1st Regiment of Hussars, he entrusted the command of this new unit to Colonel Friedrich Wilhelm von Kleist. This first squadron was raised in Dresden and consisted of Hungarian deserters; this squadron was placed under the command of Lieutenant Johann Michael von Kovacs. At the end of 1759, the first four squadrons of dragoons of the Freikorps were organised, they consisted of Prussian volunteers from Berlin, Magdeburg and Leipzig, but recruited deserters. The Freikorps were regarded as unreliable by regular armies, so they were used as sentries and for minor duties; these early Freikorps appeared during the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, when France and the Habsburg Monarchy embarked on an escalation of petty warfare while conserving their regular regiments. During the last Kabinettskrieg, the War of the Bavarian Succession, Freikorp formations were formed in 1778.
Germans, Poles and South Slavs, as well as Turks and Cossacks, were believed by all warring parties to be inherently good fighters. The nationality of many soldiers can no longer be ascertained as the ethnic origin was described imprecisely in the regimental lists. Slavs were referred to as "Hungarians" or just "Croats", Muslim recruits as "Turks". For Prussia, the Pandurs, who were made up of Croats and Serbs, were a clear model for the organization of such "free" troops. Frederick the Great created 14 "free infantry" units between 1756 and 1758, which were intended to be attractive to those soldiers who wanted military "adventure", but did not want to have to do military drill. A distinction should be made between the Freikorps formed up to 1759 for the final years of the war, which operated independently and disrupted the enemy with surprise attacks and the free infantry which consisted of various military branches and were used in combination, they were used to ward off Maria Theresa's Pandurs.
In the era of linear tactics, light troops had been seen necessary for outpost and reconnaissance duties. During the war, eight such volunteer corps were set up: Trümbach's Freikorps Kleist's Freikorps Glasenapp's Free Dragoons Schony's Freikorps Gschray's Freikorps Bauer's Free Hussars Légion Britannique Volontaires Auxiliaires. Because, with some exceptions, they were seen as undisciplined and less battleworthy, they were used for less onerous guard and garrison duties. In the so-called "petty wars", the Freikorps interdicted enemy supply lines with guerrilla warfare. In the case of capture, their members were at risk of being executed as irregular fighters. In Prussia the Freikorps, which Frederick the Great had despised as "vermin", were disbanded, their soldiers were given no entitlement to pensions or invalidity payments. In France, many corps continued to exist until 1776, they were attached to regular dragoon regiments as jäger squadrons. During the Napoleonic Wars, Austria recruited various Freikorps of Slavic origin.
The Slavonic Wurmser Freikorps fought in Alsace. The combat effectiveness of the six Viennese Freikorps, was low. An exception were the border regiments of Croats and Serbs who served permanently on the Austro-Ottoman border. Freikorps in the modern sense emerged in Germany during the course of the Napoleonic Wars, they fought not so much for money but rather out of patriotic motives, seeking to shake off the French Confederation of the Rhine. After the French under Emperor Napoleon had either conquered the German states or forced them to collaborate, remnants of the defeated armies continued to fight on in this fashion. Famous formations included the King's German Legion, who had fought for Britain in French-occupied Spain and were recruited from Hanoverians, the Lützow Free Corps and the Black Brunswickers; the Freikorps attracted students. Freikorps commanders such as Ferdinand von Schill, Ludwig Adolf Wilhelm von Lützow or Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, known as the "Black Duke", led their own attacks on Napoleonic occupa
Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the first President of Germany from 1919 until his death in office in 1925. Ebert was elected leader of the SPD on the death in 1913 of August Bebel. In 1914, shortly after he assumed leadership, the party became divided over Ebert's support of war loans to finance the German war effort in World War I. A moderate social democrat, Ebert was in favour of the Burgfrieden, a political policy that sought to suppress squabbles over domestic issues among political parties during wartime in order to concentrate all forces in society on the successful conclusion of the war effort, he could not prevent a split. Ebert was a pivotal figure in the German Revolution of 1918–19; when Germany became a republic at the end of World War I, he became its first chancellor. His policies at that time were aimed at restoring peace and order in Germany and containing the more extreme elements of the revolutionary left. In order to accomplish these goals, he allied himself with conservative and nationalistic political forces, in particular the leadership of the military under General Wilhelm Groener and the right wing Freikorps.
With their help, Ebert's government crushed a number of socialist and communist uprisings as well as those from the right, including the Kapp Putsch. This has made him a controversial historical figure. Ebert was born in Heidelberg, German Empire on 4 February 1871 as the seventh of nine children of the tailor Karl Ebert and his wife Katharina. Three of his siblings died at a young age. Although he wanted to attend university, this proved impossible due to the lack of funds of his family. Instead, he trained as a saddle-maker from 1885 to 1888. After he became a journeyman in 1889 he travelled, according to the German custom, from place to place in Germany, seeing the country and learning fresh details of his trade. In Mannheim, he was introduced by an uncle to the Social Democratic Party, joining it in 1889. Although Ebert studied the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, he was less interested in ideology than in practical and organisational issues that would improve the lot of the workers and there.
Ebert was on the "black list" of the police due to his political activities, so he kept changing his place of residence. Between 1889 and 1891 he lived in Kassel, Elberfeld-Barmen, Quakenbrück and Bremen, where he founded and chaired local chapters of the Sattlerverband. After settling in Bremen in 1891, Ebert made a living doing odd jobs. In 1893, he obtained an editorial post on the socialist Bremer Bürgerzeitung. In May 1894, he married Louise Rump, daughter of a manual labourer, employed as a housemaid and in labelling boxes and, active in union work, he became a pub owner that became a centre of socialist and union activity and was elected party chairman of the Bremen SPD. In 1900, Ebert was appointed a trade-union secretary and elected a member of the Bremer Bürgerschaft as representative of the Social Democratic Party. In 1904, Ebert presided over the national convention of the party in Bremen and became better known to a wider public, he became a leader of the "moderate" wing of the Social Democratic Party and in 1905 Secretary-General of the SPD, at which point he moved to Berlin.
At the time, he was the youngest member of the Parteivorstand. Meanwhile, Ebert had run for a Reichstag seat several times in constituencies where the SPD had no chance of winning: 1898 Vechta, 1903 and 1906 Stade. However, in 1912, he was elected to the Reichstag for the constituency of Elberfeld-Barmen; this was the election that made the SPD the strongest party in the Reichstag with 110 out of a total of 397 members, surpassing the Centre Party. On the death of August Bebel on 13 August 1913, Ebert was elected as joint party chairman at the convention in Jena on 20 September with 433 out of 473 votes, his co-chairman was Hugo Haase. When the July Crisis of 1914 erupted, Ebert was on vacation. After war was declared in early August, Ebert travelled to Zürich with party treasurer Otto Braun and the SPD's money to be in a position to build up a foreign organisation if the SPD should be outlawed in the German Empire, he returned on 6 August and led the SPD Reichstag members to vote unanimously in favour of war loans, accepting that the war was a necessary patriotic, defensive measure against the autocratic regime of the Tsar in Russia.
In January 1916, Haase resigned. Under the leadership of Ebert and other "moderates" such as Philipp Scheidemann, the SPD party participated in the Burgfrieden, an agreement among the political parties in the Reichstag to suppress domestic policy differences for the duration of the war in order to concentrate the energies of the country on bringing the conflict to a successful conclusion for Germany; this positioned the party in favour of the war with the aim of a compromise peace, a stance that led to a split in the SPD, with those radically opposed to the war leaving the SPD in early 1917 to form the USPD. Similar policy disputes caused Ebert to end his parliamentary alliance with several left-wing members of the Reichstag and start to work with the Centre Party and the Progress Party in 1916; those kicked out by Ebert called themselves "Spartacists". Beginning in 1916, Ebert shared the leadership of his Reichstag delegates with Scheidemann. Although he opposed a policy of territorial gains secured through m