General German Workers' Association

General German Workers' Association

General German Workers' Association

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The General German Workers' Association, in German Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein, ADAV) was founded on 23 May 1863 in Leipzig, Kingdom of Saxony by Ferdinand Lassalle and existed under this name until 1875, when it combined with August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht's SDAP to form the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany, which was renamed shortly thereafter the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The ADAV was the first German Labour Party, formed in Prussia prior to the establishment of the Germany had united as the German Empire. Its members were known colloquially throughout Germany as Lassalleans.<div style="float:right; clear:none; margin-left:10px"></div>The association was founded in Leipzig by Lassalle and twelve delegates from some of the most important cities in Germany: Barmen, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Elberfeld, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Harburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Mainz and Solingen. About 600 workers were present, having travelled on the newly-opened Dresden - Leipzig railway line. Lassalle acted as president from 23 May 1863 to 31 August 1864. He had been expecting many thousands to become members of the association, but by 1864 there were only 4,600; merging with the SDAP was the best option to gain influence. The ADAV was in part financially supported by funds obtained by Lassalle through his personal relations. These same relations resulted in a duel in 1864 in which Lassalle was killed.

Opinion was divided within the ADAV...
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