Worker Activism in the Nineteenth Century


Worker culture in Germany is primarily associated with factories, but workers and workplaces were diverse. Nonetheless, political activism grew among the working class, creating a “parallel society” that found its own sense of Germanness through work and leisure, even if work was often associated with manhood. Holidays such as May Day centered around improving working conditions in the workplace. After the First World War, Social Democracy appealed to civic values that included women. The concept of work is inextricably tied to the idea of Germanness, and worker movements tried to mobilize this sensibility for political gain.


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