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By Carl Strikwerda

The 1st publication to discover the old improvement of Belgian politics, this groundbreaking learn of the competition among Catholicism, Socialism and nationalism is vital studying for a person drawn to Europe prior to international struggle I.

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The central concerns are how labor movements balanced political and economic action, the degree to which they centralized decision-making, and whether or not they sought allies outside the ranks of the working class. Although scholars see varieties of socialism as the dominant ideological influence on labor, socialism actually provided relatively little guidance to workers on how they had to organize unions, consumer Page 5 cooperatives, or other groups. Instead, one could argue that labor leaders hammered together their own structures from a mixture of liberalism, Christian notions of social justice, syndicalism, and business-style bureaucratic methods.

Alk. 48-1984. Page v CONTENTS Acknowledgments vii Maps of Belgium, Brussels, and Liège ix List of Figures and Tables xiii Abbreviations xvii Part One: The Problem and the Setting 1. The Problem of Mass Politics 1 2. Politics, Economy, and Language in Belgium 27 3. The Seedbed of Change: Working-Class Organizations before 1886 71 Part Two: The Dream in Revolt 4. The Creation of Socialist Movements, 1886-1905 109 5. The Creation of a Socialist "State within a State" in Ghent 113 6. National Leadership and Craft Unionism in Brussels 141 7.

The crucial question is the manner in which these social welfare measures were introduced. In Scandinavia and Britain, coalitions of interest groups introduced social measures before 1914. As a result, tensions between upper classes and discontented lower classes decreased, and extreme Page 4 polarization after the War became less likely. In most of the rest of Europe, interest groups were less well organized and less progress had been made. Finally, in some countries Germany, most importantly social welfare measures were introduced before the War by an authoritarian state allied with some interest groups and against others.

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