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See Communist League (disambiguation) for other groups of the same name.
The Communist League was the first Marxist international organisation.
The League of the Just, established in the 1836 from the earlier League of the Outlaws, was an early German workers' organisation. Initially a utopian socialist grouping following the ideology of Gracchus Babeuf, it grew into an international organisation, which Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels joined.
The League held a conference in London in June 1847 which Friedrich Engels attended. He convinced the league to change its motto to Karl Marx's phrase, Working Men of All Countries, Unite!. The organisation was completely reorganised and renamed the Communist League, who declared this to be their first congress.
The organisation held a second congress, also in London, in November and December 1847. Both Marx and Engels attended, and they were mandated to draw up a manifesto for the organisation. This became the Communist Manifesto.
The League was not able to function effectively during the 1848 revolution, despite temporarily abandoning its clandestine nature. The Workers' Brotherhood was established in Germany by members of the League, and became the most significant revolutionary organisation there. During the revolution Marx edited the radical journal the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. Engels fought in the Baden campaign against the Prussians (June and July 1849) as the aide-de-camp of Willich,
The Communist League reassembled in late 1849, and by 1850 were publishing the Neue Rheinische Zeitung Revue journal, but by the end of the year, publication had ceased amid disputes between the leading members of the group. In 1852, the organisation was formally wound up.
- The Communist League, 1847 - 1850, documents of the league on Marxists.org.
- Revelations Concerning the Communist Trial in Cologne by Karl Marx.
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