John Ludlow: The Autobiography of a Christian Socialist

John Ludlow: The Autobiography of a Christian Socialist

John Ludlow: The Autobiography of a Christian Socialist

John Ludlow: The Autobiography of a Christian Socialist

Synopsis

First published in 1981, 'John Ludlow; A Christian Socialist' is an important contribution to the field of History.

Excerpt

John Ludlow's life (1821-1911) spanned the century in which the Labour movement in Britain grew from unorganised and sporadic beginnings to a mass movement with its own political party.

Brought up in Paris and educated in the heady atmosphere of the Collège Bourbon at a time when the students were enthusiastically discussing the ideas of the French social thinkers, John Ludlow completed his studies and was promised a brilliant future in France. But he chose to move to England to read for the Bar, and there began to apply the socialist ideas he had learned in Paris. As founder and central figure of the Christian Socialist Movement after 1848, he devoted immense energy to the organisation of the first Working Men's Associations and to the planning and co-ordination of the nascent Co-operative movement. As editor of the movement's journal, The Christian Socialist, and in a large number of tracts, pamphlets and articles in national periodicals, Ludlow developed a cogent programme for Socialism through a social revolution. As éminence grise behind the early campaigns of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, precursor of the 'New Model' Trade Unions, Ludlow made a major contribution to the development of Trade Unionism.

But the fact that the Christian Socialist Movement ceased to work as an organised group after 1854-5 has meant that most historians of the development of socialism in Britain, from the Webbs onward, have either ignored Ludlow and the Christian Socialists, or treated them as interesting, but insignificant, paternalist Christian ancestors of the true socialist movement.

That this assessment is inadequate, if not erroneous, can be

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.