Wilhelm Liebknecht

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Wilhelm Liebknecht (vĬl´hĕlm lēp´kənĕkht), 1826–1900, German socialist leader and journalist. His participation in the revolution in Germany in 1848–49 forced him into exile, and he lived in England until 1862. While there he became associated with Karl Marx. Although greatly influenced by Marx, he disagreed with him on many fundamental principles of socialism. Upon his return to Germany, Liebknecht initially joined the socialist group founded by Ferdinand Lassalle. Shortly afterward he broke with the Lassalleans because of doctrinal differences, and in 1869 with his disciple August Bebel, he formed the Social Democratic Labor party. For several years the two groups conflicted, but in 1875 they merged as the Socialist Labor party. As a member of the North German Reichstag, Liebknecht, a confirmed pacifist, voted against extending war credits for the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). He incurred the enmity of Otto von Bismarck, was convicted of treason, and with Bebel spent two years in prison (1872–74). Elected to the Reichstag in 1874, he was a member at his death. He wrote many books on historical and social topics and edited several socialist newspapers.

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Liebknecht, Wilhelm (1826–1900) German revolutionary, father of Karl Liebknecht. After taking part in the Revolutions of 1848, he was exiled to England where he associated with Marx. In 1869, Liebknecht and August Bebel founded the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Otto von Bismarck imprisoned (1872–74) them for opposing the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). In 1874, he entered the Reichstag.