Skip to main content

Bebel, August

August Bebel (ou´gŏŏst bā´bəl), 1840–1913, German Socialist leader. A wood turner by trade, he became a Marxian Socialist under the influence of Wilhelm Liebknecht. At a congress at Eisenach (1869) he was instrumental in founding the German Social Democratic party, which he later represented in the Reichstag and which he led for many years. His antimilitarism and his social program earned him the hatred of Bismarck. In 1872, Bebel and Liebknecht, tried on charges of treason, were sentenced to two years' imprisonment, but this only solidified Bebel's control over the Social Democrats, and he was reelected to the Reichstag. In 1875 he helped to unite the Lassalle group with the Social Democrats. A moderate Marxist, he opposed either violent retaliation against repression or the gradualist, evolutionary socialism of Eduard Bernstein, condemning all deviation (right and left) at the Dresden Congress of 1903. By 1912 the Social Democrats, embodied by Bebel, were the largest German political party. Among his writings are Women and Socialism (1883, tr. 1910), which was highly influential among German workers, and his autobiography (1910–14, abr. tr. 1912, repr. 1973).

See biography by E. Schraepler (1966).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bebel, August." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 19 Jul. 2018 <>.

"Bebel, August." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (July 19, 2018).

"Bebel, August." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.