During the late 19th century and early 20th century, there was a relatively strong Socialist movement in the United States. In various states and municipalities there were Socialist Parties. The movement believed in the public ownership and democratic management of the basic means of production and distribution. It also had strong ties, especially in Wisconsin, with the organized labor movement of the time. The movement was not a “Communist” movement, that is, one that believed in the dictatorship of the working class; nor was it a “National Socialist” movement, that is, one that believed in a military dictatorship. Rather, it was what is now called a “Democratic Socialist” movement, a movement that sought change through the ballot box by educating the voter. The movement was strongly anti-war, especially during World War I. Socialists also believed that workers should unite to improve their status. The Sheboygan movement was therefore strongly oriented toward anti-war sentiments and for labor improvement. Using primary source documents the Kneevers present a great historic picture of the Sheboygan Socialists.
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