International Workingmen's Association  

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The International Workingmen's Association (IWA, 1864–1876), often called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class and class struggle. It was founded in 1864 in a workmen's meeting held in St Martin's Hall, London. Its first congress was held in 1866 in Geneva.

In Europe, a period of harsh reaction followed the widespread Revolutions of 1848. The next major phase of revolutionary activity began almost twenty years later with the founding of the IWA in 1864. At its peak, the IWA reported having 8 million members, while police reported 5 million.

In 1872 the organization split in two over conflicts between communist and anarchist factions. It dissolved in 1876. The Second International was founded in 1889.

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