HILLQUIT, MORRIS

HILLQUIT, MORRIS (1869–1933), U.S. socialist. Hillquit was born in Riga, Latvia. He settled in New York City in 1886 and was soon involved in the vigorous radical intellectual life of the Lower East Side. In 1888 he helped organize the United Hebrew Trades as a first step in the unionization of immigrant Jewish workers. Entering the Socialist Labor Party, Hillquit led the revolt in the late 1890s against the party's control by daniel de leon . Hillquit opposed De Leon's hostility to the American Federation of Labor, and he fought the attempt to destroy established trade unions through the creation of rival socialist unions. Hillquit insisted that socialists could convince unionized workers that radical change was feasible and desirable, and accordingly he envisioned socialist control of existing trade unions. In 1900 the Socialist Party of America was formed from an amalgamation of several groups, and Hillquit played a leading role in its affairs until his death. He was an able spokesman for the moderate elements that were in control, and also had a decisive influence in developing the program and ideology of the party. Hillquit's concept of socialism falls within the Marxian Revisionism so popular in the early 20th century. He stressed the compatibility of Marxism with social reform and an ascending standard of living for the worker. A socialist state would result from the conversion of the people, not through violent or direct means, and political action was thus the very essence of the socialist's method. It educated men about socialism, and through electoral victories socialists gained office where they might improve conditions for the workingman, thus accelerating the acceptance of radical social change. Although often characterized as a compromiser, Hillquit helped write the defiant position of the Socialist Party against American entrance into World War I, and he ran for mayor of New York City in 1917 on a peace platform. He was also unyielding in his opposition to left-wing attempts to take control of the Socialist Party; and though he defended due process in many court battles involving radicals and trade unionists, he was prepared to discard due process when necessary in the continuing strife among factions of the Socialist Party. During the Socialist Party's rapid growth in 1908–12, as in the desperate days of the early 1930s, Hillquit constantly predicted the ultimate victory of socialism in the United States. But clearly success and political power were not immediate possibilities, and they cannot account for Hillquit's lifelong commitment to socialism. As he put it near the end of his life: "To me the socialist movement with its enthusiasm and idealism, its comradeship and struggles, its hopes and disappointments, its victories and defeats, has been the best that life has had to offer." Among his writings are Socialism in Theory and Practice (1909), and Loose Leaves from a Busy Life (1934). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: I. Kipnis, American Socialist Movement, 18971912 (1952), index; H. Quint, Forging of American Socialism (1964), 335–87; D. Egbert and S. Persons (eds.), Socialism and American Life, 2 vols. (1952), index; Z. Szajkowski, in: JSS, 32 no. 4 (1970), 286–306. (Irwin Yellowitz)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Hillquit, Morris — orig. Morris Hillkowitz born Aug. 1, 1869, Riga, Latvia died Oct. 7, 1933, New York, N.Y., U.S. U.S. socialist leader. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1886, joined the Socialist Labor Party, and helped found the United Hebrew Trades in 1888. When… …   Universalium

  • Hillquit, Morris — orig. Morris Hillkowitz (1 ago. 1869, Riga, Letonia–7 oct. 1933, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Dirigente socialista estadounidense. En 1886 emigró a EE.UU., ingresó al Partido Laboral Socialista y, en 1888, colaboró en la formación del United Hebrew …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hillquit, Morris — (1869 1933)    American socialist, of Latvian origin. Born in Riga, Latvia, he went to New York City in 1886. He helped organize the United Hebrew Trades, and later entered the Socialist Labour Party. He played an important role in the affairs of …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Morris Hillquit — (1869–1933) was a founder and leader of the Socialist Party of America and prominent labor lawyer in New York City s Lower East Side during the early 20th century. Morris Hillquit Contents …   Wikipedia

  • Morris — Morris, Charles W. Morris, Desmond John Morris, William * * * (as used in expressions) Brandes, Georg (Morris Cohen) Goldwater, Barry M(orris) Hillquit, Morris Morris Hillkowitz Hunt, Richard Morris Lapidus, Morris L …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Morris — /mawr is, mor /, n. 1. Gouverneur /guv euhr near /, 1752 1816, U.S. statesman. 2. Robert, 1734 1806, U.S. financier and statesman, born in England. 3. William, 1834 96, English painter, furniture designer, poet, and socialist writer. 4. Wright,… …   Universalium

  • Хилквит, Морис — (Hillquit, Morris) (1869 1933) в детстве иммигрировал из Латвии, адвокат и умеренный член американской социалистической партии …   Исторический справочник русского марксиста

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