chapter  3
Between democrats and Blanquists: the Communist League, 1849–1850
Pages 30

After the defeat of revolution on the Continent, London became once again the chief centre of exile politics. The refugees now were a more heterogenous crowd than during the early 1840s. They included military leaders of the Baden-Palatinate uprising, such as Willich and Struve, governesses such as Malwida von Meysenbug, members of the Frankfurt parliament such as Arnold Ruge, poets such as Freiligrath, doctors such as Tausenau, aristocrats like the Baroness von Bruiningk and the Count von Reichenbach, and tailors such as Eccarius. Their political views, similarly, comprised all shades and parties involved in the revolution, ranging from communists organised in the CABV and the Communist League around Marx and Engels to socialists of various types, radical republicans such as Karl Heinzen, and advocates of a liberal constitution, such as Lothar Bucher. Many more, no doubt, had vague and fluctuating opinions, or had become involved in events without being primarily politically motivated, such as the religious reformer Johannes Ronge and his wife Bertha, whose chief concerns were women’s education and infant training. What united them all during their first years of exile was their reluctance to accept defeat and their common suffering from the privations of exile. Still hoping that further revolutions would bring them home, most refugees initially neglected to prepare for a long-term stay in England, bothering neither to find employment nor to learn the language of a country they saw as only a temporary post in the storm. Gottfried Kinkel, for instance, on being advised to study English, exclaimed: ‘Learn English! What do you think? I am only a bird of passage here; the field of my activity is in Germany; in three years at the most I shall be back there-at the head of the movement!’1