chapter
Introduction
Pages 7

During the 1840s, but especially after large numbers of German democrats were forced into exile after 1848, much of the development of early German socialism and social democracy occurred in communities of German emigrants abroad. The most important of these groups was in London, where thousands of Germans congregated in the middle years of the nineteenth century. Exile was a bleak existence; not for nothing is the German word for ‘misery’, Elend, derived etymologically from the term for ‘alien’ or ‘abroad’, being expelled into the Ausland.1 Their condition was mitigated in part by a fervent sense of political rectitude. But this also tended to sharpen considerably the exiles’ political disagreements, and such discussions indeed became for many the chief focus of interest in an otherwise often depressing environment.