Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This study compares and assesses the four Socialist leaders -- Victor L. Berger, Morris L. Hillquit, Eugene V. Debs, and Norman M. Thomas. By comparing the attitudes and ideas of these four Socialists towards socialism and Socialist theory, politics, factionalism, violence, labor and laboring men, farmers, prohibition, prostitution, women’s rights, religion, immigration, racism, and pacifism some of the characteristics of these Socialists were exposed to a closer scrutiny. The information for this thesis was acquired principally by reading extensively in both primary and secondary materials in the field of socialism, especially biographies of and books written by the four Socialists. A brief biographical sketch of each of the four Socialists was given in the first two chapters. The subsequent chapters discussed and explored their ideas and opinions on the previously mentioned subjects. By comparing the four Socialists it was discovered that they were reformers and humanitarians, that they had some very serious disagreements, that they failed in the very critical areas of solving party factionalism and gaining political support, and that they were not as radical as they appeared to the public during their peak years from 1900 to 1920 or even subsequently. They were sincere, hardworking, dedicated men who believed in their cause, who did not believe in violence, and who had a basic concern for the well being of their fellow man.


James Forsythe

Date of Award

Summer 1972

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1972 Stephen A. Aschenbrenner


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