Morris Hillquit

Hillquit, Morris, 1869–1933, American lawyer and Socialist leader, b. Riga, Latvia (then in Russia). He came to the United States in 1886. He was the leader of the right-wing, or constitutional, Socialists in their revolt against the radical leadership of Daniel De Leon in 1899. This revolt split the Socialist Labor party and led (1900) to the founding of the Social Democratic party, which evolved into the Socialist party. Hillquit from the beginning was the dominant theorist and tactician of the party, representing it on the executive committee of the Socialist and Labor International. He vigorously opposed U.S. entry into World War I and served as the defense lawyer in many espionage cases against socialists. He also served for many years as counsel to a number of labor unions. He was his party's candidate for mayor of New York City twice and for Congressman five times. In 1924 he led the Socialists into Robert M. La Follette's Progressive party. He wrote an autobiography Loose Leaves from a Busy Life (1934, repr. 1971).

See F. G. Ham and C. S. Warmbrodt, The Morris Hillquit Papers (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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