Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,556 words)

1. Definition

Like liberalism, socialism is a political theory of movement, an intellectual construct focused on change, on the future of society, and consequently a political utopia. The term appeared for the first time in the literature of the 18th century. In the scholarly language of the period, it denoted the contractual theory of the Enlightenment. It did not acquire its anti-liberal, social-revolution…

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Brandt, Hartwig, “Socialism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027706>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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