Pablo Iglesias Posse
(October 18, 1850,
Ferrol, Galicia - December 9, 1925, Madrid) led the
He founded the Spanish Socialist Workers'
(PSOE) in 1879 and the Spanish General Workers'
(UGT) in 1888.
Iglesias was born to humble parents who called him Paulino. He
attended school between the ages of six and nine, when his father,
a municipal laborer, died. Pablo, his younger brother, and their
mother put their possessions in a small covered cart and walked
with it to live in Madrid. Pablo's mother survived there by
begging, and both boys entered the Hospicio of San Fernando. They
completed primary schooling there, and Pablo learned printing. Aged
twelve he left the Hospicio to work and to help support his mother.
He worked as a printer, gradually improving his wages. While he was
rendered unemployed by a strike, his brother died of tuberculosis
He attended evening classes and learned French
. This let him read classic works of
French political science, translate the works of French socialists
and participate successfully in international congresses
by the 1869 Constitution
Spanish section of the International Workers
(AIT) organized a series of conferences in Madrid.
Iglesias attended, and in 1870, was invited to enter the printers
section. The appearance of Solidarity
, newspaper of the
International, started him on the intense journalistic career that
occupied the rest of his life.
Iglesias in 1873 applied to join the Association of Art Printers
and the following year was chosen as its president. From this
platform he began several years of secret work preparing to start
the world's second workers party. On 22 May
, at a renowned clandestine banquet of
international brotherhood in Madrid, twenty-five people (led by
Iglesias) founded the Spanish Socialist Workers
(PSOE - Partido Socialista Obrero Espa√Īol).
Political activism repeatedly put Iglesias in jail, first in 1882
after a strike and the last time in 1910 when he was sixty. He
always rejected offers of clemency, and as an ex-convict some
employers would deny him work. More than once, only the newspaper
he had founded on 12
, and his wage as its printer,
editor and director, kept him from starving.
On 12 August 1888
(UGT) was founded in Barcelona, its name proposed
The Congress of 1889 named him president of its national committee
, a position he held
for 36 years until his death. In 1890, when the day of struggle was
celebrated for the first time in Madrid on 1
, he headed an impressive demonstration. He led the
representation to the Government of demands for legislative
reforms, such as the 8-hour working day. In 1905 he first joined
the City Council of
Republicans had opposed Iglesias, but a Republican-Socialist
alliance paved the way for the 1910 elections to make him the first
socialist deputy in the Spanish Parliament. Worsening health
prevented him attending many parliamentary sessions after 1914,
limiting his parliamentary career. 1923 saw him elected a deputy
for the last time.
Despite his sparse theoretical background, he produced many
excellent intellectual works in Spain and internationally. He
published more than two thousand newspaper articles in Spain
between his first, The War
, on 5
the last, The Working Class Will Win
on 5 December 1925
Iglesias was one of the best propagandists among Spanish socialist
idealists; few workers' leaders wrote so much of interest.
Characterised by vehement defense and furious attack, his works
make an ethically coherent call for regeneration and hope.
On his death, an office drawer contained a parting gift of 1,000
pesetas from Iglesias for The Socialist
, to which he had
been linked from its birth. There were widespread posthumous
tributes to him. With Government authorization, more than 150,000
workers accompanied his funeral procession to the civil cemetery in
Bust to Pablo Iglesias
Bust to Pablo Iglesias. Autor. - Stranger A√Īo. - 1982 Localizaci√≥n.
- C/Pablo Iglesias (plane) Materiales. - Brick (bases) Stone (bust)
Marble (plate) Other datos. - The bust commemorates the socialist
Spanish politician at that the Spanish Socialist Workers'
and the General Trade Union Of Workers founded and
presided. Paul Iglesias was placed in the street hom√≥nima in 1982
by the Cooperative of Housings.