Emancipation with a Help of Education

Italian and Slovene Social Democrat Educational Circles in Austro-Hungarian Trieste (1899-1914)

  • Sabine Rutar Georg Eckert Institut für internacionale Schulbuchforschung, D-38114 Braunschweig, Celer Strasse 3
Keywords: Austro-Hungary, Trieste, social democracy, educational circles


This article analyses the work of the two major social democratic educational associations in Trieste prior to the First World War, the Circolo di Studi Sociali (Circle for Social Studies) and the Ljudski oder (People's stage). Education and culture constituted a crucial part of the Austrian social democrat movement. The Trieste social democrats endorsed this project and aimed at including the urban proletariat into the city's social fabric as well as providing the means for forming a new socially defined group identity among the mostly new city dwellers that were to become the industrial proletariat. The article describes both the organizational framework and political urban setting as well as the practical work of the two circles, focusing on written and spoken propaganda (lectures), libraries, as well as the contents of the educational activities carried out by both circles. A special attention is given to articulations concerning the role of the nation.