Decision of the Central Authority of the Communist League, March 3, 1848

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The Second Congress of the Communist League retained the scat of the Central Authority in London. However, in view of the revolution starting in France, Schapper, Bauer, Moll and other members of the London Central Authority intended to move to the Continent and decided to transfer their powers of general guidance of the League to the Brussels circle authority headed by Marx. But the persecution of revolutionaries which had begun in Belgium, the order for Marx’s expulsion and the arrest of other activists of the League compelled the Brussels Central Authority that had been formed to adopt the decision (published below) to dissolve itself and to em power Marx to form a new Central Authority in Paris. Marx arrived in Paris on

March 5 and wrote to Engels (he still remained in Brussels for some time) around March 12, 1848 that the new Central Authority had been recently set up and consisted of Marx (chairman), Schapper (secretary), Wallau, Wolff, Moll, Bauer (members). Engels was appointed in his absence.

An abridged version of this document was first published in French in Annales parlementaires belges. Session 1847-1848. Chambre des représentants, séance du 31 mars 1848, p. 1203. This document was first published in English in the Labour Monthly No. 3, March 1948.

Working Men of All Countries, Unite!

The Central Authority of the Communist League, meeting in Brussels, in accordance with the decision of the former London Central Authority to move the seat of the Central Authority to Brussels and to dissolve itself as Central Authority, by which decision the circle authority of the Brussels leading circle is therefore constituted the Central Authority, considering:

that in the present circumstances any association of League members, in particular of Germans, is impossible in-Brussels;

that the leading League members there have already been either arrested or expelled or are hourly expecting expulsion from Belgium;

that at the present moment Paris is the centre of the entire revolutionary movement;

that present circumstances require a thoroughly energetic leadership of the League, for which temporary discretionary power is indispensable,


Art. 1. The Central Authority is transferred to Paris.

Art. 2. The Brussels Central Authority confers on League member Karl Marx full discretionary power for the temporary central direction of all League affairs with responsibility to the Central Authority to be newly constituted and to the next Congress.

Art. 3. It instructs Marx, in Paris, as soon as circumstances permit, to constitute a new Central Authority from the most suitable League members selected by him, and for that purpose even to call to Paris League members not resident there.

Art. 4. The Brussels Central Authority dissolves itself.

Resolved at Brussels, March 3, 1848.

The Central Authority

Signed: Engels, F. Fisher, Gigot, H. Steingens, K. Marx