morris’s works and legacy

Political Thought

In the 1880s, Morris expanded his focus from the arts and crafts to socialist political thought and action.

From his involvement with the Social-Democratic Federation beginning in 1883 to his leadership in the Socialist League from 1885-90, Morris championed socialist politics as a means of achieving the kind of wider social change he had, earlier in his career, idealized as possible through the arts and crafts.

In his lectures, writing, and organizing work, Morris attempted to catalyze direct socialist political action, and his work and ideas influenced the early direction of socialist politics in Britain.

As editor of and contributor to the socialist newspaper Commonweal, and as the author of such works as Chants for Socialists (1885), A Dream of John Ball (1888), numerous published lectures, and several prose romances, Morris left a significant legacy of political writing, and his utopia News from Nowhere, published in 1890, remains the fullest expression of the scope of his political vision.

Image: Socialist League Hammersmith Branch membership card, Walter Crane, 1880s.