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Anarchism first emerged as a political movement in mid nineteenth-century Europe, within the socialist tradition. From this starting point, it has developed both geographically and ideologically. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, anarchism extended across the Americas and to Japan, China, and Australia, and as socialism came to be identified with Marxism and/or social democracy, the collectivist, communist, and liberal and individualist strands of thought from which anarchists drew their inspiration began to assume an increasingly distinctive quality, supporting the rise of a number of anarchist schools.

The significance of anarchism is often said to lie in the revolutionary movements it has inspired: most famously the Spanish Revolution of 1936 and May 1968. Today, anarchism is associated with the alter-globalization movement. In addition, anarchism has had ...

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