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Communist Party of the United States of America

The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) is one of several Marxist-Leninist groups in the United States. For many years it was led by its General Secretary Gus Hall, but this leadership was ended amidst accusations that Gus Hall had accepted money from other nations. Perhaps the most famous member of the CP-USA is Angela Davis.

It was formed in 1919 as a splinter group of the left-wing of the Socialist Party over the issue of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The left wing socialists supported Lenin and Trotsky, and broke off the SP to form two rival parties: the Communist Party of America and Communist Labor Party. Under pressure from the Communist International, these two communist parties officially merged in Chicago in 1919. From its inception, the Communist Party, USA came under attack from the FBI and Attorney General A Mitchell Palmer[?] for defying the Sedition Act of 1918[?]. Consequently, the Communist Party went underground and went through name changes to evade the authorities.

Since its inception, the CPUSA was known for closely following the orders of the Communist International (“Comintern”). This was evident in 1926 when, upon the orders of Stalin, the CPUSA expelled James Cannon and all other Trotskyists from the organization.

During the 1950s, the Communist Party was decimated by Senator Joe McCarthy and his anti-Communist campaign. However, during the New Left movement of the 1960s. In the 1970s, the CPUSA managed to grow in membership to about 25,000 members, despite the exodus of numerous Anti-Revisionist[?] and Maoist groups from its ranks. However, in 1984, seeing the onslaught of Ronald Reagan's anti-Communist administration and decreased CPUSA membership, Gus Hall chose to end the CPUSA's electoral campaigns, and the CPUSA has endorsed the Democratic Party in every national election ever since.

The current General Secretary is Sam Webb[?].

See also: McCarthyism, List of political parties in the United States

External Links

  • Official website (http://www.cpusa.org)
  • Official newspaper (http://www.pww.org)
  • [1] (http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/raymond-allen) Article: Communists Should Not Teach In American Colleges, 1949, by Raymond B. Allen, President of the Eniversity of Washington, Seattle.
  • [2] (http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/publications/digest/992/beichman) Hoover Institute- Hoover Digest 1999, Article: Guilty as charged by Arnold Beichman, survey of Soviet documents on Communists in America

Further Reading

  • American Communist History a peer-reviewed journal published by the Historians of American Communism. [3] (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/14743892)

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