The Socialist Party of America (SPA) was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization in 1899.
In the first decades of the 20th century, it drew significant support from many different groups, including trade unionists, progressive social reformers, populist farmers, and immigrant communities. Its presidential candidate, Eugene V. Debs, twice won over 900,000 votes (in 1912 and 1920), while the party also elected two United States Representatives (Victor L. Berger and Meyer London), dozens of state legislators, more than a hundred mayors, and countless lesser officials. The party's staunch opposition to American involvement in World War I, although welcomed by many, also led to prominent defections, official repression and vigilante persecution. The organization was further shattered by a factional war over how it should respond to Russia's Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the establishment of the Communist International in 1919.
After endorsing Robert LaFollette's presidential campaign in 1924, the Socialist Party returned to independent action and experienced modest growth in the early 1930s behind presidential candidate Norman Thomas. After the 1950s, however, the Party's appeal was weakened by the popularity of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, the organization and flexibility of the Communist Party under Earl Browder, and the resurgent labor movement's desire to support sympathetic Democratic Party politicians. A divisive and ultimately-unsuccessful attempt to broaden the party by admitting followers of Leon Trotsky and Jay Lovestone caused the traditional "Old Guard" to leave and form the Social Democratic Federation. While the party was always strongly anti-Fascist, as well as anti-Stalinist, the SP's ambivalent attitude towards World War II cost it both internal and external support.
The SP stopped running presidential candidates after 1956, when its nominee Darlington Hoopes won fewer than 6,000 votes. In the party's last decades, its members, many of them prominent in the labor, peace, civil rights and civil liberties movements, fundamentally disagreed about the socialist movement's relationship to the labor movement and Democratic Party in the U.S., and about how best to advance democracy abroad. In 1970–1973, these strategic differences had become so acute that the Socialist Party changed its name to Social Democrats, USA and leaders of two of its caucuses formed separate socialist organizations, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the Socialist Party USA.
Other articles related to "socialist party of america, socialist, party, socialist party":
... Most of the socialist press was privately owned as the party was concerned that a single official publication might lead to censorship in favor of the ... A number of papers carried the party's official notices in its first years, the most important being The Worker (New York), The Appeal to Reason (Girard, Kansas ... The party soon discovered that it needed a more regular means of communication with its members and the 1904 National Convention decided to establish a ...
... Many members of the Workers Party of the United States, in turn, decided to join the Socialist Party of America in 1936 to propagate their views inside ... The Socialist Party had developed a leftwing and the party had declared itself open to other tendencies ... As members of the Socialist Party the Trotskyists continued to exist as an independent tendency and continued publishing their own newspaper, Socialist Appeal ...
Famous quotes containing the words america, socialist and/or party:
“You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American.”
—Woodrow Wilson (18561924)
“Men conceive themselves as morally superior to those with whom they differ in opinion. A Socialist who thinks that the opinions of Mr. Gladstone on Socialism are unsound and his own sound, is within his rights; but a Socialist who thinks that his opinions are virtuous and Mr. Gladstones vicious, violates the first rule of morals and manners in a Democratic country; namely, that you must not treat your political opponent as a moral delinquent.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)
“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. Its that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, thats what the poet does.”
—Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926)