- National conventions of the Communist Party USA
The Communist Party USA has held twenty nine official conventions including nomination conventions and conventions held while the party was known as the Workers Party of America, the Workers (Communist) Party of America and the Communist Political Association. There were also a number of congresses held by the earlier, often underground, organizational predecessors of the party, including the Communist Labor Party, the United Communist Party and two groups known as the Communist Party of America.
Left Wing Conference
A resolution for a national conference of left leaning organizations within the Socialist Party had been adopted by the Boston Local in May 1919, and endorsed by a number of other locals. Admittance as "left wing" was defined as endorsement of the Left Wing program adopted by the Left Wing Section of Greater New York. When the conference met the delegates divided between a group around the periodical The Revolutionary Age that wanted to infiltrate the Socialist Party's convention in Chicago that September, and those who wished to create a Communist Party immediately. The minority withdrew and formed the National Organization Committee for a Communist Party. This group was mainly made up of the suspended language federations and the Socialist Party of Michigan.
The majority formed a National Left Wing Council and attempted to arrange a take over of the socialist party's convention. However, by late August the majority decided to forgo this plan and joined with the NOC to create a new party at a convention in Chicago. A minority, led by Ben Gitlow and John Reed split with the majority and attempted to infiltrate the Socialist Party convention alone.
- Revolutionary Age Vol II #1 July 5, 1919 Includes manifesto, program, reports, and preliminary minutes of the conference
- Revolutionary Age Vol II #5 July 5, 1919 Includes first half of the official stenographic proceedings of the conference
- Revolutionary Age Vol II #6 August 9, 1919 Extracts from the remainder of the record
Communist Party of America (1919)
Convention City Date Notes Founding Chicago Sept. 1 - 7, 1919 Manifesto and program. Constitution. Report to the Communist International; The Communist Vol. I #1 Sept 27, 1919 Second New York July 13–18, 1920 First after the departure of the Michigan and Ruthenberg factions; The Communist Vol. II #8 Aug 1, 1920 Third New York Feb. 1921
Communist Labor Party/ United Communist Party
Convention City Date Notes Founding Chicago Aug. 31 - Sept. 5, 1919 Founds Communist Labor Party; Minutes of the Founding Convention of the Communist Labor Party of America; Constitution of the Communist Labor Party of America at Early American Marxism. Joint Unity Bridgman, Michigan May 26–31, 1920 The CLP and the Ruthenberg group of the CPA merge into the United Communist Party Program and constitution of the United Communist Party of America. Second Kingston, New York Dec 24, 1920 - Jan. 2, 1921
Communist Party of America (1921)
Convention City Date Notes Joint Unity Woodstock, New York May 15–28, 1921 CPA and UCP merge Second Bridgman, Michigan Aug. 17–22, 1922 Raided by the Justice Department
Reds in America; the present status of the revolutionary movement in the U. S. based on documents seized by the authorities in the raid upon the convention of the Communist party at Bridgman, Mich., Aug. 22, 1922, together with descriptions of numerous connections and associations of the Communists among the Radicals, Progressives, and Pinks
Third New York April 7, 1923 Dissolves underground CPA into aboveground Workers Party of America
Workers Party of America
Convention City Date Notes Founding New York Dec. 23–26, 1921 Merges the Workers Council, the CPAs aboveground American Labor Alliance and other groups to form the Workers Party of America
Program and constitution, Workers Party of America, adopted at national convention, New York City, December 24, 25, 26, 1921
Second New York Dec. 24–26, 1922 Constitution of the Workers Party of America, as amended by the Second National Convention, New York December 24-25 and 26, 1922 Third Chicago Dec. 30, 1923–Jan. 2, 1924 The second year of the Workers Party of America report of the Central Executive Committee to the Third National Convention held in Chicago, Ill., Dec. 30, 31, 1923 and Jan. 1, 2, 1924 : theses, program, resolutions.
Program and constitution
Nominating Chicago July 10, 1924 Nominates William Z. Foster for President and Benjamin Gitlow for Vice President
Workers (Communist) Party of America
Convention City Date Notes Fourth Chicago Aug. 21–30, 1925 Changes name to Workers (Communist) Party, Ruthenberg minority given control of party by Comintern representative
The fourth national convention of the Workers (Communist) Party of America : Report of the Central Executive Committee to the 4th national convention ...;
From the Third Through the Fourth Convention of the Workers (Communist) Party of America
Fifth New York Aug. 31–Sept. 6, 1927 Confirms Jay Lovestone as Executive Secretary and Lovestone group as majority on party organs Nominating New York May 25–27, 1928 Nominates William Z. Foster for President and Benjamin Gitlow for Vice President
Acceptance speeches; The platform of the class struggle; national platform of the Workers (communist) party, 1928.
Communist Party, USA
Convention City Date Notes Sixth New York March 4–10, 1929 Adopts current name; Lovestone faction wins majority, but replaced by Gitlow as Executive Secretary by the Comintern Seventh New York June 21–25, 1930 Elects Earl Browder General Secretary Nominating Chicago May 28–29, 1932 Nominates William Z. Foster for President and James Ford for Vice President Eighth Cleveland April 2–8, 1934 Report of the Central Committee to the Eighth Convention of the Communist Party of the USA, Held in Cleveland, Ohio, April 2–8, 1934. Ninth New York June 24–28, 1936 Report of the Central Committee to the ninth National Convention of the Communist Party of the U.S.A.; Democracy or Fascism report of the Central Committee to the ninth National Convention of the Communist Party of U.S.A., and speech in reply to discussion; Resolutions: ninth convention of the Communist Party of the U.S.A. Tenth New York May 27–31, 1938 Report to the Tenth National Convention of the Communist Party on Behalf of the Central Committee.; Resolutions of the 10th convention of the Communist Party, U.S.A. Eleventh New York May 30-June 2, 1940 Special New York Nov. 16, 1940 Twelfth New York May 20–22, 1944 Changes name to Communist Political Association; The road ahead to victory and lasting peace, Thirteenth New York July 26–28, 1945 Readopts current name; removes Browder as General Secretary, replaced by Eugene Dennis Fourteenth New York Aug 2-6, 1948 Endorses Henry Agard Wallace for President; Eugene Dennis indicts the Wall Street conspirators. Fifteenth New York Dec 28-30, 1950 What it means to be a Communist; On Guard against Browderism, Titoism, Trotskyism. Sixteenth New York Feb 9-12, 1957 Seventeenth New York Dec 10-13, 1959 Eighteenth New York June 22–26, 1966 Nineteenth New York April 30-May 4, 1969 Twentieth New York Feb 18-21, 1972 Toward Chicano liberation; the Communist Party position. Twenty-first Chicago June 26–29, 1975 Twenty-second Detroit Aug 23-26, 1979 Resolution on the path to native American liberation : adopted at the 22nd Convention, CPUSA, August 23-26, 1979. Twenty-third Cleveland Nov 10-13, 1983 Twenty-fourth Chicago Aug 13-16, 1987 Twenty-fifth Cleveland December 5–8, 1991 First convention after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the abortive August Coup Twenty-sixth Cleveland March 1–3, 1996 First convention after the dissolution of the Soviet Union Twenty-seventh Milwaukee July 6–8, 2001 First convention after the death of Gus Hall; Archived website Twenty-eighth Chicago July 1–3, 2005 Archived web page Twenty-ninth New York May 21–23, 2010 Convention web page
- William Z. Foster History of the Communist Party of the United States New York: International Publishers, 1952 Appendix A. Gives starting date of all conventions up to 1951.
- 1922 Bridgman Convention
- Communist Party USA
- Early American Marxism has extensive information about the earlier conventions.
Communist Party USA Endorsed candidatesPresidentialVice Presidential LeadersCharles Ruthenberg, Executive Secretary of old CPA (1919–1920); Executive Secretary of WPA/W(C)P (May 1922-1927) · Alfred Wagenknecht, Executive Secretary of CLP (1919–1920); of UCP (1920–1921) · Charles Dirba, Executive Secretary of old CPA (1920–1921); of unified CPA (May 30, 1921-July 27, 1921) · Louis Shapiro, Executive Secretary of old CPA (briefly, late 1920) · L.E. Katterfeld, Executive Secretary of unified CPA (July 27-1921-October 15, 1921) · William Weinstone, Executive Secretary of unified CPA (October 15, 1921-February 22, 1922) · Jay Lovestone Executive Secretary of unified CPA (February 22, 1922-August 22, 1922); of W(C)P/CPUSA (1927–1929) · James P. Cannon, National Chairman of WPA (Dec. 1921-1922) · Caleb Harrison, Executive Secretary of WPA (Dec. 1921-May 1922) · Abram Jakira, Executive Secretary of unified CPA (Aug. 22, 1922-dissolution of underground party in 1923) · William Z. Foster, Party Chairman (1929–1934) · Earl Browder, Party Chairman (1934–1945) · Eugene Dennis, General Secretary (1945–1959) and William Z. Foster, Party Chairman (1945–1957) · Gus Hall, General Secretary (1959–2000) · Sam Webb, Chairman (2000-present) Related articles
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