Young Communist League, USA


Young Communist League, USA

The Young Communist League, USA (YCL-USA) is the fraternal youth organization of the Communist Party, USA. According to its constitution, "the YCL is devoted to the interests of all young people and is dedicated to the revolutionary cause of the working class of our country, the transformation of the United States through mass democratic struggle into a socialist society."

History

Following the expulsion of the Socialist Party of America's Left-wing in 1919, a portion of the Young People's Socialist League left as well. The left-wing youth movement did not join either the Communist Party of America or the Communist Labor Party. Unification of the parties was not accomplished before the remnants of the YPSL dissolved.

Following the establishment of a "United Communist Party" a new youth section was created, the Young Communist League. During this period, the CPUSA was oriented toward clandestine organization, on the model of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party prior to the Russian Revolution. The underground YCL remained in existence throughout 1922 and into 1923, duplicating the role of the underground CPA vis-a-vis its legal arm, the Workers Party of America. The youth section of the WPA, and the public counterpart of the YCL, was the Young Workers League of America, founded in May 1922. [cite web
last=Davenport
first=Tom
title=Young Communist League (1921 - 1946): Organizational History
url=http://www.marxisthistory.org/subject/usa/eam/ycleague.html
accessdate=2006-09-27
] The YWL worked in strike support and published a semi-monthly magazine the "Young Worker". The organization did not grow prior to the Great Depression. Younger Communists assigned to the YCL often divided their efforts among many other party organizations. [cite encyclopedia
title=Young Communist League
encyclopedia = Leftist Encyclopedia of the United States
edition=second
pages=920 - 923
publisher=Oxford University Press
date=1998
id=ISBN 0-19-512088-4
]

By 1926, the decision was made to combine the public and underground parties, which was accomplished by 1930, when Young Communist League became the name of the combined organization. The turn toward the Popular Front initiated a period of the YCL's greatest growth and it may have had as many as 12,000 members in New York City alone by 1939.

In 1943 the YCL followed the CPUSA into dissolution, reconstituting itself as Youth for Democracy. It retained that name even after the CPUSA reformed in 1946, until contributing toward the youth organization of the Progressive Party, the Young Progressives of America. The CPUSA reestablished a youth organization in 1949 as the Labor Youth League, which dissolved in the dissention following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the 20th Congress of the CPSU. In 1965, After a period of mainly local activity, the DuBois Clubs were formed and later renamed the Young Workers Liberation League before reaffirming the original name Young Communist League in 1984. [cite encyclopedia
title=Young Communist League
encyclopedia = Leftist Encyclopedia of the United States
edition=second
pages=920 - 923
publisher=Oxford University Press
date=1998
id=ISBN 0-19-512088-4
]

References

External links

* [http://www.yclusa.org/ Young Communist League, USA]
* [http://www.dynamicmag.org/ "Dynamic"] - quarterly magazine of the YCLUSA
* [http://www.marxisthistory.org/subject/usa/eam/ycleaguedocuments.html Young Communist League (1921 - 1939)] . Historical documents of the YCL, archived at American Marxists History. Retrieved September 27, 2006.


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