American Political Party
The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) is a Marxist political party in the United States, established in 1919. It has a long, complex history that is closely related to the histories of similar Communist parties worldwide and the American labor movement.
During the first half of the 20th century, the CPUSA was the largest and most influential Communist party in the United States. It played a very prominent role in the American labor movement from the 1920s through the 1940s, having a major hand in the founding of most of the country's first industrial unions (organizations which would later use the McCarran Internal Security Act to expel their Communist members). The CPUSA also became known for opposing racism and fighting for integration in workplaces and communities during the height of the Jim Crow period of US racial segregation. Historian Ellen Schrecker concludes that decades of recent scholarship offers a "nuanced portrayal of the party as both a Stalinist sect tied to a vicious regime and the most dynamic organization within the American Left during the 1930s and '40s." In regards to the former charge, the CPUSA, claiming Proletarian Internationalism that the US Government called espionage, sponsored an elaborate intelligence network on behalf of the Soviet Union which involved over 500 members of the party acting as agents. The most prominent example dealt with the Manhattan Project, in which the network was accused of giving the blueprints of the atomic bomb to the Soviets; Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were thereafter convicted and executed as the chief architects of this plan.