30 July 2011

Brief Outline of Labor and Socialist History in the USA

1152 BCE - During the reign of Ramses III, artisans at the Royal Necropolis at Deir el-Medina successfully strike on 14 November for a raise in their wages.

375 CE – The author, or compiler, of the Apostolic Constitutions mandates no work for servants, including slaves, on Saturday and Sunday, the entirety of Holy and Easter Weeks, and various feast days throughout the year.

1619 CE - The first labor strike in America, at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia, when Polish craftsmen strike for the right to vote.

(The Arm and Hammer symbol of the now-defunct Socialist Labor Party of America is one of the oldest icons of socialism in the United States.)

1768 - Sailors on merchant ships strike, or remove, their topgallant sails in support of workers' rights demonstrations in London, thus giving the world the word "strike".

1775 – Publication of Thomas Paine’s “An Occasional Letter on the Female Sex” and “African Slavery in America”.

The American Revolution begins.

1776 – Publication of Paine’s Common Sense

American Declaration of Independence.

Paine begins publication of The Crisis.

1783 – The First Industrial Revolution begins.

1787 – Paine returns to England seeking financing for a single-arch iron bridge over the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania and ends up becoming involved in politics. Friends of Liberty clubs begin to form among the working-class in England and in Scotland.

1789 – The French Revolution takes place. The French National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

1791 – Publication of Paine’s Rights of Man, Part I.

Abortive working-class revolution in England.

Organization of the Society of United Irishmen in Belfast and later in Dublin.

1792 – Publication of Paine’s Rights of Man, Part II. 

Organization of the Friends of the People of Scotland in Edinburgh and of the Friends of the People of England in London.

1793-1850 - First Industrial Revolution in America.

1794 – Organization by Pitt of the Treason Trials targetting the radical movements in the United Kingdom.

Organization of the United Scotsmen to replace the Friend of the People decimated by the arrests of all its leaders.

Publication of Book I of Paine’s Age of Reason.

1795 – Gracchus Babeuf calls for equal distribution of land and income, and ownership of the means of production by workers, to be achieved thru violent revolution if necessary.

Publication of Book II of Paine’s Age of Reason.

1797 – Organization of the United Englishmen. 

Publication of Paine’s Agrarian Justice

The “Jolly Roger”, or Red Flag, is first used as a symbol of workers’ resistance by rebellious sailors of the Royal Navy. 

Second aborted rising of the English working-class. 

Rising of the United Scotsmen.

1798 – First Rising of the United Irishmen.

1803 – Second Rising of the United Irishmen.

1807 – Publication of Book III of Paine’s Age of Reason.

1820 – Radical Rising in Scotland.

1828 – Robert Owen, formerly of Glasgow, Scotland, founds the Workingmen’s Party, the world’s first socialist party, in New York City and Philadelphia, as the political arm of the Trades Union.

1832 - Pierre Leroux, editor of Le Globe, coins the word 

1833 – William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan organize the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Frederick Douglass becomes AASS’s foremost speaker.  In addition to its obvious goal, the AASS advocates broader democracy for all and becomes a center of feminism and home for later leaders of the suffragette movement.

1834 - German workers in Paris found the League of the Just, originally devoted to the ideas of Gracchus Babeuf.

1836 – Women at the Lowell Mill in Massachusetts successfully strike over a rent increase for company housing, with considerable community support.  Two years previously, the women had struck for higher wages with broad community support but were unsuccessful.

1839-1846 – The Anti-Rent, or Heldberg, War of tenants in the Hudson Valley held under feudal tenure since the days of the New Netherlands takes place in the State of  New York.  Rather than shots fired, it involves a series of rent srtikes and other measures.

1839 – Young Ireland is founded in Dublin.

1840 – The Liberty Party forms out of AASS to promote the idea that the U.S. Constitution is an anti-slavery document

1843 – Publication of Flora Tristan’s The Workers’ Union.

1845 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels organize Committees of Correspondence in several European countries. 

Members of the League of the Just in the USA found Young America, which is later known as the Social Reform Association.  Within a few months of its founding, it had devolved into just a (major) faction of the Democratic Party led by Stephen Douglas, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, and John O'Sullivan, who coined the term Manifest Destiny.

1847 – Marx and Engels found the Communist League in London on the basis of the League of the Just and the Committees of Correspondence.

1848 –The Manifesto of the Communist Party is published. 

The Springtime of Nations revolts occur in France, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Venetia, Italy, Sicily, Rome, Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Saxony, Prussia, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Lithuania, Schleswig, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Rumania.

The Liberty Party reforms itself as the Free Soil Party, its sole issue being stopping the spread of slavery into new territories in North America.

1850 – Wilhelm Weitling founds the General Workingmen’s League in Philadelphia.  Under his influence, the Central Committee of United Trades forms in New York City.

1851 – Marx begins writing articles for the New York Tribune about European economics and politics.

1852 – Joseph Weydemeyer, a friend of Marx, forms the Proletarierbund and coins the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat”.

1853 – Weydemeyer founds the American Workers’ League.

1854 – Ex-Whigs, former Free Soilers, and others establish the Republican Party  with the aim of preventing the spread of slavery into U.S. territories

1855 – The International Association brings together most of the previous socialist and radical labor organization in the USA.

1857 – Komp and Friedrich Sorge found the Communist Club in New York City. 

Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in the southern Pennsylvania coalfields begin operating as the Molly Maguires.

1860-1865 – The Great Secession and the War of the Rebellion in the U.S.A., commonly known as the American Civil War.  The primary goal of the seceding mostly agrarian Confederacy is to preserve Afro-American slavery and the culture it has created while that of the more industrialized Union is to make itself whole and keep its markets and profits intact.

1863 – On 1 January, the Emancipation Proclamation becomes effective, freeing the slaves behind the current lines that can make it to Union-held territory or that are freed in newly recovered territory.  Slaves in Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware would have to wait till later.

1864 – Marxists, Blanquists, Philadephes, trade unionists, Proudhon’s mutualist anarchists, other socialists, and social democrats unite in the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA; the First International).

Mikhail Bakunin founds the International Revolutionary Brotherhood.

1865-1877 – The Reconstruction of the South after the war, which includes the Federal Military Occupation of the former Confederacy and the attempt to rid the returning states of the culture of slavery.

1865 – The German General Workingmen’s Union (GGWU) is organized in New York City.

The Thirteenth Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution) goes into effect in December, abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime.

Pres. Lincoln establishes the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands, Freedmen’s Bureau for short, under Gen. Oliver O. Howard.

1866 – Under the leadership of William H. Sylvis, labor organizations from across the USA establish the National Labor Union in Baltimore, which sends delegates to the IWA.

The American Equal Rights Association (AERA) forms out of the Eleventh National Women’s Rights Convention “to secure Equal Rights to all American citizens, especially the right of suffrage, irrespective of race, color or sex”, essentially campaigning for suffrage for Afro-Americans and all women.

1867-1915 – The Second Industrial Revolution.

1867 - Volume I of Das Kapital is published.

The GGWU in the USA and the Communist Club of NYC join together as Section One of the IWA.

1868 – The NLU organizes the National Labor Reform Party (NLRP) as an independent socialist labor party at its third convention in New York City.

Bakunin and his collectivist anarchists join the IWA and found the International Alliance of Social Democracy within it, but the attempt is very short-lived.

Irish-born English immigrant John Smiley organizes the cross-ethnic (English, Welsh, Irish) Workingmen's Benevolent Association (WBA) in the anthracite coalfields of Pennsylvania, the first union for anthracite colliers.  It lasts until 1875.

The Fourteenth Amendment defines citizenship, essentially extending it to all the newly freed former slaves and expressly granting them equal protection under the law.

1869 – The Knights of Labor is formed. 

Stephen Pearl Andrews organizes New Democracy. 

The Colored National Labor Union is founded.

The GGWU of New York City joins the NLU  (National Labor Union).

The AERA splits over dissension regarding the proposed 15th Amendment, which will give the vote to Afro-American men but not to any women of any race.  Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organize the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).  Lucy Stone organizes the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).

1870-1914 - Age of Imperialism

1870 – The Central Committee of the IWA for North America is founded.

1871 – The Paris Commune. 

New Democracy joins the IWA as Sections Nine and Twelve. 

The American sections of the First International join together as the North American Federation of the IWA, which eventually includes more than thirty sections. 

The International Labor Union is founded in the USA.

1872 – At the Hague Congress of the IWA, the association splits into red and black factions, with the anarchists expelled from the IWA to form the St. Imier International. The seat of the IWA moves from London to NYC. 

Section Twelve is expelled from the IWA and forms the Equal Rights Party, running Virginia Woodhull for President and Frederick Douglass for Vice President in the USA national elections that year.

1873-1896 – The Long Depression in Europe.

1873 – The Panic of 1873.  At the end of the year, the Labor Party of Illinois forms in Chicago.

1874 – Adolph Strasser, a Lassalean, and P.J. Maguire form the Social Democratic Workingmen’s Party (SDWP) of North America.

1875 – Germany’s Social Democratic Party is formed by the (German) GGWU and the (German) SDWP as the Social Workers’ Party.  This SWP's members are the first to use "comrade" to address each other.

The Pinkerton Agency begins its activities against the Molly Maguires in the Pennsylvania coalfields.

1876 – The IWA (First International) dissolves. 

The North American Federation of the IWA, the SDWP of North America, the Labor Party of Illinois, the Socio-Political Labor Union of Cincinnati, and others form the Workingmen’s Party of America (later known as the Socialistic Labor Party of America, and finally the Socialist Labor Party of America).  Within a year the new party has over 60 sections.

1877 – The Great Upheaval takes place in the USA, largely the result of the Long Depression.  Without unions, which for rail workers had not yet been organized, the massive strikes throughout America had widespread community support and was put down only with severe violence.  In some places, the Workingmen’s Party of America (see above) provided organizational and other support.  One result was a significant upsurge in membership for the Knights of Labor.

The St. Imier International dissolves.

Ten members of the Molly Maguires are executed in Pennsylvania.

Reconstruction ends with the Great Compromise of 1877 in which the last remaining occupation troops are removed from South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana.

Attorney Harrison H. Riddleberger and former Confederate general William Mahone found the Readjuster Party, a coalition of freed blacks, Republicans, and populist Democrats opposing the return of the planter elite.  The party is the dominant force in Virginia politics until 1883, when the Bourbon Democrats return to power, and dissolves in 1890.

1878 - Members of the SLPA wanting to concentrate more on union work with actual workers leave to form the International Labor Union (ILU).

1881 – SLPA extremists form the Revolutionary Socialist Labor Party (RSLP) ); its members refer to themselves as “social revolutionists”.

International anarchists in London found the International Working People’s Association (IWPA), or “Black International”.

The International Workingmen’s Association (IMWA; aka “Red International”) is organized in the American West by Burnette G. Haskell; it disappears at the end of the 1890’s.

The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (FOTLU) is founded in Terre Haute, Indiana, and eventually represents workers across the United States and Canada.

1882 – The Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York, Brooklyn, and New Jersey, the first integrated labor union in the USA, is organized with support from the SLP.  It later spreads to Philadelphia.

1883 – The social revolutionists of the RSP unite with groups of American Bakuninist anarchists under the umbrella of the International Working People’s Association (IWPA) ; not the same as the Black International.

1884 – Publication of Laurence Gronlund’s Co-operative Commonwealth

The CLU of New York declares the world’s first Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

1885 – Volume II of Das Kapital is published.

1886 – The FOTLU becomes the American Federation of Labor (AFL). 

The Great Railroad Strike takes place in the USA. 

On 1st May, unions worldwide observe a one-day strike in support of the Eight Hour Movement in the USA.

The Haymarket Riot takes place in Chicago.

1887 – The IWMA all but disappears after this time.

Ten thousand sugar farm workers, 90% of whom are Afro-American and all organized by the Knights of Labor, launch the three-week Sugar Cane Labor Strike against plantation owners in Louisiana.  It ends in the three-day Thibodeaux Massacre, carried out by sheriff's deputies of four parishes, Attakapas Rangers, and the Peace and Order Committee of the Louisiana Sugar Producers Association (LSPA).  Up to 300 are killed, all of them Afro-American.

1888 – Publication of Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, 2000-1887, which becomes the leading manual for American socialists well into the early 20th century, one of the three best-selling novels of the 19th  century (along with Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben Hur).

Foundation and rapid growth of Bellamy-inspired Nationalist Clubs, beginning in Boston, Massachusetts, eventually numbering 167 local chapters.  “Nation” was meant as the antonym of “Capital”, and refers to nationalization of virtually all industry.  While the bulk of the movement is middle-class, in various locales members of the Knights of Labor, the Central Labor Union, and the Socialist Labor Party take part.  Noted figures in the movement are J. Edward Hall of the New York branch of the Socialist Labor Party of America, lawyer Daniel De Leon, and poet Stuart Merrill.

1889 – The Socialist (Second) International is established in Paris on 14 July, its membership including the anarchists.  One of its first actions is to declare May Day as International Workers Day, in honor of the Haymarket Martyrs.

W.D.P. Bliss and Francis Bellamy found the Society of Christian Socialists.

A split develops within the SLP between those who want to forsake politics for trade union work and vice versa, resulting in the breakaway group forming the Social Democratic Federation (SDF)  led by Wilhelm Rosenberg, which wanted to focus on political action.

1890 – Daniel DeLeon assumes control of the SLPA.

The NWSA and the AWSA merge as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

1891 – The Coal Creek War begins in Anderson County between coal companies (Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railway, Kentucky Coal, Knoxville Iron, Cumberland Coal, and Tennessee Coal Mining) and the Tennessee National Guard on one side versus miners and escaped prison convicts on the other; the hostilities last for over a year.  The miners had support from the Knights of Labor.

Leaders from the Southern Agrarian Alliance, the National Agricultural Wheel, and the Knights of Labor form the agrarian-oriented People’s (or Populist) Party, with its Omaha Platform calling for an eight-hour workday, direct elections of Senators, a graduated income tax, abolition of national banks, civil service reform, rural free delivery of mail, and government control of railroads and telecommunications.  The National Clubs support the Populists and influence its Omaha Platform, eventually dissipating as a separate organization by the mid-1890s

In the South, many Populist leaders called for blacks and poor whites to work together.  The response of the planter-class elite is disenfranchisement of black and poor white voters and Jim Crow segregation, both of which spread quickly during the recession of the 1890s.

1892 – Christian socialist Francis Bellamy composes the Pledge of Allegiance which first reads: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty, equality, fraternity, and justice for all”, but is published ending just “...with liberty and justice for all”.  His pledge and its recitation, including the Bellamy salute of an upraised, palm-down stiff right arm, is introduced on Columbus Day, 12 October, which that year marks the 400th anniversary of that expedition landing at Hispaniola.

On the national stage, the Nationalist Clubs support the Populist Party in elections, a move which begins their dissolution which lasts until 1894.

1893 – Eugene Debs organizes the American Railway Union (ARU).

The Western Federation of Miners (WFM) is formed.

The Panic of 1893 begins.

1894 – Volume III of Das Kapital is published. 

The Great Pullman Strike of the ARU takes place in the USA.  The strike is especially notable for the fact that President Grover Cleveland used the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to intervene against the strikers.

Jacob Coxey’s Army marches to Washington, D.C.

Julius Wayland founds Ruskin Colony in Dickson County, Tennessee, intended as a socialist settlement.  The colony moves slightly north two years later, and in 1899 to Waycross, Georgia, before finally dissolving in 1901.

1895 – The SLPA founds the Socialist Trades and Labor Alliance (STLA). 

Julius Martov and V.I. Lenin found the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of Labor in Russia.

1896 – The Brotherhood of the Co-operative Commonwealth (BCC) is formed in the USA with Myron Reed as president and Debs as organizer, hoping to colonize an area in the American West as a socialist utopia.

James Connolly organizes the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP).

At the initiative of the German Social Democratic Party, the anarchists are excluded from the Second International.

The Populists this year support William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic Party candidate, for president, but with their own vice presidential contender, Thomas Watson of Georgia, one of the party's most outspoken advocates of black-white collaboration.

1897 – Debs merges the remnants of the ARU with a faction of the BCC as the Social Democracy of America (SDA).

Edward Bellamy publishes his sequel to Looking Backward, called Equality.

The Yiddish-language Forward Publishing Association leaves the SLPA over DeLeon's authoritarianism, and affiliates with the SDA, and later with the SPA.  It continues to publish The Forward in both English and Yiddish in the 21st century.

The BCC establishes a colony in Washington State, naming it Equality, after Bellamy's latest novel.  The effort lasts until 1906.

The Lattimer Massacre of striking coal miners happens in Pennsylvania.

1898 – A group led by Isaac Hourwich favoring political actions rather than colonization forms the (Chicago) Social-Democratic Party (SDP) under Victor Berger, which nevertheless becomes the political wing of its parent body.

The SDA incorporates in Seattle as the Co-operative Brotherhood and establishes a socialist colony in Washington State known as Burley.  It lasts until 1913.

Rosenberg’s SDF joins the Deb’s SDA. 

The Western (later American) Labor Union (WLU) is formed. 

The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) is founded in Minsk. 

The Social-Revolutionary (SR) Party is formed in Russia from various agrarian political reform groups.

1899 – The Socialist Party of America, a party limited to the State of  Texas led by W.E. Farmer, joins Berger’s  SDP.

The Kangaroo dissidents of the SPLA (vis a vis the Regulars under DeLeon) reorganize as the (Springfield) Social Democratic Party (SDP), with an eye toward eventual merger with the Chicago SDP.  Leading that effort is Morris Hillquit.

1900 - Debs runs for President of the USA as the candidate for both the SDP and the SLPA.

Watson runs as presidential candidate for the Populist Party and loses badly, after which he becomes one of the South's loudest exponents of white supremacism in 1904 and 1908.

1901 – The Chicago SDP and the Springfield SDP join with Christian Socialists, Bellamy Nationalists, former Populists, single-taxers, and other radicals in the Socialist Party of America.

USA President McKinley is assassinated by an anarchist.

The International Secretariat of National Trade Union Centres (ISNTUC) forms in Copenhagen.  Though subordinated to the Second International, it is composed of trade unions that are socialist, syndicalist, and non-political, the last category including the USA’s AFL.

1902 – The Anthracite Coal Strike by the UMWA, the first labor dispute in which the U.S. government intervened.

1903 – The Bolshevik-Menshevik split takes place at the 2nd Congress of the RSDLP in Belgium. 

Connolly organizes the International Workers’ League in the USA.

1904 – George Taylor, long-time labor and racial justice activist as well as protege of Frederick Douglass, runs for President of the U.S.A. as candidate for the National Negro Liberty Party.

1905 – Members of the American Labor Union, the Western Federation of Miners, the Socialist Party of America, the Socialist Labor Party of America, the International Workers’ League, and the Socialist Trades and Labor Association found the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, or Wobblies), though one faction of the SPA supports the socialists under Hayes in the American Federation of Labor. 

Clarence Darrow, Walter Lippman, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Helen Keller, and others form the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS).  With its mother chapter at Harvard University, the ISS becomes the main bastion of Fabian thought in the USA.  Later leading members include Felix Frankfurter, W. E. B. DuBois, and Jay Lovestone, among others,

The SPA founds the Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL).  One of its first acts is to recreate in the USA the Socialist Sunday School system of the United Kingdom.  Eventually there are over 100 such schools in 64 cities.

The French Socialist Party and the Socialist Party of France merge as the French Section of the Workers International under pressure from the Second International.

1906 – The Labour Representation Committee, organized by several labor unions and small socialist parties, in the United Kingdom forms the Labour Party.

The first American edition of Das Kapital, also the first English-language edition with all three volumes, is published.

The Anarchist Black Cross is founded to provide political support across the world, especially to political prisoners.

The WFM withdraws from the IWW over a dispute over control of Wobbly headquarters after its leadership takes a conservative turn.

Members of SPA establish the Rand School of Social Science and its Meyer London Library, operated by the American Socialist Society founded for that purpose.

1908 – DeLeon withdraws SLPA support for the IWW and forms the Workers’ International Industrial Union (WIIU). 

James Larkin founds the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITGWU).

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded in New York City by a multiracial group of activists, many of them socialists who feel that SPA and labor movement are not doing enough for racial justice, though these remain SPA members.  In addition to several white socialists, founders include W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells, Archibald Grimke, and Mary Church Terrell.

1910 – The Socialist International declares 8 March as International Women's Day.

1911 – With full backing from Debs, Hubert Harrison organizes SPA’s first major outreach to Afro-Americans, the Colored Socialist Club in Harlem.

1912 – William Foster, Lucy Parsons, Tom Mooney, and others form the Syndicalist League of North America (later the Trade Union Educational League, or TUEL), which later becomes the Trade Union Unity League (TUUL) of the CPUSA.

Berger and Hillquit and the right-wing gain control of the SPA and expel Haywood and the rest of the left-wing.

The Bolshevik wing of the RSDLP formally severes relations with the Menshevik wing as the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party (RSDWP).

Larkin and Connolly found the Irish Labour Party.

The successful Bread and Roses strike takes place in the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts, planned and supported by the IWW and the Italian Socialist Federation (ISF), but carried out and led mostly by women.

The Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike begins when ten thousand miners in the Charleston, West Virginia, walk off their jobs for the right to organize and better working conditions.  When it ends a year later, between fifty and a hundred are dead.

1913 – The Dublin Lockout takes place in Ireland in response to a general strike there by the ITGWU.

The Brotherhood of Timber Workers, affiliated with the IWW, organizes the Working Class Union (WCU) outside the IWW, which includes wage workers, farmers, sharecroppers, doctors, and lawyers, in Louisiana, from which it spreads to Oklahoma, Arkansas, and other surrounding states. The IWW turns up its nose purely on ideological grounds because the WCU has members other than wage workers.

The ISNTUC changes its name to International Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU).

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns leave NAWSA to form the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CUWS) to fight for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote, which by then was more or less the same goal as the parent body.  The members of CUWS, however, advocated more aggressive tactics.

1914 – The Colorado National Guard carries out the Ludlow Massacre against striking mine workers and their families.

The First World War begins.

Marcus Garvey founds the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Kingston, Jamaica.

1915 – The Zimmerwald Union withdraws from the Second International over the “social patriotism” of its social-democratic leaders. 

C.W. Fitzgerald and SPA’s Left Wing organize the Socialist Propaganda League in Boston, allied to Lenin’s group.

Lenin forms the Bolshevik Central Committee. 

The Clyde Workers Committee is established in Glasgow, Scotland.

1916 – Two immigrants from the United Kingdom form the World Socialist Party as an associated branch of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. 

The Easter Rising takes place in Ireland, with the ITGWU’s Citizen Army among the republicans.

The Zimmerwald Union forms the International Socialist Commission, sometimes called the Berne International.  Its members include representatives from the Bolshevik, Menshevik, and Mezhraiontsy factions of the RSDLP as well as socialist parties and dissidents from social democratic parties of several other nations in Europe.

The Second International dissolves and the IFTU collapses.

The WFM changes its name to the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers (IUMMSW).

Garvey establishes the first local of UNIA in Harlem.

The CUWS becomes the National Woman’s Party (NWP).  The party still exists in the 21st century.

1917 – Leon Trotsky comes to New York City. 

The February Revolution takes place in the Russian Empire; Trotsky leaves NYC for Russia. 

The Bolsheviks lead the October Revolution, and adopt the name Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik). 

With the help of sympathizers in SPA, A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen establish The Messenger in Harlem as a socialist publication by blacks for blacks.  It publishes through 1928.

Pro-war members of SPA, including Walter Lippman, form the National Party.

The WCU carries out the Green Corn Rebellion against conscription in Oklahoma. The IWW offers no back up even though it shares the anti-conscription feeling. As a result, the organization is virtually destroyed.

In Harlem, Hubert Harrison of the SPA founds the Liberty League (and its newspaper, Voice: A Newspaper for the New Negro) as a more radical alternative to the NAACP.  This begins the New Negro Movement later known as the Harlem Renaissance.

1918 – The Communist Propaganda League is founded in Chicago and the Left Wing Section of Greater New York Locals is founded in NYC. 

Over 1300 Wobblies (members of the IWW) are arrested throughout the USA.

Helen Gurley Flynn founds the Workers Defense Union (WDU) under the auspices of the National Civil Liberties Bureau, the precursor to the ACLU.

The Bolsheviks expel the Mensheviks and the SR’s (Social-Revolutionaries) from the Soviets. 

The Russian Civil War begins; Lenin establishes “War Communism”.

Makno founds the Revolutionary Insurrectionary (Black) Army of Ukraine, which is at first opposed by, then allied with, and ultimately betrayed by the Bolsheviks, disintegrating in 1921.

1919-1920 - The First Red Scare

1919 – An attempt to revive the Second International, which becomes known as the Berne International, meets in Switzerland largely in opposition to Bolshevism, led by Karl Kautsky, Friedrich Adler, Rudolf Hilferding, and Eduard Bernstein, but fails to gain much traction.

The Communist (Third) International (Comintern) is founded in Moscow and the International Socialist Commission merges into it.  Attendees from America at the congress include SPA’s Left Wing, IWW, SLPA, and WIIU.

The National Executive of the SPA expels more than 70,000 members of the Left Wing.  The majority forms the National Council of the Left Wing, which established a separate Communist Party of America (CPA) under the leadership of Louis Fraina, Charles Ruthenberg, and others.  The minority under the leadership of James Larkin, Benjamin Gitlow, Jack Reed, Alfred Wagnknecht, and L.E. Katterfeld forms the Labor Committee of the Left Wing to attempt to reverse the coup against them.  After the Labor Committee loses, its members form the Communist Labor Party.

Debs is sentenced to ten years in prison because of his anti-war “Canton Speech” in 1918. 

A general strike in Seattle, Washington, begins when 35,000 shipyard workers walk out and other unions vote to support them.

The Elaine Massacre takes place in Phillips County, Arkansas, by local white citizens and 500 troops of the National Guard of over 200 black citizens.  The massacre was sparked by an incident at a meeting of black mostly sharecroppers and the Progressive Farmers and Household Union in nearby Hoop Spur.

J. Edgar Hoover becomes head of the General Intelligence Division of the FBI, specifically to target Socialists and Wobblies.  When he becomes chief of the Bureau five years later, his main mission is “Anti-Communism”.

The CWC begins the Red Clydeside movement with a general strike under the overall leadership of John Maclean. 

The Limerick Soviet has a brief existence during the Anglo-Irish War, which begins that same year with the Irish Citizen Army fighting with the “Irregulars”.

Representatives of trade unions federations from fourteen countries, including Gompers from the AFL, organize the International Federations of Trade Unions (IFTU).  After the new organization adopts social democracy as its policy, Gompers withdraws.

Cyril Briggs founds the African Blood Brotherhood (ABB) in Harlem.

The IFTU is revives itself this year.

1920 – NAWSA becomes the League of Women Voters (LWV).

The Palmer Raids takes place in the USA. 

Fraina’s CPA and the CLP go underground; the Michigan Group breaks away from the CPA as the Proletarian Party. Charles Ruthenberg’s faction of the CPA unites with Reed’s CLP as the United Communist Party (UCP) under Alfred Wagenknecht. 

Three factions begin to emerge in the remainder of the SPA: the Old Guard, the Militants, and the Progressives.  The Left Wing remaining in the SPA forms the Committee for the Third International under J. Louis Engdahl and William Kruse.

The Communist Party of Great Britain is founded by the merger of several small socialist parties.

The French Communist Party breaks away from the French Section of the Workers International.

Three thousand miners in Logan County, West Virginia, belonging to the UMW go out on strike, leading to the Matewan Massacre.

William Foster organizes the Trade Union Educational League (TUEL).

Representatives from the American Women’s Emergency Committee, the Farmer-Labor Party, and the Socialist Party of New York form the American Labor Alliance for Trade Relations with Russia (ALA).

Bishop William Brown of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA, formerly Ordinary of Arkansas and currently a member of SPA, publishes Communism and Christianism, repudiating organized religion in favor of Marxian socialism.  For this, in 1924 he becomes the first bishop since the Reformation tried and convicted of heresy, after which he is deposed and excommunicated, later consecrated as a bishop of the Old Catholic Church.

The Christian Democratic parties of Europe sponsor the formation of the World Confederation of Labour (WCL), initially as the International Confederation of Christian Trade Unions.

The Nineteenth Amendment is passed by Tennessee and becomes ratified in August as part of the U.S. Constitution.  The LMV and the NWP begin pushing for an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

1921 – In Logan County, West Virginia, ten thousand coal miners confront what is initially 3000 sheriff's deputies and scabs, but grows into 30,000 including West Virginia state police and U.S. Army, in the five-day Battle of Blair Mountain, the culmination of a insurrection that began after the Matewan Massacre the previous year.  President Harding sent in federal troops, including a squadron of fourteen airplanes commanded by Billy Mitchell.  One hundred of the strikers are killed and 985 arrested to thirty deaths on the side of the allies of Big Coal.

The Kronstadt Rebellion takes place in Russia and is crushed by Bolshevik troops under Trotsky.

The Red International of Labor Unions (Profintern) is founded in Moscow.

The Peasant International (Crestintern) is founded in Moscow. 

The Committee for the Third International leaves the SPA and forms the Workers’ Council of the United States.

The United Communist Party and the Communist Party of America unite under the latter’s name and are joined by Foster’s TUEL, the Workers’ Council, and the ALA.  The new CPA establishes the Workers’ Party of America (WPA) as its above-ground affiliate. 

The Mensheviks are outlawed in Russia and its associated states. 

The Workers’ Opposition, Gavril Miasnikov’s Workers’ Group, and Timofei Sapranov’s Democratic Centralists (Decists) all lose out at the 10th All-Russian Congress of Soviets.

The International Working Union of Socialist Parties (IWUSP), aka the 2 1/2 or Vienna International, is organized in Vienna by Friedrich Adler, Julius Martov, and Otto Bauer as an alternative to both the Comintern and the Berne International.

The ISS of 1905 becomes the League for Industrial Democracy (LID).

SPA’s Rand School establishes Camp Tamiment in the Poconos Mountains of Pike Co., Pennsylvania, operated by the People’s Educational Camp Society (PECS), as a socialist educational summer camp for trade union workers but gradually operating more as a resort.

Cyril Briggs joins the reunited Communist Party of America, bringing his ABB with him as the party’s organization focused on Afro-American issues.

1922 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established. 

The “Left Opposition” breaks away from the CPA calling itself CPA-Central Caucus, with the United Toilers of America as its above-ground apparatus. 

The CPA itself is split between the “Geese” and the “Liquidators”. 

Joseph Stalin is named General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).

The anarchist International Workers Association is founded in Berlin. It still exists.

1923 – The American factions unite as the Workers’ Party of America, abolishing their underground organizations, except for one faction which remains underground for several more years. 

The Berne International reunites with the Vienna International as the Labour and Socialist International.  The IFTU affiliates with it.

John Maclean forms the Scottish Workers Republican Party in Glasgow.

1924 – The IWW is split between the decentralist James Rowan faction favoring “Organizing on the Job” and the centralist Four Trey faction favoring “Political Action”, with the former group breaking off as the Emergency Program.

The WIIU ceases to exist.

Alexander Trachtenberg founds International Publishers, an outlet for socialist, labor, and other left-wing writings.

1925 – The Workers Party of America becomes the Workers (Communist) Party (WCP) and organizes itself along the lines of the CPSU. The WCP organizes the International Labor Defense.

The WCP establishes the American Negro Labor Congress (ANLC) after consultation with the Comintern, largely on the basis of the defunct ABB.

The SLPA expels its Bronx section, most of whom join together to form the Industrial Union League (IUL).

1926 – Trotsky, along with Lev Kamenev and Gregory Zinoviev, forms the United Opposition in the CPSU.

1927 – Alexander Trachtenberg, president of International Publishers, and other members of WCP and of the SPA establish the Labor Research Association (LRA), a left-wing labor statistics bureau.

1928 – The WCP expels Trotsky’s adherents, the majority of whom form the Communist League of America (CLA) under James Canon. 

A.J. Muste forms the Conference for Progressive Labor Action (CPLA). 

The International Left Opposition organizes.

The Comintern establishes its Third Period policy, marked by hostility toward non-Communist political left groups and abandonment of the tactic of infiltrating existing trade unions in favor of establishment of radical dual unions.

1929 – A.J. Muste establishes the Conference for Progressive Labor Action (CPLA).

The Great Depression begins.

The WCP changes its name to the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and founds the Young Communist League (YCL).

Jay Lovestone’s supporters in the CPUSA are expelled and form the Communist Party Opposition Group (later the Independent Labor League of America, or ILLA).

1930 – CPUSA organizes the Unemployed Councils of the USA and the League of Struggle for Negro Rights (replacing the ANLC).

A.J. Muste organizes the National Unemployed League (NUL).

In line with the Comintern's Third Period policy, Foster reorganizes the TUEL as the Trade Union Unity League (TUUL), which becomes the American affiliate of Profintern.

The Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) forms in the Philippines.

1931 – The Harlan County War takes place in Kentucky.

Albert Weisbord founds the Communist League of Struggle (CLS). 

The CPUSA’s regional committee based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, forms the Share Croppers Union (SCU) in Alabama.

1932 – Miles Horton, Don West, and James Dombrowski, all members of SPA, found the Highlander Folk School in Summerfield, near Monteagle, Tennessee, with Horton as director.

The moribund Knights of Labor holds its last convention.

The International Revolutionary Marxist Centre (IRMC), aka 3 1/2 International, is organized in London for the same reasons as its predecessor, the 2 1/2 International; its American affiliate is Lovestone’s ILLA.

The (DeLeonist) American Labor Party is founded by Joseph Brandon and other socialists expelled from the Industrial Union League (IUL) as the Industrial Union Alliance.

Cox’s Army of unemployed Pennsylvanians marches on Washington, D.C.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army chief-of-staff, personally leads the 12th Infantry and 3rd Cavalry to attack the Bonus Army.

1933 – The IUL announces its transformation into the Industrial Union Party.

The Intercollegiate Student Council of LID reorganizes as the Student League of Industrial Democracy (SLID).

Muste’s CPLA reorganizes as the American Workers Party (AWP).  One of its first acts is to establish National Unemployed Leagues (NUL).

1934 – The Auto Lite Strike takes place in Toledo, OH (led by the AWP), longshoremen strike all ports on the West Coast (led by the IWW and the CPUSA), and the teamsters of Minneapolis, MN, strike against all bosses (led by the Trotskyite CLA).

The Great Textile Workers Strike of over 400,000 mill workers takes place in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the South.  In the latter region, striking workers, male and female, are rounded up by the National Guards of their states and sent to concentration camps at Fort Oglethorpe in northern Georgia.

Muste’s AWP merges with Canon’s CLA to form the Workers Party (WP).

Leftists in the SPA form the Revolutionary Policy Committee and ally with the ILLA, which dissolves to join the SPA.

The SPA forms the racially-integrated Southern Tenant Farmers Union (STFU), which becomes the National Farm Labor Union in 1947.  The NFLU becomes the National Agricultural Workers Union (NAWU) in 1956, which merges into the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America in 1960.  The AMCBWA merges with the Retail Clerks International Union in 1979 to form the United Food and Commercial Workers.

The Comintern introduces its Popular Front policy advocating cooperation between Communists and socialists and other leftists in resistance against fascism.  In America, CPUSA seeks tactical alliances with SPA and support FDR’s New Deal.

- Ten industrial unions leave the AFL under John Lewis to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) with other unions, including the IUMMSW (formerly WFM).

SLID merges with the National Student League (NSL) of CPUSA as the American Student Union (ASU).

The SPA establishes the Workers Alliance of America (WAA), its counterpart to the Unemployed Councils of CPUSA.

1936 – The Spanish Civil War begins; many American Communists and other radicals join the Lincoln Battalion and the Washington Battalion of the Fifteenth International Brigade to fight on the side of the Spanish Republicans, as do many left republicans and loyalists from Ireland in the Connolly Column.

The new United Auto Workers (UAW) of the also new CIO begins a campaign of sit-down strikes for union recognition against GM and its subsidiaries, first in Atlanta, Georgia (18 November), then in Kansas City, Missouri (16 December), next in Cleveland, Ohio (28 December), and finally and most famously in Flint, Michigan (30 December).  In all, some 140,000 workers at over 50 plants go out on strike or are forced to stop work due to lack of parts.  The strike wave ends in 1937 with recognition of UAW by all three major car manufacturers.

The Trotskyite Workers Party dissolves and its members join the SPA as phase one of its French Turn operation in America. 

Most of the SPA’s Old Guard faction leave under David Dubinsky to form the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) , with which the Rand School and Camp Tamiment affiliate.  The remaining SPA members split into the Moderates supporting the American Labor Party, Clarity, and the Trotskyite-supporting Appeal.

Members of the defunct DeLeonist American Labor Party form into the League for Socialist Revolution.

CPUSA’s Unemployed Councils and (Muste’s) WP’s National Unemployed Leagues unite with SPA’s Workers Alliance of America under the name of the last organization, which survives through 1941.

1937-1938 – The Great Purge in the USSR.

1937 – Memorial Day Massacre of striking steelworkers of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee and their families by the Chicago Police Department, in which police opened fire on the unarmed people, killing ten and wounding over a hundred.

1938 – The Trotskyites are expelled from the SPA and form the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and later the Fourth International. 

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) is established.

1939 – The Menshevik leadership and their paper, Socialist Messenger, emigrate from Paris to New York City, where they function until the mid-1970s.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany ends the Popular Front.  A week later, Germany invades Poland and World War II begins.

1940 – SWP dissidents under Max Shachtman leave to form the Workers Party USA, which later becomes the Independent Socialist League (ISL).

The IRMC (International Revolutionary Marxist Centre) dissolves due to the Second World War.

1940 – The ASU dissolves.

1942 – The PKP forms Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon in the Philippines to fight the Japanese, which later becomes the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan after the war.

A multiracial group of whites (two-thirds) and blacks (one-third) forms the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) with the mission to bring about equality for all people regardless of race, creed, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background”.

1944 – Earl Browder transforms the CPUSA into the Communist Political Association (on orders from Moscow), a change reversed the next year when Browder is expelled.

The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation wins control of government of Saskatchewan province, Canada, to become the first socialist government in North America.

1945-1973 - Golden Age of Capitalism.

1945 – American servicemen in Germany and the Philippines strike for repatriation and in the latter against deployment to China to fight the Communist forces there.

1946-1953 - Operation Dixie, the campaign of the CIO to unionize the South, which largely failed.

1946 – The Labour and Socialist International, having dissolved in the face of the war, reconstitutes as simply the Socialist International.

Strikes by women in two department stores in Los Angeles turn into a general strike citywide when 1400 police are sent in to put them down.

The McMinn County War takes place in Tennessee when returning veterans and their allies take up arms against the corrupt sheriff's department in order to secure a clean and fair election.

SLID reconstitutes during Christmas break of this year.

1947-1954 - The Second Red Scare.

1947 - The clique of C.L.R. James (alias J.R. Johnson) and Raya Dunayevskaya (alias Freddie Forest) splits from the Shachtmanite Workers Party over its insistence that the USSR is "bureaucratic collectivist" where they hold it to be "state capitalist".  They rejoin the SWP, forming within it the Johnson-Forest Tendency.

1948 – SPA member Frank Zeidler becomes mayor of Milwaukee, and retains office until the year 1960.

The Turning Point Group, named for its publication, results from the merger of three anti-revisionist groups splintering from CPUSA this year.

1949-1950 - Coal miners’ general strike.  Beginning in West Virginia under leadership of the Johnson-Forrest Tendency of the SWP and at first authorized by UMWA president Lewis, it rapidly spreads to all of Appalachia and then to the West.  After Lewis prematurely orders the miners back to work, the strike becomes as much against him and his collaboration as against Big Coal.

1949 - The last local of the Knights of Labor votes to dissolve.

Differences within the WFTU over the Marshal Plan lead members unions from Western Europe to secede and form the international Conference of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

1950 – The McCarthy Hearings begin.

The PKP reforms the wartime Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon as the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB).

1951 - The Johnson-Forest Tendency splits from the SWP and founds the Correspondence Publishing Committee (CPC).

1953 – The Cochran-Barverman group secedes from the SWP and forms the Socialist Union.

1954 – The Turning Point Group renames itself the Communist League.

1955 – The AFL and the CIO reunite as the AFL-CIO.

A dissident group under Dunayevskaya splits from the CPC (Correspondence Publishing Committee) and founds the News and Letters Committee.

1956 – Under pressure from the Socialist International, Dubinsky’s SDF merges with the SPA as the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation (SP-SDF), with the right wing of SDF holding out as the Demcratic Socialist Federation (DSF).

The PECS, which runs Camp Tamiment, purchases the Rand School and Meyer London Library, whose operations it has been funding up to 75%, and closes the school but keeps the renamed the Ben Josephson Library, in an attempt to maintain the tax-exempt status of the resort.

1957 – In the aftermath of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black leaders in the region organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to carry out campaigns of nonviolence against Jim Crow throughout the South.

1958 – The CPUSA loses its right wing under John Gates; its anti-revisionist hard left, known as the Marxist-Leninist Caucus, secedes as the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the United States (POC); remaining are its center under General Secretary Eugene Dennis and its soft-left under William Foster and Ben Davis.  Leaders of the POC include Harry Haywood, Nelson Peery, Noel Ignatin, and Hosea Hudson.

Shachtman’s ISL dissolves and its members join the SP-SDF. 

Left-leaning members of the SP-SDF form the “Independent Socialist Clubs” under Hal Draper, in some cases replacing SP-SDF locals entirely.

1959 – Cuban rebels under Fidel Castro take Havana, and Communism comes to Cuba.

The Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID) becomes the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

1960 – Members of YPSL, including Stokely Carmichael, help form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Young SWPers form the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA).

1961 – The anti-revisionist group Hammer and Steel (now known as the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, with several name changes in between, most notably Ray O. Light) splits from CPUSA.  Its unique positions call for an Afro-American nation in the Black Belt, a Chicano nation in the Southwest, and an Appalachian nation.

The Highlander Folk School is closed by the State of Tennessee for allegedly violating its charter.  It reincorporates as Highlander Research and Education Center later in the year.  In 1971, it moves from Summerfield in Grundy County to New Market in Jefferson County.

1962 – The Maoists are expelled from the CPUSA and organize as the Progressive Labor Movement (PLM).

Muhammad Ahmad forms the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM).

In separate areas of California, Cesar Chavez forms the mostly Mexican National Farm Workers Association and Dolores Huerta forms the mostly Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee.

1963 – Camp Tamiment donates the Ben Josephson Library to New York University, where it becomes the Tamiment Library.

A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin organize the March of Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which takes place 28 August and features as its keynote speaker Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Their coalition includes the SCLC, the NAACP, the Urban League, SNCC, CORE, and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the UAW, the National Council of Churches, the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice, and the American Jewish Congress.

1964 – Freedom Summer takes place in Mississippi. 

The Free Speech Movement takes place in Berkley, California.

SP-SDF changes its name to the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA). Members of SPUSA under Draper leave to form the Independent Socialist Club, later known simply as the Independent Socialists. YPSL is dissolved.

Herbert Aptheker establishes the American Institute for Marxist Studies.

SNCC and SDS assist students at white colleges and universities throughout the South organize the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC), both serving as allies throughout its existence.  SSOC was especially tied to SDS, with joint SSOC-SDS chapters across the region.

In November, Earnest "Chilly Willy" Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kilpatrick organize the Deacons of Defense and Justice to protect civil rights workers and their families.

1965 – The PLM forms the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) , which in turn organizes a youth wing, the May 2nd Movement, primarily to protest U.S. imperialism, particularly the Viet Nam War.

1966 – LID (League for Industrial Democracy) severes its connection with the SDS over its removal of the clause excluding Communists. 

The PLP’s May 2nd Movement dissolves and its members join the SDS. 

Huey Newton, Bobby Seales, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, “Li’l” Bobby Hutton, Reggie Forte, and Sherman Forte found the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence.

The Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee under Larry Itliong and the National Farm Workers Association under Cesar Chavez join together to become the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, which affiliates with AFL-CIO in 1972 as United Farm Workers of America.

The National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) forms in opposition to the increasing redistribution of wealth from the War on Poverty to the War on Viet Nam and to Congressional restrictions on citizens’ access to its programs thru work requirements and similar demeaning rules.  NWRO remains active thru 1975.

George Wiley of CORE establishes the Poverty Rights Action Center in Washington, D.C. to support NWRO.

1967 – YPSL is reestablished.

The IUMMSW (International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers; formerly the WFM) merges with the United Steelworkers of America.

1968 – Worldwide civil unrest, in large part over the Viet Nam War. 

The holdout DSF (Democratic Socialist Federation) finally merges with the SPUSA as the SPUSA-DSF. 

Jose Maria Sison and other Maoists in the PKP break away to form the Communist Party of the Philippines, Marxist-Leninist/Mao Zedong Thought. 

Hooper, Zeigler, and others in the SPUSA’s left wing form the Debs Caucus out of unhappiness with the direction in which the Shachtman-Harrington leadership is taking the party. 

The Black Panthers help form the Peace and Freedom Party.

The Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement strikes against dangerous working conditions at Dodge Main.

The main body of POC (Provisional Organizing Committee, 1958) reorganizes as the American Workers Communist Party (AWCP), while a small faction in Watts forms the California Communist League (CCL).

Junebug Boykin, Doug Youngblood, Jimmy Curry, Hy Thurman, William “Preacherman” Fesperman, and others form the Young Patriots Organization (YPO) in the Uptown white slum area of Chicago nicknamed “Hillbilly Harlem”.

Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez reorganizes the Young Lords street gang as a national civil and human rights movement.

The SCLC, recently deprived of Dr. King by his assassination, leads the Poor People’s March on Washington with the primary goal of pressuring Congress to enact an Economic Bill of Rights protecting poor people and to end American participation in the Viet Nam War.  Supporting organizations included the NWRO, the American Friends Service Committee, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, the Youth International Party, Highland Center, scores of minority activist groups, volunteers from the Peace Corps and VISTA, the United Steelworkers, UAW, farm workers, coal miners, and the CPUSA.

1969 – The Days of Rage in Chicago. 

The SDS disintegrates from factional feuding, initially between Workers Student Alliance (WSA) of the PLP and the anti-PLP Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM).  The latter subsequently splits between RYM I, which becomes the Weather Underground Organization (Marxist-Leninist), and RYM II, which splinters into a number of groups collectively known as the New Communist Movement (NCM) , the largest of which is Bob Avakian’s Revolutionary Union (RU).

SNCC and SSOC dissolve over many of the same issues as SDS.

The French Section of the Workers International becomes the Socialist Party.

Bernabe “Ka Dante” Buscayno of the HMB forms the New Peoples Army (NPA) as the fighting wing of the CPP, M-L/MZT. The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is formed at the same time.

Several “Revolutionary Union Movements” of Afro-American workers in Detroit join together as the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), which lasts two years but is nonetheless hugely influential in the movement.

A number of former RYM II members organize the Sojourner Truth Organization (STO), which produces a large volume of unique and influential literature till it dissolves in 1985.

The Chicago Black Panthers under Fred Hampton, the Young Patriots under Preacherman Fesperman, and the Young Lords under Cha Cha Jimenez come together in the original Rainbow Coalition of Revolutionary Solidarity as a multi-ethnic umbrella organization.  It later expands to include Rising Up Angry (another radical group for poor whites), the Lincoln Park Poor People’s Coalition, and local chapters of the American Indian Movement, Brown Berets (Chicano), I Wor Kuen (Asian-Americans), White Panther Party, JOIN (Jobs Or Income Now) Community Union, Intercommunal Survival Committee, Red Guard Party (Chinese-American), and SDS.  The umbrella organization eventually spread nationwide.

1970 – Communists and other left-wing members of the AFL-CIO form the National Organizing Committee for Trade Union Action and Democracy. 

Marxist Salvador Allende is elected President of Chile.

1971 – Michael Harrington forms the Coalition Caucus within the SPUSA-DSF. Shachtman and his followers, the dominant faction of the SPUSA-DSF, style themselves the Unity Caucus.

The Georgia Communist League, Marxist-Leninist, and the October League, Marxist Leninist, groups that came out of RYM II, merge as the October League.

1972 – The Unity Caucus transforms the SPUSA-DSF into the Social Democrats USA (SDUSA) and YPSL into Young Social Democrats. The Coalition Caucus leaves to form the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC).  The Debs Caucus organizes the Union for Democratic Socialism (UDS).

Avakian’s RU (Revolutionary Union)  organizes its youth wing as the Attica Brigade, which in 1974 becomes the Revolutionary Student Brigade (RSB).

The PECS, which operates Camp Tamiment, becomes the Tamiment Institute.

1973 – The UDS and others of the SPUSA “Old Guard” (not Dubinsky’s group), plus the state parties of Wisconsin, California, and Illinois along with several locals, reconstitute the Socialist Party USA. 

Allende of Chile commits suicide after a coup d’etat engineered by the USG. 

The cross-party Scottish Republican Socialist Clubs (SRSC) is organized.

The Workers Action Movement (WAM) splinters from the PLP.

The Communist Workers Party (CWP), a Maoist group, is organized as the Asian Study Group, which becomes the Workers Viewpoint Organization in 1976 before becoming CWP in 1979.

1974 – The New Unionist Party is formed by dissidents from the SLPA.

The CCL joins with La Colectiva del Pueblo in California and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in Detroit to form the Communist Labor Party in the United States of North America (CLPUSNA).

1975 – Seaumus Costello organizes the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).

Avakian forms the Revolutionary Communist Party USA (RCPUSA) from the RU (Revolutionary Union).

1977 – The Revolutionary Workers Headquarters (RWH) splits from the RCP, taking most of the RSB with it; RSB members remaining with RCP become the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB).

The October League reorganizes as the Communist Party, Marxist-Leninist (CP, M-L); among its notable members is Harry Haywood, founder of the former POC.

The New York Central Labor Council, Tamiment Institute, New York AFL-CIO, and NYU establish the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.

1978 – The League of Revolutionary Struggle, Marxist-Leninist (LRS, M-L) forms from the merger of two ethnic-based NCM groups, and in later years absorbs others.

1979 – The Frente Sandinista Liberacion Nacional overthrows Somoza in Nicaragua, and its leader, Daniel Orgeta, is elected President of Nicaragua.

The Greensboro Massacre of two CWP members and three anti-KKK rally participants by members of the Loyal Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.

1980-present - Age of the neoliberal Washington Concensus.

1980 – The League for Socialist Revolution and the New Unionists unite as the New Union Party.

The RSB (Revolutionary Students Brigade) of the RWH (Revolutionary Workers Headquarters) unites with the Student Coalition Against Nukes Nationwide (SCANN) and Midwest Coalition Against Registration and the Draft (MidCARD) in the Progressive Student Network (PSN).

1982 – Harrington’s DSOC merges with the New American Movement of pre-Weatherman SDSers to become the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), with its youth section known as Young Democratic Socialists. 

DSA member David Dinkins is elected Mayor of NYC. 

The SRSC becomes the Scottish Republican Socialist Party (SRSP).

1984 – Sandinista Daniel Ortega is overwhelmingly elected President of Nicaragua.

1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev becomes President of the USSR and launches his programs of glasnostperestroika, uskoreniye, and demokratizatsiya.

Three groups formed out of the RYM II—RWH, Organization for Revolutionary Unity, and Proletarian Unity League—merge as the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO).

The CWP dissolves and reorganizes as the New Democratic Movement, which fades after a couple of years.

1986 – Labor Militant is founded by members of the Trotskyist Committee for a Workers International who migrated to the USA.  It later becomes Socialist Alternative.

1988 – FRSO absorbs the Amilcar Cabral-Paul Robeson Collective, an NCM group spawned by the RYM II.

1989 – YPSL is once again reestablished as the youth affiliate of the SPUSA.

1990 – Self-described independent socialist Bernie Sanders is elected to Congress from Vermont.

The LRS, M-L dissolves; some of its members reorganize as the Socialist Organizing Network (SON).

1991 – CPUSA dissidents of the “Initiative Group” withdraw and form the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. 

In the aftermath of a failed coup d’etat attempt, the USSR collapses, and eventually breaks up into its constituent republics. 

The CPGB collapses in the aftermath due to in-feuding.

1993 – The CLPUSNA (Communist Labor Party in the United States of North America, 1974) disbands.  Former members establish a National Organizing Committee which organizes the League of Revolutionaries for a New America.

1994 – The FRSO absorbs the SON (Socialist Organizing Network).

1995 – John Sweeney, an active member of the DSA, is elected president of the AFL-CIO; the AFL-CIO removes its prohibitions against Communists, Socialists, and other radicals. Samuel Gompers reportedly begins spinning in his grave.

1998 – The IWW’s membership grows to more than 1200 for the first times in 45 years.

The Onda Rosa, or Pink Tide, in Latin America begins when Socialist Hugo Chavez is first elected President of Venezuela.

1999 – Members of three small socialist parties in Scotland merge together as the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). 

The SRSP reverts to a crossparty organization as the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement.

The FRSO splits in two, both organizations continuing to use the name.

2001 – The Tamiment Library and Wagner Labor Achives acquire the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.

2002 – Luiz da Silva of the Workers Party, is first elected President of Brasil.

2003 – The Debs Tendency is formed in the SPUSA supporting the “development of the SPUSA as a revolutionary socialist political party of the working class” and “regroupment with other democratic revolutionary socialist parties into a single revolutionary party”. The Grass Roots Tendency is formed in the SPUSA supporting “revolutionary socialist politics”. 

The SSP (Scottish Socialist Party) elects six MSPs.

2004 – The Fist and Rose Caucus is founded in the SPUSA supporting relations with the Socialist International. The Direct Action Tendency is formed in the SPUSA to focus on direct action. 

Tabare Vazquez, of the leftist Frente Amplio, is elected President of Uruguay.

2005 – The Service Employees Industrial Union, the Teamsters Union, the Union of Needle Trades, Industrial and Textile Employees, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union leave the AFL-CIO to establish the Change To Win Federation. The Laborers International Union of North America and the United Farm Workers join the next year.

Evo Morales, of the Movement Toward Socialism, is elected President of Bolivia. 

Leftist Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is elected President of Argentina.

Leftist Manuel Zelaya is elected President of Honduras.

Leftist Tabare Vazquez is elected President of Uruguay.

SDUSA ceases operation.

2006 – The Students for a Democratic Society is re-established by persons including several members of the original, such as Tom Hayden, and members of the Direction Action Tendency of SPUSA. 

Bernie Sanders becomes the first socialist elected to the U.S. Senate. 

Socialist Michelle Bachelet is elected President of Chile. 

Socialist Rafael Correa is elected President of Ecuador. 

FSLN leader Daniel Ortega is (again) elected President of Nicaragua.

The ICFTU and the WCL merge as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

2007 – The Great Recession begins.

Former members of the SPUSA’s Fist and Rose Caucus, members of DSA, and former members of SDUSA found the Social Democratic Party of America.

The Tamiment Library and Wagner Labor Archives acquires the archives of CPUSA.

2008 – Fidel Castro steps down as President of Cuba and is succeeded by his brother, Raul. 

Fernando Lugo, from the Patriotic Alliance for Change, is elected President of Paraguay, the first not of the Colorado Party in 61 years.

The Socialist Labor Party of America, the oldest socialist party in the United States and the lasting surviving remnant of the First International, closes its national office.

2009 – The formerly insurgent Frente Marti Liberacion Nacional (FMLN) wins the national elections in El Salvador, including both the presidency and control of parliament.

An attempt to revive SDUSA ends with a split into two separate organizations.

2011 – The Occupy Wall Street movement against the domination of the economy by stock market, financial institutions, and corporations and the domination of politics by money begins in September and within a month spreads worldwide.

2013 – Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative and Occupy activist is elected to the City Council of Seattle, Washington.

2016 – Bernie Sanders runs as an openly democratic socialist for nomination to be presidential candidate of the Democratic Party and wins twenty-two state contests.

In the aftermath of Bernie’s presidential run, numerous democratic socialists run for office, many of them winning, and membership in the DSA jumps to from a few thousand to an astounding 56,000.

2020 – The Equal Rights Amendment, submitted to the states for ratification in 1972, passes in the Virginia General Assembly, making it the 38th state to do so and thereby reaching the prescribed threshold.  However, it is unclear whether the ERA will actually be added to the Constitution due to the length of time since its submission to the states.

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