Workers Party of America

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Workers Party of America
FoundedLate 1921 (Late 1921)
DissolvedMid 1929 (Mid 1929)
Succeeded byCPUSA
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationComintern
Colors  Red

The Workers Party of America (WPA) was the name of the legal party organization used by the Communist Party USA from the last days of 1921 until the middle of 1929.


As a legal political party, the Workers Party accepted affiliation from independent socialist groups such as the African Blood Brotherhood, the Jewish Socialist Federation and the Workers' Council of the United States. In the meantime, the underground Communist Party, with overlapping membership, conducted political agitation. By 1923, the aboveground party sought to engage the Socialist Party of America (SPA) in united front actions, but it was rebuffed. Both the WPA and the SPA engaged in separate labor party efforts, prior to the presidential election of 1924. The SPA participated in the Conference for Progressive Political Action, which dissolved itself into the Progressive Party. The WPA succeeded in dominating the national Farmer–Labor Party, but that organization quickly returned to its constituent parts. At its 1925 convention, the group renamed itself the Workers (Communist) Party and in 1929 the Communist Party, USA. The party's youth affiliate was named the Young Workers League, Young Workers (Communist) League and Young Communist League in tandem with the parent organization.

As the Communist International entered the Third Period, the principle of a leftist united front was abandoned in favor of a single above-ground Communist Party. The above-ground Workers Party and underground party were thus gradually merged in a series of party conferences in the late 1920s into the Communist Party USA.

Convention of Establishment & Principles[edit]

The convention for the establishment of the party took place on December 23–26, 1921 at the Labor Temple on East 84th Street, New York with 150 delegates.

Accompanying the convention call was a statement of principles which read:

1. The Workers’ Republic: To lead the working masses in the struggle for the abolition of capitalism through the establishment of a government by the working class—a Workers’ Republic in America.

2. Political Action: To participate in all political activities, including electoral campaigns, in order to utilize them for the purpose of carrying our message to the masses. The elected representatives of the Workers Party will unmask the fraudulent capitalist democracy and help mobilize the workers for the final struggle against their common enemy.

3. The Labor Unions: To develop labor organizations into organs of militant struggle against capitalism, expose the reactionary labor bureaucrats, and educate the workers to militant unionism.

4. A Fighting Party: It shall be a party of militant, class conscious workers, bound by discipline and organized on the basis of democratic centralism, with full power in the hands of the Central Executive Committee between conventions. The Central Executive Committee of the Party shall have control over all activities of public officials. It shall also co-ordinate and direct the work of the Party members in the trade unions.

5. Party Press: The Party’s press shall be owned by the Party, and all its activities shall be under the control of the Central Executive Committee.



Before the party established its own publishing house for books (International Publishers) and pamphlets (Workers Library Publishers), the Workers Party and Workers (Communist) Party published a number of items under its own imprint, or in association with the Daily Worker.



Other parties with similar names[edit]


  1. ^ William Z. Foster, History of the Communist Party of the United States, 1952

External links[edit]