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The name Workers Party appears in the United States over three key historical periods in the development of the American left. In its first incarnation, the Workers Party was formed in December 1921 as the “legal organization” of the underground Communist Party. As James Cannon recounts in his The History of American Trotskyism (1944), “The Workers Party had a very limited program, but it became the medium through which all our legal public activity was carried on. Control rested in the underground Communist Party. The Workers Party encountered no persecution.” By 1923, members of the underground communist movement in the United States, with the support and authority of the Comintern World Congress, chose to work through the legal party rather than continue a division ...

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