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Guide to the Young People's Socialist League Records TAM 309

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
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Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 14, 2018

Descriptive Summary

Source - dnr: Baker, Zachary M.
Title: Young People's Socialist League Records
Dates: 1920-1960
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet in one manuscript box.
Mixed Materials [Box]: 1
Call Phrase: TAM 309

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Historical/Biographical Note

The Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) has been the name of the youth section of the Socialist Party USA (SP). It originated in New York City in 1907 as the Young People's Socialist Federation, however, by 1918 it became known as the YPSL (members were often referred to as Yipsels). In the 1930s, the majority of the YPSL membership sided with the Militant faction within the Socialist Party, led by Norman Thomas, against the more moderate "Old Guard" linked to the garment industry unions, the Rand School, and the SP's periodical, the New Leader, which withdrew from the SP in 1936 to form the Social Democratic Federation. In that same year, U.S. Trotskyists entered the SP and the YPSL en masse in an attempt to win them to their political program, and within the YPSL, they had considerable success. A number of Yipsels, such as sociologist Daniel Bell, would go on to become prominent intellectuals, in particular within the anti-communist left. The YPSL continued to exist, with some periodic mergers with other organizations and related name changes, into the 1980s, with Trotskyists, and former Trotskyists, playing an important role.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection, which focuses on the Greater New York (City) and national organizations of the Young People's Socialist League, contains correspondence, minutes, reports including a proposed program by Hal Draper (1934), educational and study materials, bulletins, newspapers, pamphlets, convention materials,clippings, a membership manual, fliers and other printed ephemera, and a souvenir program from a 1960 reunion. Principal themes documented include relations between the YPSL and the Socialist Party USA (with which the YPSL was affiliated), political debate within the YPSL and within the Socialist Party, the influence of Trotskyism within the YPSL, and attitudes towards the Communist movement. There are also documents and printed ephemera from the Socialist Party's Youth Committee, The Workmen's Circle, and the Young Communist League. While the collection spans the years 1920-1964, the bulk of the material is from the 1930s.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Baker, Zachary M.

Subject Organizations

  • Socialist Party (U.S.)
  • Socialist Party (U.S.). Youth Committee
  • Young Communist League of the U.S.
  • Young People's Socialist League.

Subject Topics

  • Communism -- United States.
  • Socialism and youth -- United States.
  • Trotskyism |z United States.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by the Young People's Socialist League, was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials donated by Zachary M. Baker, Librarian at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, Canada, in 1983. The accession number associated with this gift is 1950.229.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Bergner, Donald: Forgery Charges and Expulsion
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Blast (Bronx YPSL Newspaper)
Box: 1 Folder : 3 City College: Flyers (Drafts)
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Clippings
1935, 1937
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Communist Party Flyers and Pamphlets
undated, 1932
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Convention Handbook
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Correspondence
1933-1935, 1939
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Educational/Study Group Material
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Educational Department: Catalogs and Historical Booklets
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Falcon Call (Austrian Issue)
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Falcon Guides Convention
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Finances (Bronx?)
Box: 1 Folder : 13 "Give Work to Youth" Campaign
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Greater New York YPSL: Convention Reports
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Greater New York YPSL: Executive Committee Statement
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Greater New York YPSL: Revolutionary Policy Committee, Proposed Program (H. Draper)
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Leftwing of the YPSL (Bertman, Atkins, et al.): Defections to Workers Party, etc.
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Massachusetts YPSL: State Bulletin, Moscow Trials Issue
Box: 1 Folder : 19 Membership Manual
Box: 1 Folder : 20 National Student Bulletin
Box: 1 Folder : 21 New York Spartacus Youth League: Anti-war Flyer
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Organizing Plans
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Rand School: Clarion Ad
1920, 1935
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Rebel Songs
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Reports
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Reports, Minutes, Correspondence and Notes
Box: 1 Folder : 27 SPUSA-YPSL Conflict (New York City)
Box: 1 Folder : 28 SPUSA Youth Committee: Correspondence, Reports and Minutes
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Socialist Unity Conference: Levy Group Proposal
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Structure: Proposal
Box: 1 Folder : 31 United Front Committee for National Youth Day: YPSL Statement on
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Workmen's Circle: Meeting re: Heller-Geliebter
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Workmen's Circle: Petition from the National Fraternal Committee for Social Insurance
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Young Communist League: Flyers and Appeals to YPSL
undated, 1934
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Young Communist League: YPSL Statement on Splitting AFL Unions
Box: 1 Folder : 36 YPSL Reunion (1st Annual): Souvenir Program
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Youth (Circle 8 Seniors, Bronx)

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