2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

The Soviet-American Connection: The Relationship Between the Communist Party of the USA and the Soviet Union Prior to World War II
Patrick M. Lynch
Dr. Thomas Zoumaras and Dr. David Robinson, Faculty Mentors

Throughout the 1950s, the capturing and imprisonment of American Communists was a major priority for prominent politicians such as Senator Joseph McCarthy. These politicians believed that there was a distinct connection between the American Communist Party and the Soviet Union. Though historians have debated the Soviet-American Communist connections during the Cold War, the relationship between the two was actually fairly strong prior to World War II, during the Great Depression. This paper uses primary-source documents such as letters, speeches, and newspaper articles to present the argument that the American Communist Party was a functional agent of the Soviet Union during the 1930s. It will also discuss the backlash against the Party in that period, from politicians and from the newspapers, and it briefly contrasts the status of the CPUSA before and after World War II.

Keywords: Communist Party USA, Soviet Union, Great Depression

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 301-1
Location: VH 1236
Time: 1:00

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