Page 11

Title page


Foreward to 2002 edition

Chapter 1: The Anti-Imperialist League 1898-1902
Pages 3 - 4

Chapter 2: The People's Council 1917-1919
Pages 5 - 6 - 7

Chapter 3: The American League Against War and Fascism and the Emergency Peace Campaign 1933-1939
Pages 8 - 9 - 10

Chapter 4: The Progressive Citizens of America 1946-1948
Pages 11-12

Chapter 5: The "Mobes" against the Vietnam War 1966-1970
Pages 13-14

Chapter 6: The Nuclear Freeze Movement and People-to-People Diplomacy 1980-1990
Pages 15-16-17-18

Chapter 7: Global Movement for a Culture of Peace 2000-
Pages 19-20-21

Chapter 8: The Root Causes of War
Pages 22-23-24-25-26-27

Chapter 9: The Future of the Peace Movement
Pages 28-29-30-31

Pages 32-33-34-35-36

Page 37

The death of Roosevelt and the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 marked the end of an era as well as the end of the war. Roosevelt and his Vice President Henry Wallace had made plans for cooperation with the Soviet Union after the war in the framework of the United Nations. But the new President Truman took the opposite position of confrontation. Meeting with liberal leaders while the war was still raging in April 1945 Truman banged his fist on the desk and exclaimed, "We have to get tough with the Russians...We've got to teach them how to behave." As a lesson to the Russians, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and opened the age of nuclear terrorism.

As the Cold War was heated up by the Truman administration, many of the liberals and Leftists who had supported Roosevelt fought back by forming the Progressive Citizens of America in 1946. By mid-1947, it had 25,000 members with chapters in 19 states of which 15 had paid staff members. When Wallace barnstormed America in 1947, 200,000 people turned out to hear him speak against the Cold War and call for cooperation with the Soviet Union. And by the end of the year, Wallace announced his candidacy for President, running on a peace platform under the banner of a new third party, the Progressive Party (note 8).

Figure 4. Nominating convention of progressive party - 1948 nominating convention of progrssive party

The Progressive Party platform called for "negotiation and discussion with the Soviet Union to find areas of agreement to win the peace." It called for repeal of the draft, and an end to military and economic intervention in support of reactionary regimes in China, Greece, Turkey, the Mideast, and Latin America, as well as independence for Puerto Rico and self-determination for all colonial areas. And finally, it called for "continuous strengthening of the United Nations" and a world disarmament agreement to outlaw the atomic bomb.

The strong stand against colonialism by the Progressive Party reflected the active involvement of the most outstanding Afro-American leadership of the times. W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson played major roles in the campaign. They expressed the awakening interest of Afro-Americans in the world-wide national liberation struggles, and especially those in Africa that were taking place as the old colonial empires crumbled during and after World War II.

The Progressive Citizens of America had grown out of a working class base. Many of its organizers had been involved with the Political Action Committee of the Congress of Industrial Organizations during the War. CIO unions had been organized during the Thirties with major input from Communist Party organizers, and by 1945 they represented almost half of the nation's workers and were taking positions in favor of peaceful relations with the Soviet Union. In 1945 they exchanged delegations with the Soviet trade unions and joined with them in the World Federation of Trade Unions.

(continued on next page)

previous page
home page
next page