This article is about the Socialist Party from the history of the United States in OTL. For the fictional counterpart in Southern Victory, see Socialist Party of the United States (Southern Victory).
The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic socialist and social democratic political party in the United States formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization in 1899.
In the first decades of the 20th century, it drew significant support from many different groups, including trade unionists, progressive social reformers, populist farmers and immigrants. Eugene V. Debs twice won over 900,000 votes in presidential elections (1912 and 1920) while the party also elected two United States Representatives, dozens of state legislators, more than a hundred mayors and countless lesser officials. The party's staunch opposition to American involvement in World War I, although welcomed by many, also led to prominent defections, official repression and vigilante persecution. The organization was further shattered by a factional war over how to respond to the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the subsequent defection of many members to the Communist Party.
After endorsing Progressive Party candidate Robert M. La Follette for President in 1924, the party returned to independent action at the presidential level. It had modest growth in the early 1930s behind presidential candidate Norman Thomas. The party's appeal was weakened by the popularity of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, the organization and flexibility of the rival Communist Party and the resurgent labor movement's desire to support sympathetic Democratic Party politicians. While the party was always strongly anti-fascist as well as anti-Stalinist, its opposition to American entry in World War II cost it both internal and external support.
The party stopped running presidential candidates after 1956, when its nominee Darlington Hoopes won fewer than 6,000 votes. In the 1970s, the Socialist Party divided into the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the Socialist Party USA.
Socialist Party in Joe Steele
Socialist Party nominee Norman Thomas came in third in the 1932 presidential election, trailing behind Democratic victor Joe Steele and Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover. In the succeeding years, the Steele machine's iron grip on the ballot box crushed the Socialists' already slim hope of ever electing a President.
- Joe Steele, pg. 36, HC.