US History

Fifty years since the Detroit rebellion

Part three: Liberal promises and capitalist reality in “New Detroit”

By Barry Grey, 24 July 2017

The WSWS is posting a three-part series originally published in July of 1987 under the title “Twenty years since the Detroit rebellion.” This is the third and final part. Part one was published on July 21, part two on July 22.

Fifty years since the Detroit rebellion

Part two: The explosion

By Barry Grey, 22 July 2017

The WSWS is posting a three-part series originally published in July of 1987 under the title “Twenty years since the Detroit rebellion.” This is the second part. Part one was published on July 21.

Fifty years since the Detroit rebellion

Part one: An uprising of the oppressed

By Barry Grey, 21 July 2017

The WSWS is posting a three-part series originally published in July of 1987 under the title “Twenty years since the Detroit rebellion.”

The political issues behind the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans

By Tom Hall, 20 May 2017

The decision by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to remove the statues is a tactical move aimed at bolstering the tattered reputation of the Democratic Party.

Trump on Jackson and the Civil War: Historical ignorance and the decline of the American presidency

By Tom Mackaman, 4 May 2017

In recent comments, the president said the Civil War was an avoidable mistake and that Andrew Jackson was angered by it—though Jackson had been dead for 16 years at the war’s outbreak.

Trump turns to American history

The strange political afterlife of Andrew Jackson

By Tom Mackaman, 21 March 2017

The political art of Jackson, which so inspires the Trump administration, consisted of his ability to obscure powerful contradictions behind a veil of nationalism and populist demagogy.

Trump’s anti-immigrant orders and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

By Tom Mackaman, 14 March 2017

There are many parallels—and even a direct connection—between the notorious Fugitive Slave Act and Trump’s executive orders attacking immigrants.

Eighty years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike—Part two

By Jerry White, 16 February 2017

This is the conclusion of a two-part series on the 44-day battle by US autoworkers in 1936-37 that forced General Motors, the world’s largest industrial enterprise, to recognize the recently founded United Auto Workers union.

Eighty years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike—Part one

By Jerry White, 15 February 2017

The 44-day battle by autoworkers lasted from December 29, 1936 to February 11, 1937. It forced General Motors, then the largest industrial enterprise on the planet, to recognize the recently founded United Auto Workers.

Book review

Lessons from the 1937 Little Steel strike in the US

The Last Great Strike: Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America, by Ahmed White

By Tom Mackaman, 23 January 2017

If the Little Steel Strike has been ignored by historians, it is perhaps because it does not fit the standard narrative of American labor history.

Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution, by Kenneth D. Ackerman

By Linda Tenenbaum, 8 October 2016

Trotsky in New York, 1917 focuses on a remarkable period in the life of one of the greatest political figures in modern history.

The development of public water systems and the crisis in Flint

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2016

The events in Flint are a sharp expression of a historical retrogression in the United States, where gains made by the working class in an earlier period are being stripped away.

This week in history: September 19-25

19 September 2016

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

The class essence of the Confederacy in the American Civil War

A further comment on Free State of Jones

By Douglas Lyons, 30 August 2016

In their attacks on the film, figures like Charles Blow of the New York Times are denigrating some of the noblest individuals in American history.

An interview with David Williams, author of Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War

By Eric London, 16 August 2016

The World Socialist Web Site recently interviewed Professor David Williams of Valdosta State University about class conflict during the American Civil War and its relationship to social and political developments after the war.

Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War

By Eric London, 26 July 2016

A 2008 book by Professor David Williams provides a mountain of evidence refuting the claim that the recent film Free State of Jones, directed by Gary Ross, presented “a quasi-historical” approach to the American Civil War and social conflict in the Confederacy.

A reply to our critics

In Defense of the American Revolution

By Tom Mackaman, 14 July 2016

The American Revolution, the most progressive event in world history in its time, continues to inspire the struggle for equality.

“Ordinary people truly imbibed the principles of the American Revolution”

An interview with Victoria Bynum, historian and author of The Free State of Jones—Part 2

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 13 July 2016

This is the second part of a conversation with Victoria Bynum, whose research helped inspire the film Free State of Jones, about an insurrection by Southern Unionists against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

“The records were full of evidence of dissent and insurrections by common people”

An interview with Victoria Bynum, historian and author of The Free State of Jones—Part 1

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 12 July 2016

We are posting a conversation with Victoria Bynum, whose research helped inspire the film Free State of Jones, about an insurrection by Southern Unionists against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The Fort Bragg baseball game, American militarism and the Fourth of July

By Niles Niemuth—SEP candidate for vice president, 5 July 2016

Sunday’s baseball game at the Fort Bragg military base was intended to manipulate the celebration of the American Revolution in order to promote militarism and war.

Two hundred forty years since the Declaration of Independence

By Andre Damon, 4 July 2016

The American Revolution provided the ideological and political impetus for the French Revolution and all subsequent democratic, egalitarian and socialist movements.

Charles Blow of the New York Times

The right-wing, racialist attacks on the film Free State of Jones

By David Walsh, 30 June 2016

Free State of Jones, about a white farmer in Mississippi who led an insurrection against the Confederacy from 1863 to 1865, has come under sharp attack from the “new right” of identity politics advocates.

Who will follow the example of Muhammad Ali’s principled stand in our day?

By David Walsh, 6 June 2016

The former heavyweight boxing champion, who died June 3, made his chief mark on history and popular consciousness by his courageous opposition to the Vietnam War.

The decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Joseph Kishore, 27 May 2016

President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima today, but will make no apology for the US dropping of the atomic bomb on the city. The WSWS is republishing an essay that first appeared on the 60th anniversary of that horrible crime.

The Communications Workers of America, corporatism and the Verizon strike

By Shannon Jones, 3 May 2016

To oppose the sabotage of their battle by the CWA and the IBEW, Verizon workers need to be armed with a clear understanding of the nature of these organizations.

Fifty years since the Delano to Sacramento march: The myth of Cesar Chavez and the collapse of the United Farm Workers

Part Two

By Eric London, 12 April 2016

The union founded by Chavez has become nothing more than a business operated by family members

Fifty years since the Delano to Sacramento march: The myth of Cesar Chavez and the collapse of the United Farm Workers

Part one

By Eric London, 11 April 2016

The union founded by Chavez has become nothing more than a business operated by family members.

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War

By Eric London, 23 February 2016

According to a recent book by Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon, there is no objective foundation for an end to economic stagnation in the United States.

Walter Reuther and the rise and fall of the UAW

By Tom Mackaman, 23 December 2015

Walter Reuther’s biography has much to teach workers about the transformation of the trade unions into reactionary adjuncts of the corporations and the government.

Woodrow Wilson and Black Lives Matter

The political consequences of the racial evaluation of history

By Eric London, 4 December 2015

The demonstrations on racism in the US are of a typically middle class character and represent a very familiar and toxic element of bourgeois politics: the fight amongst different factions within the wealthiest ten percent.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution: No lessons learned

By Clare Hurley and Fred Mazelis, 9 October 2015

Riveting video footage along with complacent commentary adds up to a misleading account.

Republican candidates attack the Fourteenth Amendment

By Patrick Martin, 24 August 2015

The demand for repeal of birthright citizenship, initiated by billionaire Donald Trump, marks a further shift to the right by the US ruling elite.

Julian Bond, veteran of early civil rights struggle and pillar of establishment, dies at 75

By Fred Mazelis, 19 August 2015

The outpouring of official tributes illustrates the political trajectory of the leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Book review

The Devil is Here in These Hills: West Virginia’s Coal Miners and their Battle for Freedom, by James Green

By Tom Mackaman, 18 August 2015

The book’s most important—and timely—contribution is its revelation of the startling level of violence that characterized class relations in an earlier period.

The covert “selling” of anticommunism

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

By Nancy Hanover, 17 August 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer is an examination of the CIA’s 1947-67 campaigns against anti-capitalist and socialist thought.

Democratic Party moves to drop “Jefferson-Jackson” name from fundraisers

By Tom Mackaman, 13 August 2015

The move to disassociate the Democratic Party from the two figures it has long claimed as its founders, allegedly because they were slave-owners, marks a new milestone in the party’s embrace of identity politics.

The covert “selling” of anticommunism

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

Part 2

By Nancy Hanover, 12 August 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer is an examination of the CIA’s 1947-67 campaigns against anti-capitalist and socialist thought.

Protesters denounce military legislation as Japan marks anniversary of nuclear bombings

By Ben McGrath, 11 August 2015

A Nagasaki survivor recounted the horrors of the blast and denounced Prime Minister Abe’s moves to amend Japan’s post-World War II constitution.

The covert “selling” of anticommunism

The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America

Part 1

By Nancy Hanover, 11 August 2015

The Mighty Wurlitzer is an examination of the CIA’s 1947-67 campaigns against militant, anti-capitalist and particularly socialist thought.

The 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima

By Peter Symonds, 6 August 2015

Washington’s use of the atomic weapons was aimed at terrorising not just the Japanese regime, but above all the Soviet Union, and ensuring post-war American global dominance.

Release of grand jury transcript points again to frameup of the Rosenbergs

By Fred Mazelis, 18 July 2015

The new revelations undermine the post-Soviet effort to reaffirm the supposed guilt of the Rosenbergs.

Trotskyism and the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934

Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strike of 1934, by Bryan Palmer

By Tom Mackaman and Jerry White, 24 June 2015

A recent book by historian Bryan Palmer chronicles the role of American Trotskyists in leading one of the most important strikes in US history.

Twenty years since the Oklahoma City bombing

20 April 2015

April 19 marked the twentieth anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, the bloodiest act of terrorism on US soil up to that point.

“The world only discovered him a hero after he had fallen a martyr”

150 years since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

By Tom Mackaman, 14 April 2015

In office, Lincoln guided the Civil War and transformed it from a struggle for the preservation of the Union into a revolutionary war for the abolition of slavery.

Fifty years since the death of Viola Liuzzo

By Helen Hayes, 10 April 2015

The fight against Jim Crow segregation drew in white workers and youth as well as African-Americans from the North and the South. Liuzzo’s determination to participate in the civil rights struggle reflected great changes taking place in the US in the 1960s.

250 years since the Stamp Act

The Coming of the American Revolution

By Tom Mackaman, 24 March 2015

The Stamp Act set into motion a series of events that led, in one decade, to the American Revolution.

Exhibition at New York’s Morgan Library

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation

By Fred Mazelis, 13 March 2015

An exhibition of letters and speeches makes the US Civil War and the role of Abraham Lincoln come alive.

Interview with Gordon Wood on the American Revolution: Part two

“History has to engage the whole public”

By Tom Mackaman, 4 March 2015

This is the second part of a two-part interview with Gordon Wood, a leading historian of the American Revolution. Part one was posted March 3.

Interview with Gordon Wood on the American Revolution: Part one

“Labor celebrated as the highest value”

By Tom Mackaman, 3 March 2015

Gordon Wood, a leading historian of the American Revolution, recently spoke with the World Socialist Web Site.

A warning to US oil workers: The United Steelworkers’ record of betrayal

By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2015

Over the past three decades, the USW has overseen the betrayal of scores of strikes and the decimation of workers’ jobs, health care and pensions.

Nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched in Jim Crow South, report finds

By Tom Mackaman, 17 February 2015

A new study compiles extra-judicial murders of African Americans that took place between 1870 and 1940.

Thirty-five years since the nationwide US refinery strike

By David Brown and Charles Abelard, 14 February 2015

Thirty-five years ago, US oil refinery workers carried out a nationwide strike, breaking through wage guidelines set by the Carter administration.

Albuquerque moves to escalate evictions of homeless campers

By D. Lencho, 9 February 2015

Removal of the homeless has begun at a “tent city” near downtown, while new encampments have sprung up in other parts of the city.

Mario Cuomo and the decay of American liberalism

By Fred Mazelis, 5 January 2015

The former Democratic governor of New York established a record while in office that had nothing in common with his high-flown speeches about compassion and reform.

How the British workers’ movement helped end slavery in America: Part one

By Joe Mount, 5 January 2015

This is the first part of a two-part article on the role of the British working class in the victory of the Northern Union forces in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Judge reverses guilty verdict in 1944 execution of 14-year-old

By Tom Mackaman, 20 December 2014

George Stinney, Jr., who was African American, was arrested, tried, convicted, and electrocuted for the murder of two white girls in the small mill town of Alcolu, South Carolina.

150 years since Sherman’s March to the Sea

By Tom Mackaman, 27 November 2014

In November and December, 1864, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman led a Union army deep through Confederate territory, resulting in the capture of Savannah and the liberation of thousands of slaves.

New book sheds further light on US government protection of ex-Nazis

By Thomas Gaist, 29 October 2014

US imperialism recruited thousands of Nazis after World War II, as detailed in a new book by New York Times journalist Eric Lichtblau.

The day the US shot down Iran Airlines Flight 655

By Niles Williamson, 19 July 2014

Who shot down the Malaysian jetliner over eastern Ukraine? Anyone who thinks that the US government is incapable of carrying out or sanctioning such a horrendous action against innocent civilians should consider the infamous case of the downing of Iran Air Flight 655.

Fifty years since the Civil Rights Act

By Tom Mackaman, 2 July 2014

The Civil Rights Act came in response to the mass protests known as the Civil Rights movement that swept the American South beginning in the 1950s.

Fifty years since the murder of the Mississippi civil rights workers

By Fred Mazelis, 23 June 2014

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner sacrificed their lives in the struggle for democratic rights and social equality.

The Civil War in 1864

By Tom Mackaman, 23 May 2014

The American Civil War entered its decisive phase 150 years ago, in the summer and fall of 1864.

100 years since Ford’s five dollar day

By Tom Mackaman, 5 March 2014

Ford’s profit-sharing scheme was billed as the key to social harmony. Yet socialism and the Russian Revolution, coming just four years later, breathed a new spirit into the American class struggle.

100 years since founding of the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office

By Alan Gilman, 20 February 2014

In 2014, the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office marks a century since its founding, amid unprecedented attacks on the right to counsel.

PBS’s Red Metal: The Copper Country Strike of 1913 commemorates Michigan’s bitter labor past

By Debra Watson, 8 January 2014

A new PBS documentary looks at a miners’ strike a century ago in northern Michigan in which 73 workers and their children were victims of a company provocation.

Fifty years since Johnson’s declaration of the “War on Poverty”

By Tom Mackaman, 8 January 2014

President Lyndon Johnson's “War on Poverty,” declared 50 years ago Wednesday, proved to be liberal reformism's last gasp.

A half-century since the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

By David North, 22 November 2013

It may be the case that the American people will never know who killed Kennedy. But the deeper causes of his death can be explained.

150 years since Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

By Tom Mackaman, 19 November 2013

President Obama has spurned invitations to the gathering commemorating America’s most famous political speech.

The working class and the Detroit Industry murals at the DIA

Diego Rivera’s “Battle of Detroit”

By Tom Mackaman and Jerry White, 3 October 2013

The production of Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, begun just months after the massacre of protesting workers near Ford’s River Rouge industrial complex, was a major political event.

Fifty years since the March on Washington

By Fred Mazelis, 24 August 2013

The 50-year commemoration of the March on Washington is a mockery of the struggles and sacrifices embodied in the mass civil rights movement.

Falsifying the American Civil War: Doris Kearns Goodwin at Gettysburg

By Eric London and Jerry White, 8 July 2013

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin attempted to strip the American Civil War of its revolutionary significance in her keynote speech at celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Obama glorifies militarism on the Fourth of July

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2013

Obama gave his brief address in the midst of a campaign of persecution against a genuine defender of freedom and democracy, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Video: Gettysburg park workers, guests speak on the Civil War and the state of American democracy

By Andre Damon, 6 July 2013

In this video, workers, guests and volunteers at the Gettysburg National Military Park speak about the lasting significance of the Civil War and the ongoing attacks on American democracy.

“The entire future of democracy was hanging in the balance”

Historian Allen Guelzo speaks on the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

By Andre Damon, 4 July 2013

In an interview with the WSWS, Civil War historian Allen Guelzo explains the world historical significance of the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln’s subsequent Gettysburg Address.

Third day of Gettysburg anniversary: Discussions on Snowden and the decay of democracy

By Jerry White in Gettysburg, 4 July 2013

Workers and young people visiting the Gettysburg battlefields contrasted the powerful democratic ideals of Lincoln and the Union forces with government spying, war and inequality in contemporary America.

Day two of the Gettysburg Anniversary: Visitors speak on the Civil War and contemporary matters

By Eric London in Gettysburg, 3 July 2013

Conversations about the historical significance of the war and of the Battle of Gettysburg abound, and discussions quickly turn to broader topics.

“There is going to be another civil war”

Workers, young people discuss the enduring relevance of the Battle of Gettysburg

By Jerry White in Gettysburg, 2 July 2013

In conversations about the Civil War, several people who spoke to the WSWS contrasted the ideals fought for by Lincoln with the inequality and destruction of democratic rights in contemporary America.

Two milestones in world history

The contemporary significance of the Declaration of Independence and the Battle of Gettysburg

By Joseph Kishore, 1 July 2013

The American Revolution and the Civil War were two of the great events in world history, advancing democratic principles that are everywhere under assault today.

150 years since the Battle of Gettysburg

By Tom Mackaman, 1 July 2013

On July 1, 2 and 3, 1863, the bloodiest battle in the history of North America took place at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the midst of the Civil War.

One hundred fifty years since West Virginia statehood

By Clement Daly, 19 June 2013

West Virginia gained statehood 150 years ago in the revolutionary struggle to eradicate slavery in the United States during the Civil War.

From the archive of the WSWS

Fifty years since the execution of the Rosenbergs

By Peter Daniels and Bill Van Auken, 15 June 2013

The WSWS is reposting today an article from June 2003 on the half-century anniversary of the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on espionage charges, carried out at the height of the anticommunist witch-hunt in the US.

The WSWS speaks to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s son

An interview with Robert Meeropol

By Fred Mazelis, 15 June 2013

Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the couple executed by the US government in June 1953 on trumped-up charges of atomic espionage.

America’s revolutionary founding document

For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence

By Tom Mackaman, 4 May 2013

A book that seriously considers the impact the Declaration of Independence is most welcome reading in 2013, a year which has seen an intensifying assault on the most basic principles of America’s founding document.

Understanding Lincoln: An interview with historian Allen Guelzo

3 April 2013

Leading Abraham Lincoln scholar Allen Guelzo recently spoke with Tom Mackaman of the World Socialist Web Site.

The British working class and the American Civil War: 150 years since London’s St. James’ Hall meeting

By Tom Mackaman, 26 March 2013

March 26 marks the 150th anniversary of the “monster” antislavery, pro-Union meeting of British workers at St. James’ Hall in London.

American Federation of Teachers’ journal slanders historian Howard Zinn

By Charles Bogle and Fred Mazelis, 18 February 2013

A review article on A People’s History of the US in the current issue of American Educator lays bare the union leadership’s slavish support for American capitalism.

PBS’s The Abolitionists: Remembering the political struggle against slavery

By Tom Mackaman, 31 January 2013

The Public Broadcasting System’s The Abolitionists is a reminder that the fight against slavery in the US was a hard-fought political struggle.

Forty years after Roe v. Wade: Abortion rights under sustained attack

By Matthew MacEgan, 28 January 2013

Four decades later, women’s reproductive rights are under severe attack, particularly regarding the affordability and accessibility of services for working class women.

150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation

By Tom Mackaman, 3 January 2013

We repost here a perspective initially posted on September 22 celebrating the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s order that legally freed 4 million slaves and altered the course of the American Civil War.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and the historical drama of the Civil War

By Tom Mackaman, 12 November 2012

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a powerful cinematic treatment of the Lincoln administration’s struggle to pass a Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery in 1865, the final year of the American Civil War.

An exchange of letters on the Emancipation Proclamation

29 September 2012

The WSWS posts a letter from a reader on “150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation” and a reply by the author, Tom Mackaman.

150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation

By Tom Mackaman, 22 September 2012

On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln made public the Emancipation Proclamation, which transformed the Civil War into a social revolution.

Prelude to the Emancipation Proclamation

150 years since the Battle of Antietam

By Tom Mackaman, 17 September 2012

The Battle of Antietam, fought 150 years ago in the second year of the American Civil War, set the stage for Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Thirty years since the murder of Vincent Chin

By Shannon Jones, 23 June 2012

Thirty years ago this week, on June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin, an Asian-American draftsman, was beaten to death by a Chrysler foreman and his son in a racially motivated killing.

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

Part 4: The Ludlow memorial

By Jack Hood, 1 June 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the concluding installment in a series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914.

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

Part 3: The Massacre and the Ten Days War

By Jack Hood, 31 May 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the third installment in a four-part series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914.

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

Part 2: The strike of 1913-14

By Jack Hood, 30 May 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the second installment in a four-part series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914.

Seventy-five years since the Memorial Day Massacre

By Tom Eley, 29 May 2012

Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the Memorial Day Massacre, when Chicago police opened fire on unarmed striking steelworkers, killing 10 and wounding 30.

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

Part 1: Background to the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914

By Jack Hood, 29 May 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the first installment in a five-part series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914, which culminated in the Ludlow Massacre and the Ten Days war.

Chicago’s Hull House closes after 120 years of service

By Shane Feratu and Scott Martin, 8 February 2012

The Jane Addams Hull House Association, one of the largest non-profit social service organizations in Chicago, abruptly shut down on Friday, January 27, after 120 years.