American Labor party, organized in New York by labor leaders and liberals in 1936, primarily to support Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and the men favoring it in national and local elections. It gathered strength in New York state and particularly in New York City and had considerable weight there in tipping the scales toward chosen Democratic or Republican candidates. After 1939 it was much torn by strife between left-wing and right-wing factions, chiefly concerning policy toward the USSR. In 1944 an anti-Communist group led by David Dubinsky, defeated in the primaries, dropped out and formed the Liberal party. In 1948 the party polled over 500,000 votes for Henry A. Wallace for President, but many members withdrew in opposition to his candidacy. Failing to poll 50,000 votes in the 1954 New York state election, it lost its place on the New York ballot. In 1956 the party was voted out of existence by its New York state committee.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.