restricted access Socialism for a New Generation: CCF Youth in the Popular Front Era

In the 1930s, the Co-operative Commonwealth Youth Movement attempted to rally young people to the cause of socialism and the ccf . In doing so, they revealed much about the emerging political and social culture of youth coming of age during the Great Depression and their relationship to “adult” socialists whose ideas had been formulated before and during the labour revolt of 1919. Perhaps most importantly, they wrestled with the challenges of political action and the new perceptions of class reflected in New Deal liberalism and particularly the Popular Front of the latter half of the decade. While diverse in their social backgrounds and in their attitude toward the ccf leadership and the lure of the Communist-identified mass movements like the Canadian Youth Congress, they reflected a youth-oriented desire for a more active, extra-parliamentary strategy but were also drawn toward statist social reform that would be a hallmark of the ccf they would inherit after the Second World War.