1918 Soviet Constitution

1918 Soviet Constitution

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The first Russian Constitution
Russian constitution
Russian constitution* Constitution of Russia* Russian Constitution of 1906* Russian Constitution of 1918* Russian Constitution of 1978* Judiciary of Russia...

, which governed the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

, described the regime that assumed power in the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 of 1917. This constitution formally recognized the working class as the ruling class of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 according to the principle of the dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

. The constitution also stated that the workers formed a political alliance with the peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s. This constitution gave broad guarantees of equal rights to workers and peasants. It denied, however, the right of the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 or those who supported the White armies in the Civil War (1918–21)
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 to participate in elections to the soviet
Soviet (council)
Soviet was a name used for several Russian political organizations. Examples include the Czar's Council of Ministers, which was called the “Soviet of Ministers”; a workers' local council in late Imperial Russia; and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union....

s or to hold political power.

Supreme power rested with the All-Russian Congress of Soviets
All-Russian Congress of Soviets
The All-Russian Congress of Soviets was the supreme governing body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917–22 and of the Soviet Union until 1936. The 1918 Constitution of the Russian SFSR mandated that Congress shall convene at least twice a year...

, made up of deputies from local soviets across Russia. The steering committee of the Congress of Soviets—known as the Central Executive Committee—acted as the "supreme organ of power" between sessions of the congress and as the collective
Collegiality
Collegiality is the relationship between colleagues.Colleagues are those explicitly united in a common purpose and respecting each other's abilities to work toward that purpose...

 presidency
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 of the state.

The congress elected the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom, Sovet narodnykh kommissarov) as the administrative arm of the young government and defined its responsibilities as "general administration of the affairs of the state". (The Sovnarkom had exercised governmental authority from November 1917 until the adoption of the 1918 constitution July 10th by the Congress of Soviets.)

External links

Full Text of the 1918 Constitution of the R.S.F.S.R.