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3. The Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly
About this Lecture
In this module, we turn to another key episode in the consolidation of Bolshevik power in the period 1917-25: the dissolution of the newly-formed Constituent Assembly after just one day on 6 January 1918. In particular, we think about: (i) the lack of popular mandate for the Provisional Government, whose members had been chosen by the State Duma rather than via a democratic election; (ii) the failure of the Provisional Government to organise elections and set up a Constituent Assembly, and the promises made by the Bolsheviks to do exactly this should they come to power; (iii) the results of the Constituent Assembly elections; (iv) the grounds on which the Bolsheviks could be encouraged by the result of the vote, and the grounds of which they might have been disappointed; (v) the extent to which opponents of the Bolsheviks saw the results of the Constituent Assembly as an endorsement of Bolshevism; (vi) the breaking up of the Constituent Assembly after just thirteen hours, and the reasons the Bolsheviks claimed this was justified; and (vii) (vii) the muted reaction to the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly among the Bolsheviks’ political opponents, and the reason for this response.
In this course, Dr Lara Douds (Northumbria University) explores the development of the Soviet system of government in the years following the October Revolution. In the first module, we introduce the rich and contested scholarship on this topic, including the concepts of ‘circumstantialism’ and ‘the totalitarian paradigm’. After that, we think about the nature of the government set up by the Bolsheviks following the October Revolution. In the third module, we explore why the Bolsheviks dissolved the newly-created Constituent Assembly after just thirteen hours, before turning in the fourth module to consider what the Red Terror can tell us (if anything) about the intrinsic nature of Bolshevism. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about the extent to which the political culture of the early Soviet regime was transformed and shaped by the experience of the long and brutal Russian Civil War, 1917-22.
Dr Lara Douds is Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow in History at Northumbria University. She is a specialist in the history of state building, political practice, and political culture in the first decade of Soviet power and author, among other things, of Inside Lenin’s Government: Power, Ideology and Practice in the Early Soviet State (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Douds, L. (2021, February 04). Russia – The Development of the Soviet Politics, 1917-22 - The Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/russia-the-development-of-the-soviet-politics-1917-22/the-dissolution-of-the-constituent-assembly
Douds, L. "Russia – The Development of the Soviet Politics, 1917-22 – The Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 04 Feb 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/russia-the-development-of-the-soviet-politics-1917-22/the-dissolution-of-the-constituent-assembly