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Nikoloz Chkheidze (Georgian: ნიკოლოზ ჩხეიძე; Russian: Никола́й (Карло) Семёнович Чхеи́дзе; transliterated Russian: Nikolay Semyonovich Chkheidze; commonly known as Karlo Chkheidze; 1864, Kutaisi – June 13, 1926, Île-de-France) was a Georgian Menshevik politician who helped to introduce Marxism to Georgia in the 1890s and played a prominent role in the Russian and Georgian revolutions of 1917 and 1918.
Chkheidze was born into an aristocratic family in Puti, Shorapansky uyezd, Kutaisi Governorate (in present-day Imereti province of Georgia). With his brother Kalenike Chkheidze, he became in 1892 one of the founders of the first Georgian Social-Democratic group, Mesame Dasi (translated literally, the "Third Team"). From 1907 to 1916, he was the member for Tiflis Gubernyia in the Russian State Duma and gained popularity as a spokesman for the Menshevik faction within the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
In 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, Chkheidze became Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, but failed in his attempt to prevent the rise of a more radical Bolshevism. Although he refused a post in the Russian Provisional Government, he supported its policies and advocated the idea of the "revolutionary oboronchestvo (defencism)".
When in October 1917 the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, Chkheidze was on holiday, visiting his native Georgia. Remaining in Georgia, he became leader of the Transcaucasian Sejm on February 23, 1918 and in May was elected a Chairman of the Constituent Assembly of the newly proclaimed Democratic Republic of Georgia. As its representative during the 1919 Versailles Conference, he tried to gain the Entente's support for the new Georgian Republic, but was unsuccessful.
Chkheidze was one of the authors of the Republic's first constitution in early 1921, but, like others, he was forced into exile when the Bolsheviks took control of the country in March. He escaped to France, where he lived until committing suicide on June 13, 1926.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nikolay Chkheidze.|
- Chkheidze, Nikolay Semyonovich on the online Encyclopaedia Britannica.
- (Russian) Чхеидзе, Николай Семенович