7th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)
The 7th (extraordinary) Congress of the RSDLP(b) (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party) is also known as the Extraordinary 7th Congress of the RCP(b) (Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)) was held during 6–8 March 1918. During this congress the Bolsheviks changed the name of their party to include the word "Communist".
It was the first congress of Bolsheviks after their gaining the power in the October Revolution. It was held in the Taurida Palace in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) on the extraordinary occasion to decide on the peace with Germany in the World War I, concluded by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk earlier in March,
The 47 plenipotentiary and 59 consultative delegates represented about 17,000 Party members. The actual Party head count was about 300,000, but many delegates could not arrive on the short notice, partially because of the German occupation of the significant territory.
The agenda was:
- Report of the 6th Central Committee (delivered by Vladimir Lenin)
- War and peace
- Revision of the Party Programme, including the change of the name of the Party
- Elections of the 7th Central Committee
The Brest Peace was an issue of fierce controversy within the Party. The Brest Peace was oppose by the faction of Left Communists, who were led by Nickolay Bukharin and were influential in the major party organizations: in Moscow, Petrograd, and Urals . Among the supporters of the Brest Peace there was no unity either.
After Lenin's report, Bukharin presented a second report, demanding the war with Germany.
After heated discussions, Lenin's version of the Resolution On War And Peace was approved at the morning session of March 8 by a signed vote: 30 pro, 12 contra, 4 abstained. Upon Lenin's proposal, it was not made public at that time and was first published in the January 1, 1919 in Kommunar, a daily newspaper issued by the Central Committee for workers in Moscow.
The Brest Peace was ratified by the Extraordinary Fourth All-Russia Congress of Soviets (March 14–16).
- Speeches by Lenin at the Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.), Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 27, 1972, pages 85–158
- "Seventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party. Verbatim Report. March 6–8, 1918" (1923)