These constitutions had most provisions in common. These provisions declared the leadership of the working class and, in the latter two, the leading role of the CPSU in government and society. All the constitutions upheld the forms of social property. Each of the constitutions called for a system of soviets, or councils, to exercise governmental authority.
On the surface, the constitutions resembled many constitutions adopted in the West. The differences between Soviet and Western constitutions, however, overshadow the similarities. Soviet constitutions declared certain political rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. They also identified a series of economic and social rights, as well as a set of duties of all citizens. The legislature was to be elected at periodical elections.