Left Socialist Revolutionaries

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Party of Left Socialist Revolutionaries
Founded 1917
Split from Socialist Revolutionary Party
Ideology Revolutionary socialism
Anti-Bolshevism
Political position Left-wing

In 1917, the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party split between those who supported the Provisional Government, established after the February Revolution, and those who supported the Bolsheviks, who favoured a communist insurrection. The Left Socialist Revolutionaries made the following demands:

  • Condemnation of the war as an imperialist venture and immediately exit from the same war.
  • Cessation of cooperation with the provisional government of the Socialist Revolutionary Party
  • Immediate resolution of the land issue in accordance with the program of the party and giving of the land to the peasantry

The majority stayed within the mainstream party but a minority who supported the Bolshevik path became known as Left Socialist Revolutionaries. Maria Spiridonova was a prominent leader of this group. They, in effect, split from the main party. The split was not completed before the Russian Constituent Assembly elections; the first meaningful electoral test between the parties in the peasant soviets a few weeks after the Assembly elections showed the parties had roughly equal support among the peasantry.

History[edit]

Split with the Right Socialist Revolutionaries[edit]

The Left Socialists left the Socialist Revolutionary Party due to their support for the overthrow of the Alexander Kerensky government. The Left Socialists would later support the Bolsheviks who came to overthrow the provisional government.[1]

October Revolution[edit]

The Left SR party became the coalition partner of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Government (the Council of People's Commissars) after the October Revolution of 1917, heading the People's Commissariats for agriculture, justice, posts and telegraph, etc. They later resigned their positions in protest at the signing (3 March 1918) and ratification of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but continued for a time to co-operate with the Bolsheviks at other levels.

Split with the Bolsheviks[edit]

The Left Socialist Revolutionaries had participated in the Bolshevik government until July 1918 at the fifth Congress of the Soviets, where they were expelled.[2] The Left Socialists had criticized the Bolsheviks for their repressions on trade union freedoms, ending factory worker councils, and support of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.[3]

Russian Civil War[edit]

In mid-July 1918, LSR tried to incite an uprising in areas ceded to Germany by the Brest-Litovsk Treaty,[4] so their supporters were involved in the assassination of German ambassador Graf von Mirbach in Moscow on July 6, and Field Marshal von Eichhorn, commander of Army Group Kiev and military governor of Ukraine, on July 30.

Von Mirbach's assassination signaled the beginning of LSR's failed revolt in Moscow in 1918, and was a part of the Dual Entente plan to undermine Lenin's power by supporting the most powerful opposition after Ataman Kaledin's rebellion in the Don region failed in January 1918. Some LSR became full members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Prominent Members[edit]

Terrorist actions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "So". marxists.org. Retrieved August 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Socialist Revolutionary Party". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved August 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Left Socialist Revolutionaries". Spartacus International. Retrieved August 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ Häfner, Lutz (July 1991). "The Assassination of Count Mirbach and the "July Uprising" of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries in Moscow, 1918" (PDF). Russian Review. 50 (3): 324–344. doi:10.2307/131077.