The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Deputies of the All-Russian Constituent assembly: ethnonational aspect

UDK 94(471.084.2


The ethnonational structure of the Constituent assembly is revealed that allows to specify the card of "political geography" of Russia 1917. Representatives over 30 people entered it. Elections showed duality of national consciousness, asynchrony of development of the people of Russia, different level of their consolidation. Revolution in the polietnichny country led to collision nationalist and legal began, to its disintegration on the certain states and territories.

Imperial Russia resembled the dozing volcano where the autocratic power the pragmatic ethnopaternalistic policy extinguished the flashes of national discontent escaping on a surface for the time being. However the general crisis of imperial ideology, world war in which the multinational empires intentionally kindling interethnic contradictions in the opponent's camp each other resisted and revolution of 1917 inevitably aggravated an ethnic question in the country.

For Russia it became complicated and geopolitical: its territory was a huge contact zone of civilizations, conglomerate of more than hundred people differing not only with the level of economic, legal and cultural development, but also its divergence. In these conditions the westernisation could not become a universal way of the solution of problems as a considerable part of the population gravitated to sociocultural values of east world. The national outskirts concealed in themselves potential threat of disintegration of the empire which when weakening the central power and in connection with practical feasibility of national self-determination became a reality.

Revolution of 1917 was not only political, but also national, rise in consciousness of the people which were a part of the empire, registration of national parties, growth of autonomistic, federalistic and separatist tendencies, territorial particularism and so forth are characteristic of it. The fate of the All-Russian Constituent Assembly (ARCA) and an ethnic question event were connected together, and determination of future state system of Russia was this link.

31 National Party participated in elections of VUS. According to the All-Russian election commission, in civil constituencies 134 national social democrats, 31 national Social Revolutionaries, 160 national tinder funguses, 385 national demokratov1 were declared. National lists collected about 10% of total number of voices. Identification of ethnonational structure of deputy corps allows to specify the card of "political geography" of Russia 1917, balance of political and ethnocultural components of revolution.

As in pre-revolutionary Russia the column "nationality" in official documents was not (replaced point on religion), the nationality of deputies was determined by me by set of signs (a surname, a name, a middle name, the place of the birth and residence, religion and so forth). In this case some errors, especially in distinction of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians are inevitable.

VUS answered the all-Russian status and in national aspect. Representatives over 30 people, including 372 members of the party Great Russia, 138 Ukrainians, 81 Jews entered it,

18 Kazakhs, 16 Armenians, on 15 Belarusians and Latvians, 14 Poles, 12 Georgians, on 11 Azerbaijanians and the Bashkir, 10 Tatars, 9 Estonians, 8 Uzbeks, 6 Germans, on 5 Chuvashs and Moldavians, etc. Tribespeople also such small nationalities as Veps, the Komi, Karelians had in it, a mordv, Yakuts, Lezgians, Kurds, Ossetians.


Tambov state university of G.R. Derzhavin

e-mail: lev

1 GARF. T. 1810. Op. 1. 54. L. 11-13.

The proportional electoral system provided symmetric national representative office, giving a chance and to small ethnic groups, however, on condition of their compact placement. For this purpose all polietnichny Transcaucasia (about 3.5 million voters) was connected to one district that at disperse resettlement of the population to give equal opportunities to all people living in its territory. On the other hand, to certain districts, nomadic Kalmyks of Prikaspiya and Kazakhs of the Bukeevsky horde entering the Astrakhan province were allocated.

Of course, the principle of selective symmetry was inevitably broken by action of adverse factors (occupation of the western provinces, incompleteness of elections on the outskirts and so forth). But it is natural that both largest East Slavic people - Russian (members of the party Great Russia) and Ukrainians (malorossa) are presented to VUS by the number of deputies answering to their specific weight in the general structure of the population: members of the party Great Russia - about 48% of deputies (on a census of 1897 - 47.8% of the population), Ukrainians - 18% (on the same census - 19%).

It is indicative that not less than three hundred deputy Russians (up to 80%) passed from great Russian provinces, the others - from inonatsionalny territories and from fronts. Russians were the dominating ethnic group and besides only which on elections did not put forward national lists of the all-Russian character. Long coexistence within the powerful empire did not create at the title nation of negative attitude to other people of the country. In it there was no pronounced "image of the enemy". It is remarkable that in the conditions of war with Germany the Russian Germans whom was to

2 one million 2, had an opportunity to expose the candidates in 9 constituencies. At the same time cases of open anti-German propaganda or infringement of their rights are noted.

However to speak about the Russian national consciousness in the sense inherent in civil society, too it is not necessary - only in certain districts the candidate lists reminding national or with a claim for that were put forward. However they could not compete with the all-Russian and national parties which completely took control of political space of 1917. In fact, the Nizhny Novgorod archbishop Sergius who passed thanks to connection of voices of parishioners with cadets and Old Believers was the only nonparty deputy from great Russian provinces. In Kiev it was not succeeded to reach the block agreement between the Russian nationalists led by V.V. Shulgin and cadets - as a result both that and others did not receive any of 22 mandates.

Certainly, for the Russian voter the question of national identity was not particularly acute. Other business - for other people of Russia. For them self-determination became primary condition of the solution of other problems. Elections demonstrated duality, a dikhotomichnost of the national consciousness comprising the certain integrating beginning expressed by concepts "we"-" they", "the"-" strangers". Vote for "" was peculiar to all small people.

Researchers of an ethnic question reject opinion as if they with a victory of the February revolution in the country flashed separatist tendentsii3. It is rather on the contrary, overthrow of imperial autocracy created prerequisites for realization of the idea of national self-determination, and the Provisional government was supported first by all national parties. "Was considered that all evil which led to the class and race hatred proceeds from a tsarism, - the American historian R. Suni writes, - and introduction of the relevant legislation focused on the western liberal laws will remove obstacles in a solution of these problems" 4. Cancellation of national and religious restrictions, convocation the MOUSTACHE with the prospect of acceptance of all-acceptable multinational state model recovered national movements, but they, excepting Poland and Finland, were not beyond an avtonomizm.

With change of a political situation, with VUS delay the national impatience increased, passing into federalistic and separatist requirements. Ethnic a lead -

2 See: S.V. Obolenskaya. Germans in the opinion of Russian 19th century: Lines of public psychology//history Questions. 1997. No. 12. Page 103.
3 Cm: V. Buldakov. Red distemper. Nature and consequences of revolutionary violence. M, 1997. Page 140; S.M. Iskhakov. The Russian Muslims and revolution (spring of 1917 - summer of 1918). M,
2004. page 505-509.
4 R. Suni. Nationalism and democratization in the Russian revolution of 1917//revolution Anatomy. 1917 in Russia: masses, parties, power. SPb., 1994. Page 283.

it became clearer than frames that it is easier for them to achieve the rights by self-capture, than through VUS where their positions will be in every respect weaker.

Revival of local nationalism was connected also with persistent search of ways of control of revolution or, more simply, anarchy counteractions, to the accruing economic and social chaos. With a special force this mechanism started working after October. Though the Council of People's Commissars formally proclaimed equality, the sovereignty and even the right of the nations for self-determination, affairs of Bolsheviks spoke about another. And their Messianism induced to suspect aspiration to the world revolutionary empire. It disturbed the national elite finding themselves, threatening their situation and, as it turned out, the existence.

Gradually the conflict of Provisional government with the Ukrainian Central Rada erupted. In the summer the situation was heated, and, according to the eyewitness, "the thundercloud of the Ukrainian separatism" 5 rose. Figures are eloquent: across Ukraine in general the Ukrainian national lists, party and non-party, collected about 60% of votes, including in the Kiev province - 76.9%, on Volhynia - 70%, in Podoliya - 77.6%, considerably going down on the Left bank. Based on my observations, from 131 mandates the Ukrainian socialists, including 76 Ukrainian Social Revolutionaries and 10 Ukrainian social democrats received from the Ukrainian provinces 86. Besides, 9 Ukrainian Social Revolutionaries and social democrats were elected from front districts. M.S. Grushevsky, V.A. Golubovich, N.N. Kowalewski, leaders of the second - V.K. Vinnichenko, N.V. Porsh, S.V. Petliura were leaders of the first.

In total about 110 Ukrainian deputy were chosen from Ukraine that made up to 80% of all deputies of the Ukrainian nationality. Other Ukrainians passed from the all-Russian parties: Bolsheviks V.A. Antonov-Ovseenko, N.I. Podvoysky, G.I. Petrovsky, P.E. Dybenko, N.V. Krylenko, Social Revolutionaries E.K. Breshko-Breshkovskaya, K.S. Bureva, F.M. Onipko, etc. Both at Bolsheviks, and at Social Revolutionaries the Ukrainians made 9-10% of members of fractions. it is appropriate to p to note

in the light of modern interethnic collisions around the Crimea that according to the list of the Ukrainian Social Revolutionaries and peasants grain-growers from the Taurian province in VUS there passed only N.V. Saltan whereas according to the list of the all-Russian Party of Social Reforms Ukrainians V.T. Bakuta and P.N. Bondar were elected. Ukrainians exposed nonparty lists in the Volga region, in the North Caucasus, in Priamurye, but they did not make success.

In VUS the fight between the Social Revolutionaries laying hopes on them in creation of the anti-Bolshevist coalition and Bolsheviks who tried to win them favor through the left Social Revolutionaries was started for Ukrainians (judging by documents, 24 deputies from Ekaterinoslavsky, Kharkiv, Kherson and Poltava guberniy6 gathered in Petrograd). Already in Petrograd the Ukrainian deputies received rigid installation from Kiev: when opening VUS to announce the declaration that it has to be limited to declaration of basic bases of the state and social system of Russia as the federal republic then to leave ego7. The Ukrainian Constituent assembly which elections were appointed to January had to resolve all other issues. From a position of non-interference to the Russian affairs A.S. Severov-Odoevsky, I.V. Mykhaylychenko, A.I. Streltsov demanded guarantees for the autonomy of Ukraine. Ukrainians abstained from participation in votes.

Muslims were populous and polysynthetic group. Studying a Muslim phenomenon of 1917 represents special complexity. Total number of Muslims in Russia which, by different estimates, contained from 20 to 30 million is unknown. It is necessary to reckon with two-regularity of the term "Muslims" which covers, first, all adherents of Islam, irrespective of their nationality, secondly, all people practising Islam also. However will not be violation of historicism if to apply the concept "Muslims" to the Volga region and Crimean Tatars, Bashkirs, the islamized people of the Caucasus and Turkestan.

Such interpretation is spoken well also by modern idea of Moslem as a certain ethnoconfessional and sociocultural unity, despite differences in language and life of the different people. By some Muslim ideologists it is developed

5 A.A. Goldenveyzer. From the Kiev memoirs//Archive of the Russian revolution. T. 6. M, 1991. Page 174.
6 See: GARF. T. 1781. Op. 1. 50.
7 Petrograd voice. 1918. January 4.

the theory of a millyatizm - the uniform Muslim nation according to which Islam is not only dogma, but also the code of laws regulating behavior of his adherents, almost all everyday occurrences. Respectively, Pan-Islamism appears not as political separatism, and as religious and spiritual community.

According to the updated data, Muslims put forward 48 independent or block candidate lists in 29 constituencies. In total according to these lists went to the Constituent assembly 62 deputata8. Territorially they are distributed so: The VolgoUralskiy region - 21, Central Asia - 14, Kazakhstan and the Caucasus - on 13, the Crimea - 1. In the ethnic relation it were 17 Kazakhs, 11 Azerbaijanians, on 10 Tatars and the Bashkir, 8 Uzbeks, on 2 Lezgian and the Ossetian, 1 Kurd, 1 Karakalpak. The Muslim representation considerably would grow at completion of elections in Central Asia, in the North Caucasus and in the Steppe district, on extensive spaces of the Akmola and Semipalatinsk regions.

The vast majority of Muslims - figures of the national intellectuals: lawyers, doctors, engineers, journalists, etc. Their more than a half studied at the Russian and foreign universities; Muslims surpassed all fractions in education level, except cadets. This circumstance is represented sign. Muslims identified themselves not through policy, and through culture, first of all. Extent of consolidation at them was higher, than at other faiths and ethnic groups, it was in many respects prepared by cultural and educational activity of Jadidism. After the February revolution there was a peculiar union of all democratic elements in the Muslim movement - from liberals to the Social Revolutionaries ready to accept any government while she does not interfere in the sphere of Sharia. Many representatives of Muslim elite were a part of local bodies of Provisional government, became provincial and regional commissioners.

Till 1917 a part of Muslim figures participated in the all-Russian parties or closely cooperated with them. Azerbaijanians A. Topchibashev, S. Maksudov, Kazakhs A. Beremzhanov, M. Tynyshpayev, Uzbek M. Bekhbudi were cadets. Bashkir Sh. Mukhamedyarov, Kazakh M. Chokayev, Tatars F. Tuktarov, N. Halfin, Yakut G.V. Ksenofontov were close to Social Revolutionaries. As social democrats of Menshevist sense can be identified Lezgian I. Gaydarov, Ossetian A. Tsalikov, Bashkirs Sh. Manatov and F. Tukhvatullin, the Tatar Mr. Teregulov. Other "foreigners" also reached for the left-wing parties. Buryats M. Bogdanov, B. Vampilun, Kalmyk S. Bayanov were connected with Social Revolutionaries long ago.

Nevertheless, east intellectuals were usually not included into structures of the Russian parties, did not hold down themselves a discipline bridle. All political doctrines of the time were anyway missed by them through attitude of Moslem, etc Buddhism. Characterizing activity of the Tatar Social Revolutionaries, D.M. Usmanova fairly notices: "Is later than their hobby for social problems and socialist exercises will pass, and views are transformed to advantage of recognition and active protection of the idea of national (Muslim) unity" 9.

However D.M. Usmanova is mistaken, believing that the most part of Muslim deputies passed according to lists of socialist parties, but not on obshchemusulmanskim10. According to socialist lists passed only 12 Muslims, were chosen 9 more according to all-Muslim lists in districts where socialists did not put forward the lists. Combined, socialists made about a third of Muslim deputies. On the other hand, only two (N-H. Tyuryaev and K. Hodzhayev) passed according to the list of orthodoxes Islamists of the Fergana region.

Such personified studying a question confirms that the socialist ideas did not play in the Muslim world mobilizing roli11. In Turkestan there was no soil for them at all, only the slogans of natsionalnoreligiozny contents or vital, practical value (for Kazakhs, for example, at which the religious factor was shown much more weakly, it was the question of the earth) could attract indigenous people.

8 D.M. Usmanova specifies 37 Muslims, without supporting with anything the calculations. See: D.M. Usmanova. Muslim representatives in the Russian parliament. 1906-1916. Kazan, 2005. Page 315.
9 D.M. Usmanova. Decree. soch. Page 226.
10 See: In the same place. Page 315.
11 S.M. Iskhakov. All-Russian party of Muslims//History of national political parties of Russia. M, 1997. Page 214.

The Vsekazakhsky congress in Orenburg in July, 1917 planned candidates for the Constituent assembly, having established at the same time that it in each area from Kazakhs cannot be more than one candidate spiska12. It is real it was not succeeded to achieve it, but the Alash party could become the uniting political and national force, having spent 43 deputies. Socialist parties had no success. Expressive stroke: in Ush-zhuz party (with the center in Omsk) from 14 candidates of 6 people by the time of elections left ee13.

On January 1, 1918 7 Muslim deputies gathered in Petrograd and created Muslim socialist fraction (A. Tsalikov, G. Ilyasov, A. Mukhametdinov, Sh. Sung-chalyaev, Sh. Mukhamedyarov, F. Tuktarov, S. of Salekhov14). Sh. Manatov, M. Vakhitov, G. Ibragimov, M. Akhmerov joined on January 6-7 them. It was the above-party fraction which united socialists of different sense.

It is obvious that the Russian Muslims are a special world which in 1917 was hardly slightly opened to the Russian politicians. A conclusion arises that the usual political scale is a little applicable to it that the sotsialistichnost or liberal views of Muslim figures were more likely an interaction form with certain segments of the all-Russian political world, but not a world outlook system. In the conditions of revolution the Muslims preferred to lean on traditional ideals. Without having presented VUS with any Bolshevik, they in practice rejected extremism.

Muslims gave the whole group of outstanding figures of a new era. However, their political biographies make a special impression of a thin intrigue, changeable behavior. In the Soviet historiography this question was usually exhausted by assessment sentence like "bourgeois nationalists", "petty-bourgeois democrats". I will risk to claim, however, as political inconstancy, and obvious elements of adventurousness and even intriguing (for the professional politician it even a compliment) in their behavior had an objective basis. It consisted, on the one hand, in impossibility of young national elite to separately achieve realization of the purposes, with another - in discrepancy of aspirations of this elite. But the main thing was that they were hostages of catastrophic situations in which the part of outsiders, change material, especially during Civil war, by a skating rink swept across their territories was assigned to them. National leaders had to show a maximum of flexibility and resourcefulness to keep as far as it was possible, the state status of the people. They were not ready to become independent force neither objectively, nor is subjective, despite S. Maksudov, M. Chokayev, A. Tsali-kov's unifying attempts and some other leaders.

Against the background of proportional Russian- and Ukrainian and Muslim representation the specific weight of Jewry looks an artifact. Jews exceeded 10% of total number of deputies of VUS though in structure of the population of Russia made only 3,3%15.

Summer of 1917. The All-Russian Zionist congress in Petrograd decided to expose the national-Jewish lists everywhere and to be blocked only in exceptional cases with parties not more to the right of national socialists. For the purpose of ethnic consolidation of Jewry the Jewish national electoral committee which included Zionists and religious Jewish parties was formed. It was resisted by the Jewish Socialist Party Bund, Poaley-Tsion, the United Jewish Socialist Workers Party. In total over the country the Jewish lists, party and nonparty, collected 659 thousand golosov16 that allowed to spend 6 or 7 deputies (the fate of one mandate from Bessarabia is not found out). All of them passed from the Jewish national committee, and all were elected within settled life where then 94% Russian evreev17 lived. In flowers of the Russian political range they were positioned as liberals, relatives to -

12 See: Alash-orda. Alma-Ata, 1992. Page 50-51.
13 In the same place. Page 116.
14 S.M. Iskhakov. Russian Muslims and revolution... Page 445.
15 See: The contemporary history of the Fatherland. The XX century. The textbook for higher education institutions. T. 1. M, 1998. Page 10.
16 This number does not include the votes given for Bund in the lists, general with Mensheviks. O.V. Budnitsky specifies only 498 thousand voices for the National block. See: The Russian Jews between red and white (1917-1920). M, 2006. Page 75.
17 M.I. Smirnova. National political parties of Russia of the social democratic direction (the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century)//National political parties of Russia. Page 138.

to thetas. On a share of the Jewish socialists only 100 thousand voices sprayed between two dozen candidate lists got.

Lawyers O.O. Gruzenberg, N.M. Friedman, historian Yu.D. Brutskus, the Moscow rabbi of Ya.I. Maze, the head of the Kiev Jewish community N.S. Syrkin became deputies from the Jewish diaspora.

But ten times more than (over 70) Jews were elected in VUS from the non Jewish parties. Entering into their management, they connected the interests with certain social groups of the Russian society, but not with the specific interests of the Jewish community which as O.V. Budnitsky fairly notices, were unknown to most of residents of Russia or malointeresny18. Almost all Jewish deputies were socialists, having taken the actual revenge for defeat in the former Pale of settlement. They are obliged by this success to the influence in socialist parties where their specific weight was high.

In Transcaucasia inhabited by the people differing with language, religion, culture during the revolution there was an intensive national disengagement. It is illustrated by the list of the deputies elected from the Transcaucasian district: 11 Azerbaijani musavatist, 10 Georgian Mensheviks, 9 Armenian dashnak. The fact that the parties so not similar in ideological positions were at the head of processes of national self-determination, emphasizes that the political factor during elections was secondary. In fact, it was vote not for the liberal or socialist parties and not against them as these parties acted and were perceived as spokesmen of national community and statehood. At the same time autonomistic aspirations here in 1917 were shy - politicians of the region could not but understand what means in the conditions of the neighbourhood of Turkey and Persia "an autonomistic virus" 19. Having condemned an October revolution as threat to democracy and to national sovereignty, they formed the Transcaucasian commissariat as the coalition multinational government in November. All deputies of VUS from the region automatically were a part of the Transcaucasian diet.

Elections illustrate asynchrony of development of the people of Russia staying at different stages of modernization, respectively, at the different levels of national consolidation. Though in the Polish provinces elections were not assumed, ethnic Poles actively participated in vote, having carried out in Ya.I. Lipkovsky and I.I. Bartoshevich's Volynsk and Podolsk provinces. In Estlyandiya all 8 deputies were Estonians, and even Bolsheviks spent the deputies under the flag of Estlyandsky regional party committee. Other picture was shown by Belarus in which national lists totally collected less than 10 thousand votes from more than three million.

The correlation between ethnic and party deputy structure is available. Certainly, the Bolshevist fraction was most "international". In it Russians made 51%, Jews - 18%, Ukrainians - 9%, etc. The list of Social Revolutionaries (right, the center and left) was more "Russian": members of the party Great Russia - 67%, Jews - 10%, Ukrainians - 9.5%, Belarusians - 4%. However we will consider that from the Party of Social Reforms in 1917 national Social Revolutionaries gemmated. Other fractions on their small number are not of interest in the ethnic relation, except for Mensheviks at whom the structure shared equally between Russians and Georgians.

On the other hand, ethnic "inclination" to parties is of interest. Among Russians on the birth of deputies 241 were Social Revolutionaries (65%), 92 Bolsheviks (25%), 18 cadets (5%); among Ukrainians - 85 Ukrainian socialists (62%), 36 Social Revolutionaries (26%), 17 Bolsheviks (12%); among Jews there were 35 Social Revolutionaries (42%), 33 Bolsheviks (41%), 2 cadets (2.5%),

12 -from national (not necessarily Jewish) parties and lists (14.5%).

The meeting showed on January 5 sharpness which was found by the beginning of 1918 by an ethnic question. All national fractions made declarations: Estonian Yu.Yu. Sel-yama, Latvian Ya.Yu. Goldmanis, Jewish socialist D.V. Lvovich-Davidovich, Ukrainian A.S. Severov-Odoevsky. From a position of non-interference to the Russian affairs they demanded the termination of civil war and guarantees for the autonomies.

The constituent assembly on the night of January 6, 1918 proclaimed Russia the democratic federal republic. But, as well as others, this act hopelessly was late. Coming to power of Bolsheviks sharply increased separatism of national leaders, pospe-

18 O.V. Budnitsky. Decree. soch. Page 77.
19 See: I.L. Afanasyev. A problem of a diarchy and national movements in Ukraine and in Transcaucasia//revolution Anatomy... Page 330.

sewing to separate from "Sovietdom". On January 11 Central I am glad announced separation of Ukraine from Russia. The local governments appeared in the Crimea, in Kuban, Terek, in Bessarabia, Turkestan, in Siberia. The country broke apart.

Development of revolution in the polietnichny country led to collision of the nationalist and legal beginning, to its actual disintegration on the certain states and territories. The Bolshevism victory in Civil war over advocates of the United and indivisible Russia created only illusion of permission of a national problem, having covered an old imperial essence with new ideological and political clothes.


Tambov’s State University of G.R. Derzhavin


The article reveals the ethnic composition of the Constituent Assembly detailing the "political geography" map of 1917 Russia. The deputies were of more than 30 nationalities. The elections showed the dichotomy of national consciousness and exposed that the nationalities of Russia developed at different speeds and were consolidated unequally. Revolution in the polyethnic state led to a conflict between nationhood and legitimacy; as a result the country dissolved.

Jane Patricia
Other scientific works: