All-Russian Student Congresses

All-Russian Student Congresses

 

illegal congresses of revolutionary student youth that took place during the revolutionary upswing at the beginning of the 20th century.

Social Democrats took an active part in the preparation of these All-Russian Student Congresses. The First All-Russian Student Congress was held in February 1902 in Riga. It discussed the political situation in the country, as well as the goals of the student movement. It also adopted a manifesto calling upon students to act jointly with the proletariat and to create permanent student organizational committees, which would maintain contact with local committees of the RSDLP. The text of this manifesto was printed in No. 18 of Iskra. This congress also passed a resolution to found the publication Student.

The Second All-Russian Student Congress was held in November 1903 in Odessa and sent friendly greetings to the RSDLP. In connection with increasing political divisions among students, the second congress decided to create “coalition delegate assemblies” made up of representatives of various political trends. The congress recommended that meetings and assemblies be held in educational institutions and that street demonstrations be organized jointly with workers.

In 1905 almost all of the country’s educational institutions went on strike. In September of that year the Central Committee of the RSDLP issued the appeal ”To All Students,” calling upon them to open the universities in order to convert them into cadres for revolutionary work and, together with the proletariat, to begin preparing for an armed uprising. The Third All-Russian Student Congress assembled in Vyborg in September 1905. At this congress the political differences among the students were revealed more sharply than earlier. A revolutionary resolution, “On the Tactics of the Students’ Struggle,” was adopted, proposing that institutions of higher learning be used for revolutionary agitation and propaganda and that partisan student fighting units be created in these institutions so that at the crucial moment they might join the general political strike and the armed uprising. After the de-feat of the 1905-07 Russian Revolution the All-Russian Student Congresses ceased to be held.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “Zadachi revoliutsionnoi molodezhi.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 7.
Lenin, V. I. “Plan pisem o zadachakh revoliutsionnoi molodezhi.” Ibid.
Erman, L. K. Intelligentsiia v pervoi russkoi revoliutsii. Moscow, 1966.
Gusiatnikov, P. S. “Bor’ba V. I. Lenina i iskrovtsev za revoliutsionno-demokraticheskoe studenchestvo (1901-1903).” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1969, no. 1.

S. N. SEMANOV

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