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Kadets(kədyĕts`), members of the Russian Constitutional Democratic party. Founded in 1905, the Kadets sought a constitutional government that would guarantee universal suffrage, freedom of speech, a popularly elected legislature, an independent judiciary, and a system of social welfare. They formed the majority party in the first dumaduma
, Russian name for a representative body, particularly applied to the Imperial Duma established as a result of the Russian Revolution of 1905. The parliamentary organization of 1906, largely the work of Count Witte, provided for a state council (an upper house, with some
..... Click the link for more information. and dominated the cabinet of the provisional government established in Mar., 1917. They were increasingly overshadowed by other groups, especially the Bolsheviks (see under Bolshevism and MenshevismBolshevism and Menshevism
, the two main branches of Russian socialism from 1903 until the consolidation of the Bolshevik dictatorship under Lenin in the civil war of 1918–20.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and the Socialist Revolutionaries, so that the Kadets received less than 5% of the vote in elections to the Constituent Assembly. Before the Assembly met, however, the Bolsheviks seized power and declared (Dec., 1918) the Constitutional Democratic party to be illegal and arrested some of the Kadets.