Moscow State Conference of 1917

Moscow State Conference of 1917

 

a conference of representatives from the organizations of the big bourgeoisie and large landlords, the top generals of the tsarist army, and the leadership of the cossacks, Mensheviks, and Socialist Revolutionaries (SR’s). It was convened by the Provisional Government to mobilize all the counterrevolutionary forces in Russia. The conference was held in Moscow Aug. 12–15 (25–28), 1917. Some 2.500 persons were in attendance. including 488 deputies from all four state dumas of past years. 129 representatives from soviets of peasants’ deputies, 100 from soviets of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies, 147 from municipal dumas. 117 from the army and navy, 313 from cooperative organizations, 150 from trade and commercial circles and banks, 176 from trade unions, 118 from zemstvos(district assemblies), 83 from the intelligentsia, 58 from national organizations. and 24 from the clergy.

The soviets were represented by delegations from the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and from the CEC of the Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies, consisting entirely of Men-sheviks and SR’s. Bolshevik representatives from the soviets intended to present a declaration exposing the counterrevolutionary purpose of the conference and then to walk out. However, the Menshevik-SR leadership of the CEC of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies did not admit any Bolsheviks to membership in the delegations. The chairman of the conference was A. F. Kerensky. Reports were given by the minister of finances, N. V. Nekrasov; the minister of commerce and industry, S. N. Prokopovich; and others. The program of the counterrevolution was formulated in the speeches of such figures as General L. G. Kornilov, Gen. A. M. Kaledin, P. N. Miliukov, and V. V. Shul’gin. This program included such points as the elimination of the soviets, the abolition of social organizations within the army, and the continuation of the war to a victorious conclusion. On August 14 (27) the chairman of the Menshevik CEC, N. S. Chkheidze, presented a declaration in behalf of the so-called revolutionary democracy. The speeches of the Menshevik and SR leaders justified the policies of the Provisional Government and condemned the revolutionary actions of the masses.

A resolution of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (Bolshevik) of Aug. 6 (19), 1917, entitled “On the Moscow Conference of August 12,” exposed the State Conference as a conspiracy against the people. On the day the conference opened, the workers of Moscow and its environs held a one-day general strike, with more than 400,000 participants. Strikes and protest meetings were also held in such cities as Kiev, Kharkov, Ekaterinburg, Vladimir, Saratov, and Nizhny Novgorod. After the conference the counterrevolutionary forces undertook to realize their plans in practice (Kornilovism), but they were defeated by the struggle of the working masses.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “Slukhi o zagovore. ”Poln. sobr. soch.,5th ed., vol. 34.
Protokoly TsK RSDRP(b): August 1917-fevral’ 1918.Moscow,1958. Pages 7–14.
Gosudarstvennoe soveshchanie.Moscow-Leningrad, 1930. (The stenographic record.)
Revoliutsionnoe dvizhenie v Rossii vavguste 1917: Razgrom kornilovskogo miatezha: Dokumenty i materialy.Moscow, 1959.

E. G. GIMPEL’SON

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