Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers, Soldiers, and
Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’, and Peasants’ Deputies
a congress held from Jan. 10 to 18 (23–31), 1918, in the Tauride Palace in Petrograd. It opened as a congress of soviets of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies, attended by 942 delegates with voting rights and 104 with consultative rights. The delegates represented 317 local soviets and 110 army, corps, and division committees. On January 13 (26), the congress united with the Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies. Delegates from 46 cossack regiments, which had rebelled against General A. M. Kaledin, joined the congress on January 16 (29). Also attending were 233 delegates representing the working people of the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Middle Asia, and the Baltic region. The congress concluded its work with 1,647 voting delegates (including more than 860 Bolsheviks) and 219 delegates with consultative rights.
The following items were on the agenda: (1) the report of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and of the Council of People’s Commissars—la. M. Sverdlov and V. I. Lenin, reporters; (2) approval of the Declaration of the Rights of the Working and Exploited People; (3) the decree on the Federal Institutions of the Russian Republic—J. V. Stalin, reporter; (4) on war and peace—L. D. Trotsky, reporter; (5) approval of the Law on the Socialization of the Land—A. L. Kolegaev, reporter; and (6) election of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.
At the first session, greetings were delivered to the congress by representatives of foreign Social Democratic and Socialist parties, the All-Ukrainian Central Executive Committee, and the revolutionary detachments of Petrograd. After hearing the reports of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars, presented on January 11 (24), the delegates approved the Soviet government’s policy and expressed full confidence in the Soviet government. The congress rebuffed the Mensheviks and the Right Socialist Revolutionaries, who had opposed the foreign and domestic policy of the Soviet power. By a majority of votes, the delegates approved the Declaration of the Rights of the Working and Exploited People, which became the prototype for the first constitution of Soviet Russia. On January 14 (27), the congress approved the Soviet power’s implementation of measures for the achievement of a universal democratic peace.
In its decree On the Federal Institutions of the Russian Republic, the congress confirmed basic principles of organization of the multinational Soviet state. By proclamation of the congress, Russia became the Russian Socialist Federation of Soviet Republics (RSFSR). The congress charged the All-Russian Central Executive Committee with drafting the basic provisions of the constitution of the RSFSR.
On January 18 (31), the congress approved the principles of the Law on the Socialization of the Land. It also approved the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and confirmed the designation of the Soviet government as the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government of the Russian Soviet Republic. The congress elected an All-Russian Central Executive Committee of 322 persons —305 members and 17 candidates. As Lenin said in his concluding speech, the congress had consolidated “the organisation of the new state power which was created by the October Revolution and [had] projected the lines of future socialist construction for the whole world, for the working people of all countries” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 35, p. 286).
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. “Tretii Vserossiiskii s”ezd Sovetov rabochikh, soldatskikh i krest’ianskikh deputatov.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 35.
S”ezdy Sovetov Soiuza SSR, soiuznykh i avtonomnykh Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik: Sb. dokumentov 1917–1936, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.