All-Union Congress of Soviets

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

All-Union Congress of Soviets


the highest organ of state power in the USSR from the moment of the establishment of the USSR on Dec. 30, 1922, until the adoption of the USSR Constitution of 1936. The Congress was made up of representatives from the Soviets of all Soviet republics: town and city Soviets were allotted one deputy for every 25,000 voters; provincial (oblast, krai) and republic congresses of Soviets, one deputy for every 125,000 inhabitants. The delegates to the All-Union Congress of Soviets were elected at the provincial (oblast, krai) and autonomous republic congresses of Soviets, whereas delegates from Union republics, which had no provincial (later oblast, krai) assemblies were elected directly at a congress of Soviets of the republic.

The powers exercised exclusively by the All-Union Congress of Soviets included the introduction of changes into the basic principles of the USSR constitution, the admission of new republics into the USSR, the establishment of a basis for long-range plans of development of the USSR national economy and state budget, and the establishment of general principles of current legislation. The Congress determined the general direction of the activity of all state agencies and formed the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, which was responsible and accountable to it.

From 1922 to 1936, eight All-Union Congresses of Soviets were held. These congresses examined important constitutional questions, as well as questions relating to the state system, economic and cultural construction, defense, and foreign policy. The first congress was held in December 1922, the second in January-February 1924, the third in May 1925, the fourth in April 1927, the fifth in May 1929, the sixth in March 1931, the seventh in January-February 1935, and the eighth in November-December 1936.

The Eighth Extraordinary Congress of Soviets ratified the USSR Constitution of 1936, according to which the highest organ of state power in the USSR is the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Encyclopedia browser ?
Full browser ?