Fedoseev, Nikolai

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fedoseev, Nikolai Evgrafovich


Born Apr. 27 (May 9), 1871, in Nolinsk, in what is now Kirov Oblast; died June 22 (July 4), 1898, in Verkholensk, in what is now Irkutsk Oblast. One of the first propagandists of Marxism in Russia.

The son of an investigator, Fedoseev attended the Kazan Gymnasium. He studied Marxism on his own, and in 1887 he was expelled from the Gymnasium for spreading revolutionary propaganda. In 1888 he began to organize Marxist study groups (including one that numbered V. I. Lenin among its members from October 1888 through May 1889). Arrested in 1889, Fedoseev in 1890 was confined in the Kresty prison of St. Petersburg.

Fedoseev’s revolutionary work took him to Vladimir in 1892; he established ties with Marxists in other cities, and in September of the same year he was a leader of the strike at the Morozov factory in Nikol’skoe. Again arrested, in the course of his imprisonment in Vladimir he corresponded with Lenin, then living in Samara, on questions of Marxism. Fedoseev was exiled to Sol’vychegodsk in 1893 and to Eastern Siberia in 1895. He ended his life by suicide.

In his various works, Fedoseev took the Marxist position in analyzing Russia’s economic and political development; he was one of the first to actively oppose the liberal Narodniki (Populists) and to expose populism as lacking in substance. He drafted a proletarian party program that began with a general statement of theory and a description of Russia’s economic system. Lenin, when later working on the party program, recognized the unique correctness of Fedoseev’s formulation. The program drafted by Fedoseev was based on the proletariat’s assumption of leadership in the revolutionary struggle against autocracy, recognition of the peasantry as the chief ally of the working class, and rejection of terrorist acts by individuals as a tool of revolutionary struggle.

Evaluating Fedoseev’s work, Lenin wrote in 1922: “Fedoseev played a very important role in the Volga area and in certain parts of Central Russia during that period; and the turn towards Marxism at that time was, undoubtedly, very largely due to the influence of this exceptionally talented and exceptionally devoted revolutionary” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 325).


Stat’i i pis’ma. Moscow, 1958.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index volume, part 2, p. 480.)
N. E. Fedoseev. Moscow-Leningrad, 1923. (Collection of reminiscences.)
Shakhanov, N. P. N. E. Fedoseev: Pioner revoliutsionnogo marksizma v Rossii. Moscow, 1929.
Shcheprov, S. V. Vydaiushchiisia revoliutsioner N. E. Fedoseev. Moscow, 1958.
Valeev, A. M. N. E. Fedoseevodin iz pervykh marksistov v Rossii. Kazan, 1952.
Blank, A. S. Vydaiushchiisia revoliutsioner-marksist: Ocherk o zhizni i revoliutsionnoi deiatel’nosti N. E. Fedoseeva. [Vologda] 1959.
Nikiforov, G. P. Orelmolodoi. [Vladimir] 1962.
Nikiforov, G. P. V. I. Lenin i N. E. Fedoseev. Yaroslavl, 1969.


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