Gortsy Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gortsy Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic


the form of Soviet autonomy among the peoples of the former Terek Oblast and part of Kuban’ Oblast (Karachai) from 1921 to 1924. Part of the RSFSR. Area, more than 73,000 sq km. Population, approximately 786,000, including Chechens, Ingush, Ossetians, Kabardians, Balkars, Karachai, and Russians (cossacks and so-called inogorodnie [peasants inhabiting cossack areas after the abolition of serfdom]). The Gortsy ASSR was divided into six administrative districts, with the capital at Vladikavkaz (present-day Ordzhonikidze).

The Gortsy ASSR was proclaimed on Nov. 17, 1920, in Vladikavkaz at a congress of the peoples of Terek Oblast. The founding Congress of Soviets of the Gortsy ASSR (Apr. 16–22, 1921) made public a decree of Jan. 20, 1921, of the All-Russian Executive Committee announcing the formation of the Gortsy ASSR. (S. M. Kirov participated in the work of the congress as the representative of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Central Committee of the RCP [Bolshevik].) The congress defined the system of state administration and agencies of state power and outlined the relationships among these agencies and between them and the state agencies of the RSFSR. The congress also outlined the administrative and territorial organization of the republic, adopted decrees on the land and food questions, public education, and the shari’a, and elected the Central Executive Committee of the Gortsy ASSR. The formation of this autonomous republic was one of the steps in the creation of a state system for the peoples of the Terek region. The primary tasks facing the Gortsy ASSR were regulation of the land question and creation of peaceful, amicable relations among the republic’s nationalities.

The process of building a nation-state resulted in a differentiation of the nationalities. Four districts were separated from the Gortsy ASSR and transformed into autonomous oblasts of the RSFSR: the Kabarda District (Sept. 1, 1921), the Karachai District (Jan. 12, 1922), the Chechen District (Nov. 30, 1922), and the Balkar District (Jan. 16, 1922). The decree of July 7, 1924, of the Ail-Union Central Executive Committee abolished the Gortsy ASSR and created on its territory the Severnaia Osetiia and Ingush autonomous oblasts, as well as the separate Sunzhen District, which was inhabited by cossacks and had the right to its own provincial executive committee. Vladikavkaz was made into an independent unit directly subordinate to the Ail-Union Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR. The decree of July 7, 1924, pointed out that the dismemberment of the Gortsy ASSR according to its national components had been carried out “in accordance with the will of the peoples inhabiting the Gortsy Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and with the aim of achieving the most rapid possible development of class consciousness among the nationalities constituting that republic, as well as with the aim of drawing the laboring masses into the Soviet state administration on a broader basis.”


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