League of the Archangel Michael

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

League of the Archangel Michael


(in full, the Russian People’s League of the Archangel Michael), a Black Hundreds organization in Russia. The League of the Archangel Michael was founded by a group of ultrareactionary figures that withdrew from the League of the Russian People. The group was headed by V. M. Purishkevich, who served as chairman until February 1914. The main directing body of the league, the Principal Chamber, was located in St. Petersburg. It consisted of 14 members, who were elected at league meetings for three-year terms. The league also had divisions in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, and other cities.

To a considerable extent the platform of the League of the Archangel corresponded with that of the League of the Russian People. However, it acknowledged the need for the State Duma, which was elected in accordance with a reactionary law of June 3, 1907. The League of the Archangel Michael also demanded that Jews be totally excluded from voting, and Poland and the Caucasus be restricted in their representation. Another difference was that the League of the Archangel Michael supported the agrarian policy of P. A. Stolypin.

Members of the league contributed to several periodicals, including the newspaper Kolokol (The Bell) and the weeklies Priamoi put’ (The Straight Path) and Zveroboi (The Hunter). They also circulated books and brochures and conducted meetings, discussions, and mass anti-Semitic campaigns, notably a campaign in connection with the Beilis case. With the fall of the autocracy in February 1917, the league, including the Principal Chamber and the various divisions, ceased to function.




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