Mongolian People's Revolution of 1921

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mongolian People’s Revolution of 1921


an anti-imperialist antifeudal revolution carried out by toiling livestock raisers, or arats, under the leadership of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party. The victory of the Mongolian People’s Revolution led to the establishment of a people’s government in the country, opening the way to full national and social liberation and to socialism and communism, bypassing capitalism. The decisive factor in the organization of the popular uprising was the founding in March 1921 of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, called the Mongolian People’s Party until 1925. The Mongolian revolutionaries established contact with Soviet Communists and with representatives of the Comintern and, drawing on their experience and support, led the revolutionary struggle of the arats.

The arat movement arose under complicated circumstances. Mongolia was occupied by Chinese warlords and Russian White Guards, behind whom stood Japanese imperialism. Under these conditions the main task was to drive out the occupation forces.

The first congress of the party, held on Mar. 1–3, 1921, adopted a program and called for an armed uprising. The partisan detachments that had been organized in February were united to form the Mongolian People’s Army, and D. Sukhe-Bator was appointed chief of staff and commander in chief. A provisional people’s government was elected on March 13. On March 18, 1921, units of the People’s Army liberated the city of Maimachen (presentday Altan-Bulak) from the Chinese warlords. Then the party and the Provisional People’s Government made preparations to liberate the country from the White Guard bands which had been driven here by the Red Army and which were commanded by Baron R. F. Ungern von Sternberg, a puppet of the Japanese.

Realizing that Ungern had superior forces, the Provisional People’s Government appealed to the government of the RSFSR for a joint struggle against the White Guard bands. In battles along the Soviet-Mongolian frontier in late May and early June 1921, units of the Red Army, the People’s Revolutionary Army of the Far East Republic, and the Mongolian People’s Army routed the White Guards, who retreated southward. On June 28, in response to a request by the Provisional People’s Government, Red Army units under the command of K. A. Neiman entered Mongolia and together with the Mongolian People’s Army launched an offensive against the White Guard bands. Urga, the capital of Mongolia, was liberated from the White Guards on July 6, 1921, and a permanent people’s government was formed on July 10. Bodo was named prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, D. Sukhe-Bator became commander in chief and minister of war, Danzan was appointed minister of finance, Magsarzhavabeis (Khurts) became minister of justice, and Puntsagdorzh was named minister of internal affairs. In 1922, Bodo was unmasked as the organizer of a counterrevolutionary plot, and Danzan was similarly exposed in 1924. Respecting the religious sentiments of the masses, the party Central Committee decided to retain temporarily the bogdo-gegen as a monarch with limited powers. Mongolia was proclaimed a people’s republic in 1924.


Istoriia Mongol’skoi Narodnoi Respubliki, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967. Pages 269–323.
Choibalsan, Kh. Kratkii ocherk istorii Mongol’skoi narodnoi revoliutsii. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from Mongolian.)
Shirendyb, B. Narodnaia revoliutsiia v Mongolii i obrazovanie Mongol’skoi Narodnoi Respubliki. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from Mongolian.)
Shirendyb, B. Vliianie Velikoi Oktiabr’skoisotsialisticheskoi revoliutsiina Mongoliiu. Moscow, 1967.
Shirendyb, B. Istoriia Mongol’skoi narodnoi revoliutsii 1921 g. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from Mongolian.)
Tsedenbal, lu. Ot feodalizmak sotsializmu: Izbr. stat’i i rechi, vol. 2. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from Mongolian.)
Lattimore, O. Nationalism and Revolution in Mongolia. Oxford, 1955.


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