Pervomartovtsy


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Pervomartovtsy

 

(March 1 Conspirators), Russian revolutionaries, members of the People’s Will organization who participated in the Mar. 1, 1881, assassination of Alexander II; also participants in the Mar. 1, 1887, attempt to assassinate Alexander III (the Second March 1). The 1881 attempt was organized by the Executive Committee of the People’s Will. The main organizer was A. I. Zheliabov. After his arrest on February 27, preparations for the attempt were led by S. L. Perovskaia. On March 1 the tsar was killed in St. Petersburg by a bomb thrown by I. I. Grinevitskii, who also perished as a result of the blast. Zheliabov, Perovskaia, N. I. Kibal’chich, G. M. Gel’fman, T. M. Mikhailov, and N. I. Rysakov were tried between March 26 and March 29 by a special session of the Senate and sentenced to death for their role in the assassination. All except Gel’fman were hanged on Apr. 3, 1881.

The heroes of the Second March 1 were members of the terrorist faction of the People’s Will party who attempted to repeat the deed of the Pervomartovtsy of 1881. On Mar. 1, 1887, they went to Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg with bombs and waited for the tsar’s carriage; however, they were arrested. Fifteen persons, including A. I. Ul’ianov and P. Ia. Shevyrev, who were among the organizers and accomplices, and P. I. Andreiushkin, V. D. Generalov, and V. S. Osipanov, who were to have thrown the bombs, were tried by a special session of the Senate between April 15 and April 19. The five mentioned by name were hanged on May 8, 1887, while the others were sentenced to imprisonment, exile, and hard labor.

The March 1 events of 1881 and 1887 demonstrated the extraordinary heroism of the members of the People’s Will and the futility of attempts to overthrow tsarism without the support of the masses. The Pervomartovtsy behaved courageously during both trials, which attracted the attention of the democratic public in Russia and abroad.

REFERENCES

Delo 1 marta 1881 g: Protsess Zheliabova, Perovskoi i dr. Pravitel’stvennyi otchet. St. Petersburg, 1906.
I marta 1881 g. [Collection.] Moscow, 1933.
Poliakov, A. S. Vtoroe I marta: Pokushenie na imp. Aleksandra III (Materialy). Moscow, 1919.
I marta 1887 g.: Delo P. Shevyreva, A. Ul’ianova i dr. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Troitskii, N. A. ”Narodnaia volia” pered tsarskim sudom, 1880-1891 gg. [Saratov] 1971.

N. A. TROITSKII