Social Democratic Faction of the State Duma

Social Democratic Faction of the State Duma

 

representatives of Social Democracy in Russia’s legislative body between 1906 and 1917. Because the Bolsheviks and, in part, the Mensheviks boycotted the elections to the First State Duma (1906), Menshevik Social Democratic deputies took the “nonparty” route to become deputies of the Duma; that is, they were elected by peasants’ and workers’ curiae. Initially the Social Democratic deputies joined the Trudovik (Toilers) group, but in May 1906 they withdrew as a distinct workers’ group.

In June 1906, after the arrival of five Social Democratic deputies from the Caucasus (the elections were not held at the same time throughout Russia) and as a result of a decision of the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP, an independent Social Democratic faction took shape; it consisted of ten Mensheviks and nine deputies who joined the Mensheviks. After the dissolution of the Duma on July 10 (23), 1906, as a sign of protest the members of the faction signed the Vyborg Appeal, which called for passive resistance to the government; they were convicted for this action in December 1907.

In the Second State Duma (1907) the Social Democratic faction, including deputies affiliated with it, numbered 66; among them were 15 Bolsheviks and three Bolshevik sympathizers. On June 3, 1907, the members of the faction were arrested. They were convicted on charges of preparing for the “overthrow of the state structure.” The Social Democratic faction of the Third State Duma (1907-12) consisted of 20 deputies, including four Bolsheviks and four deputies affiliated with the Bolsheviks. In the Fourth State Duma (1912-17) the Social Democratic faction numbered 14, including six Bolshevik deputies.

In October 1913 the Bolsheviks withdrew from the faction to form the independent Russian Social Democratic Labor faction. Members of the new faction were arrested on Nov. 6 (19), 1914, and were convicted in February 1915. The Menshevik faction existed until the dissolution of the Duma.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See the Index Volume, part 1, pp. 625-626.)
Gosudarstvennaia duma v Rossii: Sb. dokumentov i materialov. Moscow, 1957.

N. P. EROSHKIN

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