Society of the United Slavs

Society of the United Slavs

 

a secret revolutionary organization created at the beginning of 1823 in Novograd-Volynsk by the officers and brothers A. I. Borisov and P. I. Borisov and the political exile Iu. K. Liublinskii, a member of the szlachectwo (Polish nobility). The Society of the United Slavs was composed of officers of modest means, minor civil servants, and office workers.

The program documents of the society (rules, sworn oath) advocated a voluntary union of the Slavic peoples and called for a struggle against serfdom and despotism. Its ultimate aim was the creation of a republican federation of Slavs and neighboring peoples that would include Russia, Poland, Bohemia, Moravia, Serbia, Moldavia, Walachia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Hungary, and Transylvania. Supreme authority would rest with an assembly of representatives from each republic. Each people was to have a constitution founded on democratic principles, taking into account national peculiarities.

The society’s members considered their immediate aims to be the elimination in Russia of autocracy and serfdom, the establishment of a Russian republic, and the restoration of Poland’s independence. By the fall of 1825 the society had about 50 members, among whom were Russians, Ukrainians, and Poles. Besides the Borisov brothers, the most active members included I. I. Gorbachevskii, V. A. Bechasnov, Ia. M. Andreevich, M. M. Spiridonov, V. N. Solov’ev, A. D. Kuz’min, and M. A. Shchepillo.

A considerable number of members were dissatisfied with the lack of concrete tasks in the program. In September 1825, based on the proposal of S. I. Murav’ev-Apostol and M. P. Bestuzhev-Riumin of the Southern Society of Decembrists, the Society of United Slavs united with the Southern Society and adopted the Southern Society’s program. Many former members of the Society of the United Slavs participated in the preparations for the armed uprising of the Decembrists and in the uprising of the Chernigov Regiment.

REFERENCES

Vosstanie dekabristov: Materialy, vol. 5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Nechkina, M. V. Obshchestvo soedinennykh slavian. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Gorbachevskii, I. I. Zapiski; Pis’ma. Moscow, 1963.
Oksman, Iu. G. “Iz istorii agitatsionno-propagandistskoi literatury 20-kh gg. XIX v.” In Ocherki iz istorii dvizheniia dekabristov: Sb. st. Moscow, 1954.

L. A. SOKOL’SKII

Full browser ?