Voronezh Congress

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Voronezh Congress


a congress of members of the populist organization Land and Freedom convened in Voronezh in June 1879 to resolve the differences among revolutionary populists about the course of future activity. About 20 people participated, including G. V. Plekhanov, A. D. Mikhailov, A. I. Zheliabov, V. N. Figner, S. L. Perovskaia, N. A. Morozov, M. F. Frolenko, and O. V. Aptekman. The partisans of the “politics” of political struggle and terror, including Zheliabov, Mikhailov, and Morozov, constituted a united group at the Voronezh Congress, one that had taken definitive shape at the Lipetsk Congress (June 1879). Plekhanov’s supporters (“villagers”) maintained a conciliatory position, believing that work among the peasants was the primary task; in essence they did not object to terror, either. Plekhanov himself argued that the enthusiasm for terror jeopardized the prospects of work among the people; he formally quit Land and Freedom and left the congress.

The resolutions of the congress bore the characteristics of compromise; the necessity of political terror combined with activity among the people was acknowledged. The struggle between the two orientations continued after the Voronezh Congress. In August 1879, Land and Freedom split into the People’s Will and Black Repartition.


Arkhiv “Zemli i voli” i “Narodnoi voli.” Moscow, 1932.
Plekhanov, G. V. “Neudachnaia istoriia partii ’Narodnoi voli.’” Soch., vol. 24. Moscow, 1927.
Figner, V. N. Zapechatlennyi trud, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964.
Morozov, N. A. Povesti moei zhizni, vol. 2. [Moscow] 1961.
Tvardovskaia, V. A. “Voronezhskii s”ezd zemlevol’tsev.” Nauchnye doklady vysshei shkoly: Istoricheskie nauki, 1959, no. 2.


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