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Entries / All-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Soviet Deputies, Second

All-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Soviet Deputies, Second

Categories / Social Life

THE SECOND ALL-RUSSIAN CONGRESS OF WORKERS' AND SOLDIERS' SOVIET DEPUTIES, was held at Smolny from 25 to 27 October (7 to 9 November) 1917. Its sitting was delayed on several occasions; from the middle of September until 20 October (2 November), then on 25 October (7 November). Delegates represented 195 workers' soviets and soldiers' deputies, 119 soviets of workers and deputy soldiers' deputies with the participation of peasants' deputies, 46 soviets of workers' deputies, 22 soviets of soldiers and sailors' deputies, 19 soviets of peasants' deputies and a soviet of Cossacks' deputies. At its opening, 649 delegates arrived: 390 Bolsheviks, 160 Socialist-Revolutionaries (at first, Left-Wing Socialist-Revolutionaries were also included in the faction), 72 Mensheviks, 14 United Socialist Democrat-Internationalists, 6 Menshevik-Internationalists, and other small factions. Over the course of the sitting, delegates continued to arrive (the Bolsheviks increased to 472 people). Out of 670 delegates who filled in forms, 505 were for the transition of all power to the Soviets, the rest supported "power to democracy" and for "coalition power". The congress began in the assembly hall of the Smolny at 22.40 on 25 October (7 November), and coincided with the "storming" of the Winter Palace. It was opened by Menshevik F. I. Dan, the Head of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the First Summonsing. The presidium was comprised of 14 people from the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (including V.I. Lenin, L.B. Kamenev, G.E. Zinovyev, Y.М. Sverdlov, L.D. Trotsky), 7 from the Left-Wing Socialist-Revolutionaries, and one member from the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionaries. At the First Sitting, the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries proclaimed a declaration of protest "Against the Military Plot and Seizure of Power" and left the congress; they were followed by some Mensheviks-Internationalists, Bundists and representatives of other groups. The Left-Wing Socialist-Revolutionaries faction was formed, joined by part of the Centre Socialist-Revolutionaries (179 people); similar regroupings occurred in other factions. On 3 October, V.A. Antonov-Ovseenk's report on the capture of the Winter Palace and arrest of the Provisional government was read publicly. Considering the question of power, the congress at 05.00 approved (with two votes against and twelve abstentions) the "Workers, soldiers and peasants!", an appeal written by Lenin and read by A.V. Lunacharsky, in which a transition of power to the Soviets was declared. The Second Sitting started on 26 October (8 November) at 21.00. The congress then passed the Decree of Peace (unanimously) and the Decree of Land (one against and eight abstentions), both written by Lenin. At 04.00, the Decree for the Organization of Power proposed by the Bolsheviks was approved by a majority vote. The congress elected an All-Russian Central Executive Committee consisting of 101 people (including 62 Bolsheviks and 29 Left-Wing Social list-Revolutionaries; headed first by Kamenev, then by Sverdlov). The Provisional Workers and Peasants' Government and the Soviet of People's Commissars (SPC), comprising solely of Bolsheviks (headed by Lenin), was entrusted with ruling the country. The congress also approved decrees for the transition of power to the Soviets in various districts, for the abolition of the death punishment at the front, for the immediate arrest of the head of the previous Provisional Government, A.F. Kerensky, and for the fight against counter-revolutionary activities. Addresses to Cossacks, encouraging them to transfer their allegiance to the Soviets, and addresses to all railroad men, encouraging them to keep the rail roads functioning orderly, were approved. On 27 October (9 November) at 05.15 the congress was concluded. In its memory a memorial plaque was installed on the building of the Smolny.

Reference: Второй всеросийский създ советов р[абочих] и с[олдатских] д[епутатов] М.; Л., 1928; Орлов В. С., Султанова Е. А. Съезд восставшего и победившего народа. 2-е изд., доп. Л., 1987; Суханов Н. Н. Записки о революции: В 3 т. М., 1992. Т. 3, u1082 н. 5-7.

A. M. Kulegin.

Antonov-Ovseenko Vladimir Alexeevich
Dan Fedor Ilyich
Kamenev (Rozenfeld) Lev Borisovich
Kerensky Alexander Fedorovich
Lenin (real name Ulyanov) Vladimir Ilyich
Lunacharsky Anatoly Vasilievich
Sverdlov Yakov Mikhailovich
Trotsky (real name Bronstein) Lev Davidovich
Zinovyev Grigory Evseevich

Второй всероссийский съезд советов р. и с. д. М.; Л., 1928
Орлов В. С., Султанова Е. А. Съезд восставшего и победившего народа. 2-е изд., доп. Л., 1987
Суханов Н. Н. Записки о революции: В 3 т. М., 1992

The subject Index
Smolny Architectural Ensemble
Winter Palace
Provisional Government of 1917