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Lenin's first and second government

The meaning of «lenin's first and second government»

Following the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin became the head of the new government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. It was known officially as the Council of People's Commissars, effectively his cabinet.

After Joseph Stalin had risen from commissar to become General Secretary of the Communist Party, in the 1930s he conducted a Great Purge to destroy his opposition, including ten of the fourteen members of this first council. His forces, including the NKVD, mounted operations against intellectuals and professionals, kulaks, ethnic minorities, and others, resulting in an estimated 980,000 to 1.2 million deaths throughout the USSR.[1]

The Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR (Russian: Совет народных комиссаров РСФСР) was the governmental cabinet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) from 1917 through 1946. That year it was renamed the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR. Following the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR in 1922, state powers of this institution of the RSFSR were somewhat superseded by the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR.

By September 1917, the councils (soviets) of workers, peasants and soldiers acquired considerable political and military power. The leaders of the Petrograd Soviet conspired to overthrow the Russian Provisional Government; the uprising started on 7 November 1917, when Red Guards units captured the Winter Palace. On the next day, 8 November 1917, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets recognized the success of the uprising, and formally established the new government, reflecting the capture of the soviets by the Bolsheviks.

The government was formally called the Council of People's Commissars (Совет народных коммиссаров), abbreviated as Sovnarkom (Совнарком). Leon Trotsky devised the council and commissar names, thereby avoiding the more "bourgeois" terms of minister and cabinet.

The People's Commissars (Russian: Народный комиссар, translit.: Narodny komissar, or Narkom) functioned as government ministers. A ministry was called a People's Commissariat (Russian: Народный комиссариат, translit.: Narodny komissariat, abbreviated to narkomat).

Traditionally, the executive part of a government is directed by a council of ministers nominated by a ruler or by a president. The Bolsheviks considered this to be a bourgeois institution, and wanted to create what they believed was a new government made up of a 'soviet' of workers and peasants.

The role and structure of the Sovnarkom was formalized in the 1918 Constitution of the RSFSR. The Sovnarkom of the RSFSR was responsible to the Congress of Soviets for the "general administration of the affairs of the state". The constitution enabled the Sovnarkom to issue decrees carrying the full force of law when the Congress was not in session. The Congress would routinely approve these decrees at its next session.

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