The Socialist Revolutionaries

  • Leonard Schapiro


The Socialist Revolutionaries unlike the Mensheviks were not linked to the Bolsheviks by a common adherence to marxism. Moreover, when once their left wing had broken away to form the separate party of Left Socialist Revolutionaries, they were much more united than the Mensheviks in their support of national defence against the Germans. They therefore repudiated the bolshevik coup d’état without any of the hesitations which beset the Mensheviks, and, unlike them, were not even prepared to discuss a coalition with the Bolsheviks. Again, in contrast to the Mensheviks, they enjoyed in 1917 very considerable popular support. They had made little attempt before November to assert the political authority to which this support entitled them, because they believed that no decisive legislative step should be taken until the Constituent Assembly had met. Within a few weeks of the October Revolution they had won a definite majority of the delegates’ seats in the elections to that Assembly. Yet they failed either at the time or later to exploit what would in normal political conditions have been a position of impregnable strength.


Central Committee Left Wing Socialist Party Soviet Government October Revolution 
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  1. 5.
    B. Sokolov, ‘Zashchita uchreditel’nogo sobraniya’, in Arkhiv russkoy revolyutsii, Vol. XIII, pp. 5–70; cf. Obvinitel’noe zaklyuchenie, pp. 1–14, which is based on the evidence of the renegades, Paevsky and Semenov, and is to much the same effect. For the demonstration, see Rakitnikova, pp. 40–2. And cf. V. Chernov, Pered burey, pp. 356–60.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    The proceedings of the Ufa Conference are reprinted in Russkiy istoricheskiy arkhiv. See also an illuminating article by V. L. Utgof, ‘Ufimskoe gosudarstvennoe soveshchanie 1918 goda’, in Byloe, no. 16, 1921, p. 15; and Bunyan, pp. 339–56.Google Scholar
  3. 38.
    For a report that Gots and Gendel’man were alive in 1939, see Sots. vestnik, 1950, no. 10, p. 199.Google Scholar

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© Leonard Schapiro 1977

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  • Leonard Schapiro

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