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Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 5.1 (2004) 219-232



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Russian Political Parties in Exile

Claudia Weiss
Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg
Seminar für Geschichtswissenschaft
Holstenhofweg 85
D-22453 Hamburg
Germany
claudiaweiss@mac.com


Anarkhisty: Dokumenty i materialy, 1883-1935 gg. [The Anarchists: Documents and Materials, 1883-1935]. 2 vols. Edited by V. V. Kriven'kii. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1998-99. ISBN 5-86004-068-7. Part of the series Politicheskie partii Rossii: Konets XIX-pervaia tret ' XX veka. Dokumental'noe nasledie [Political Parties in Russia: The End of the 19th and First Third of the 20th Century. The Documentary Inheritance], under the general editorship of Valentin Valentinovich Shelokhaev.
Protokoly Tsentral'nogo komiteta i zagranichnykh grupp Konstitutsionno-demokraticheskoi partii, 1905-seredina 1930-kh gg. [Protocols of the Central Committee and Émigré Groups of the Constitutional Democratic Party, 1905-mid-1930s]. 6 vols. Compiled, with introduction and notes, by Dmitrii Borisovich Pavlov. Vol. 4: 1920-1921 gg. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1996. 544 pp. ISBN 5-85864-084-2. Vol. 5: Iiun'-dekabr' 1921 g. [June-December 1921] Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1997. 552 pp. ISBN 5-86004-061-X. Vol. 6, bk. 1: 1922 g. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1999. 504 pp. ISBN 5-86004-044-X. Vol. 6, bk. 2: 1922-1933 gg. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 1999. 560 pp. ISBN 5-86004-061-X. Part of the series Politicheskie partii Rossii: Konets XIX-pervaia tret' XX veka. Dokumental'noe nasledie [Political Parties in Russia: The End of the 19th and First Third of the 20th Century. The Documentary Inheritance], under the general editorship of Valentin Valentinovich Shelokhaev.

The end of the Russian Civil War signaled the end of party plurality in the fledgling Soviet Union. The Bolshevik conception of political power had no room for pluralism; and within a few short years the party leaders from Russia's short parliamentary period were forced into political exile and emigration. The first émigrés left during the revolution of 1917, the Civil War forced out many others, and young Soviet Russia brought about one last exodus with expulsions in the summer of 1922. 1 [End Page 219]

As the Soviet Union clamped down on political plurality, the political scene in exile became more diverse. It was—especially in the early 1920s—strongly influenced by the older parties and groups that had been active in prerevolutionary Russia: the Kadets, the Socialist Revolutionaries, the Mensheviks, the Anarchists, and the Monarchists. New political groups and currents that owed their existence to the special circumstances of exile, however, soon crystallized: the Smenovekhovtsy, the Eurasianists, the Mladorossy, and other fascist groups. Since the opening of Russian archives in the 1990s, researchers have started to restructure the questions they ask about 20th-century Russian history. There is also a new interest in the Russian interwar emigration and its political consequences. Recently, a number of publications—source documents, chronicles, and secondary works—have appeared that offer historians new perspectives and research areas on the history of Russian political parties and political trends in exile and in emigration.

The Constitutional Democratic Party

Until 1917, the Constitutional Democratic Party, known as the Kadets, embodied liberal politics in Russia. After its attempt to form the Provisional Government failed, the party went into exile in Paris. The old party structures survived until the summer of 1921, when they were dissolved amid communist victories in the Civil War. This decision was motivated by the party's search for a new strategy to deal with the changed power structure and political realities in Russia. Pavel Nikolaevich Miliukov, the long-standing charismatic leader of the Constitutional Democrats, confronted substantial resistance from his party in response to his idea of a "new tactic" in the struggle for political power in Russia. The "new tactic" required adopting a positive attitude toward the Revolution, belief in the creative strength of the Russian people, and increased attention to the interests of the peasants. With the murder, in March 1922, of Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov, a strong personality and integrative figure among the Kadets, the last hope for a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-5000
Print ISSN
1531-023x
Pages
pp. 219-232
Launched on MUSE
2004-03-18
Open Access
No
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