Revolutionary Russia

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timer Asked: Apr 10th, 2017

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What information can one discover about revolutionary Russia from the Russian Declaration of the Rights of the Russian People? below.


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Questions to consider when reading the Declaration of the Rights of the Russian People
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Source: 50 let Velikoi Oktiabrskoi sotsialisticheskoi revoliutsii: dokumenty i materialy (Moscow: Politizdat, 1967), translated by C.T. Evans

The October Revolution of the workers and peasants has begun under the common banner of deliverance.
The peasants have been freed from the yoke of the great landed proprietors, for there is no more private property in land, it is abolished.
The soldiers and sailors have been freed from the power of autocratic generals; the generals henceforth will be elected and removable at pleasure.
The workers have been freed from the caprices and the arbitrariness of the capitalists, for starting from today control will be established by the workers over the workshops and the factories.
There remain but the peoples of Russia, who have been forbearing and have bided their time under the yoke and the arbitrariness, and whom it is necessary immediately to enfranchise and liberate.
In the epoch of Czarism, the peoples of Russia were aroused against each other. The results of this policy are known: massacres and pogroms on one side, enslaving of peoples on the other. There can be no return to this shameful policy. Today it must be replaced by a voluntary and honest policy of union of the peoples of Russia.
In the epoch of imperialism, after the February Revolution, when power passed into the hands of the Cadet bourgeoisie, the policy of incitation was replaced by a dastardly policy of distrust of the peoples of Russia, a policy of chicanery and provocation covering itself by the words of "liberty" and of "equality" of peoples. The results are known: increase of the antagonism between nationalities, lack of mutual confidence.
This unworthy policy of lies and mistrust, of chicanery and provocation must be definitely ended. It must be replaced today by an open and honest policy, leading to a complete mutual confidence of the peoples of Russia. It is only thanks to such a confidence that the honest and solid union of all the peoples of Russia can be formed.
It is only thanks to such a union that the workers and peasants of Russia can be welded into a revolutionary force capable of defending itself against every attack on the part of the imperialist and annexationist bourgeoisie.
Starting on this principle, the first congress of soviets, in the month of June of this year, proclaimed the right of the peoples of Russia to self-determination. The second congress of soviets in the month of October last confirmed this right in a more decisive and more precise fashion.
Executing the will of these soviets, the council of the people's commissaries has resolved to be guided in the question of nationalities by the following principles:
1. The equality and sovereignty of the peoples of Russia.
2. The right of the peoples of Russia to dispose of their own fate even to separation and the establishment of an independent state.
3. Abolition of all privileges and limitations, national or religious.
4. Free development of national minorities and ethnographic groups inhabiting Russian territory.
Decrees will be prepared immediately after the creation of a commission on nationalities.
In the name of the Russian Republic,
People's Commissar for Nationalities, Iusif Dzhughashvili Stalin
President of the Council of People's Commissars, V. Ulianov

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