Soviet Politics and the Ukraine, 1917-1957

By Robert S. Sullivant | Go to book overview

II. BOLSHEVIKS AND THE REVOLUTION, 1917-1920
In the first flush of enthusiasm following the November Revolution, the Bolsheviks reaffirmed their faith in absolute self-determination. In a "Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia" the Council of People's Commissars adopted four liberal principles as the foundation for its national policy:
1. The equality and sovereignty of the peoples of Russia.
2. The right of the peoples of Russia to free self-determination even to the point of separation and the formation of an independent state.
3. The abolition of all national and national-religious privileges and limitations.
4. The free development of national minorities and ethnographic groups living on Russian territory.1

But with the Revolution the position of the Bolsheviks had changed radically. No longer were they revolutionaries, irresponsibly fomenting dissension and unrest. Now they were wielders of power, and the change brought with it the necessity of modifying these general and vague principles as they were applied to the particular situations in the border areas.


RUSSIAN BOLSHEVIKS AND NOVEMBER IN THE UKRAINE

The most serious difficulty confronting the Bolsheviks was that of the possible separation of the minority areas. Bukharin and Piatakov demanded that the principle of self-determination now be abandoned lest it weaken the "international solidarity of the proletariat."2 For Lenin, however, the solution was to be found in a new and more radical affirmation of the right of self-determination coupled with a forceful campaign aimed at the preservation and development of the unity of the proletariat of all nationality

-20-

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Soviet Politics and the Ukraine, 1917-1957
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page III
  • Preface V
  • Note on Transliteration VII
  • Contents IX
  • Introduction 1
  • I. the Bolshevik Approach to Nationalism and the Ukraine 7
  • Ii. Bolsheviks and the Revolution, 1917-1920 20
  • Iii. Federalism and Ukrainian Cultural Nationalism, 1921-1927 65
  • Iv. Centralization and the Demand for Uniformity, 1927-1934 149
  • V. the New Loyalty and National Rights, 1934-1944 209
  • Vi. the Culmination of National Restrictions, 1944-1953 243
  • Vii. the New Leadership, 1953-1957 280
  • Viii. Conclusion 314
  • Notes 327
  • Bibliography 397
  • Index 422
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