Russian Democratic Federative Republic

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Russian Democratic Federative Republic
Российская Демократическая Федеративная Республика[1]
Proposed federal republic
Coat of arms of Russiauntil 10 July 1918
Coat of arms of Russia
until 10 July 1918
Russia between December 1917 and January 1918, after recognition of Finnish independence and before other
declarations of independence
Capital Petrograd (now St Petersburg)
Languages Russian
Government Federal presidential constitutional republic
Chairman Victor Chernov
Legislature Russian Constituent Assemblya
Bicameral parliamentb
 •  Upper house State Council
 •  Lower house State Duma
Historical era Aftermath of World War I
 •  Constituent Assembly election 25 November 1917
 •  Resolution adopted[2] 19 January 1918
 •  Constituent Assembly dissolved
19 January 1918
Currency Ruble
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
a. Provisional and constituent.
b. Intended as permanent.

The Russian Democratic Federative Republic (Russian: Российская Демократическая Федеративная Республика[1] transliteration: Rossiyskaya Demokraticheskaya Federativnaya Respublika) was a proposed federal form of government of Russia during the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was formally declared on 19 January 1918 [2] when the democratically elected Russian Constituent Assembly drafted and adopted the "Resolution on the form of government of Russia", declaring Russia to be a democratic federal republic. However, the Assembly was dissolved on the same day by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, thus making the Republic the shortest-lived state in history.

Governmental structure

According to the constitution, Russia was declared a democratic federal republic. The fundamental basis of the state was representative democracy and federation of both[3] national and territorial autonomous oblasts.[4] This was in contrast to the Decembrist constitution project, which proposed a federal constitutional monarchy on an economic basis. For the first time, the unitary structure of Russia was officially abolished and the country was declared a federation, marking the start of the federalist period in Russian history.[2]

Civil rights and duties

The Constitution granted universal suffrage for all citizens of Republic aged 20 or older.[5] This was five years lower than in the former Russian Empire.

Most civil duties, such as conscription and taxes, were inherited from the legislation of the Russian Empire.

Head of state

The head of state was the President of the Russian Democratic Federative Republic, elected for a one-year term[5] by a majority vote in parliament involving the deputies of both chambers.[4] Presidential powers were nearly identical to those of the Emperor:[5]

  • Appointment of several government officials and their removal of office;
  • Commander-in-chief of the Russian Army;
  • Decisions on the foreign policy of Russia;
  • Right to propose laws;
  • Control over governmental structures member and functioning;[clarification needed]
  • Control over law enforcement;
  • Exercising and overseeing management in Russia.

The President was responsible for his work before the parliament. A similar approach to presidential power was later used in the German constitution of 1919.

Due to the cancellation of the Constitution, no person was ever elected to this office.


According to the final draft of the Constitution, adopted in Paris on 20 January 1920, legislative power was to be held by a bicameral parliament. The State Council of the Russian Democratic Federative Republic would form the upper house, elected by regional legislatures (sejms),[4] while the State Duma of the Russian Democratic Federative Republic would form the lower house, directly elected by citizens of the Republic.[4]

Constituent powers to create a new constitution and change the type of government were allocated to the Russian Constituent Assembly.[4]

Intended autonomies within federation

See also