Council of People's Commissars
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Council of People's Commissars
A Sovnarkom session between December 1917 and January 1918

The Council of People's Commissars (Russian: ? or , translit. Soviet narodnykh kommissarov or Sovnarkom, also as generic SNK) was a government institution formed soon after the October Revolution during 1917. Created in the Russian Republic, the council began forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It evolved to become the highest executive authority of the government of the Soviet Union. The chairman of this council was thus the head of government, and was usually called "premier" or "prime minister" outside Russia and the Soviet Union.

The 1918 Constitution of the RSFSR formalized the role of the Sovnarkom of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR): it was to be responsible to the Congress of Soviets for the "general administration of the affairs of the state". The constitution enabled the Sovnarkom to issue decrees having the force of law when the Congress was not in session. If these decrees were not approved at the Congress' next session, they were considered revoked. In practice, due to the principles of democratic centralism, the Congress merely rubber-stamped these decrees at its next session.

When the Soviet Union was established during December 1922, the USSR Sovnarkom was modeled on the RSFSR Sovnarkom. It was transformed during 1946 into the Council of Ministers.[1]

Original People's Commissars

The first council elected by the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets was composed as follows. Many early commisars later opposed the party majority organized by Stalin and allegedly conspired with the Trotskyist opposition[2] or some other opposition group, which resulted in their expulsion from the party or being arrested. The party had banned factional opposition groups at the Eleventh Party Congress during 1921.[3] Still the original People's Comissariat included Left-Communists, Trotskyists and other ex-oppositionists. Most alleged conspirators were executed for treason during the Great Purge, some had sentences reduced to imprisonment.[4]

People's Commissar Original incumbent Death
Chairman Vladimir Lenin Stroke, 1924
Secretary Nikolai Gorbunov Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR Leon Trotsky Assassinated 1940
People's Commissariat for Agriculture Vladimir Milyutin died in prison 1937
Council of People's Commissars on War and Navy Affairs Nikolai Krylenko (War College) Executed 1938
Pavel Dybenko (Navy College) Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Trade and Industry of the RSFSR Viktor Nogin Natural causes 1924
People's Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR Anatoly Lunacharsky Natural causes 1933
People's Commissariat for Food Ivan Teodorovich Executed 1937
People's Commissariat for Interior Affairs of the RSFSR Alexei Rykov Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Justice Georgy Oppokov Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Labour Alexander Shlyapnikov Executed 1937
People's Commissariat of Marine Fleet of the USSR Semyon Dukelsky (Russian: ?, ) In connection with the increased paranoia is placed in the hospital. He wrote denunciations against doctors allegedly plotting to kill him on instructions from US intelligence.[5] Natural causes 1960
People's Commissariat of Nationalities Joseph Stalin Natural causes 1953
People's Commissariat for Posts and Telegraphs of the RSFSR Nikolai Glebov-Avilov Executed 1937
People's Commissariat for Railways (vacant)
People's Commissariat for Finance Ivan Skvortsov-Stepanov Typhoid fever 1928
People's Commissariat for Social Welfare Alexandra Kollontai Natural causes 1952

All-Union Sovnarkom

Upon the creation of the USSR in 1922, the Union's government was modelled after the first Sovnarkom. The Soviet republics retained their own governments which dealt with domestic matters.

Sovmin

In 1946, the Sovnarkoms were transformed into the Council of Ministers (Sovmin) at both all-Union and Union Republic level.[1][6][7]

Councils by administrative division

Soviet republics

Autonomous republics

  • Council of People's Commissars (Adjara)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Volga German)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Bashkorstan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Buryat-Mongolia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Mountainous)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Dagestan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Kabardin-Balkaria), including Kabardin (1944-1957)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Cossack)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Kalmykia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Karakalpakistan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Komi)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Crimea)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Mari)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Mordva)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Nakhichevan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (North Osetia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Tatarstan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Tuva)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Udmurtia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Chechnia-Ingushetia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Chuvashia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Yakutia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Abkhazia), including as autonomous

Short-lived early Soviet republics

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? " 15 1946 ? [On Reforming the Council of People's Commissars into the Council of Ministers, and the Councils of People's Commissars of Union and Autonomous Republics into the Councils of Ministers of Union and Autonomous Republics, 15 March 1946]. Legislation of the USSR 1946-1952 (in Russian). World and Market Economy - Collection of Articles on Economy, Igor Averin. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ Pierre Broué, The "Bloc" of the Oppositions against Stalin
  3. ^ Lenin, Vladimir. "Eleventh Congress Of The R.C.P.(B.) March 27-April 2, 1922". www.marxists.org.
  4. ^ Getty, Origins of the great purges
  5. ^ Author? ?. ?.: " ? ? ? ?. 30-50-? ? XX ?." -- : « ?», 2008. -- Pages: 381,387,392
  6. ^ Huskey, Eugene (1992). Executive power and Soviet politics: the rise and decline of the Soviet state. M.E. Sharpe. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-56324-059-1.
  7. ^ Law, David A. (1975). Russian civilization. Ardent Media. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-8422-0529-0.

External links


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