The Octobrists


The Union of 17 October saw its main task as being to contribute fundamentally to the rapid establishment of a constitutional monarchy, on the basis of the manifesto of 17 October, insofar as was possible in our state system, and to the rapid convocation of the State Duma. It called for unity amongst those who sincerely wanted the peaceful renewal of Russia and the triumph of law and order in the country, who rejected both stagnation and revolution and who recognized the need for the establishment of a strong and authoritative regime, which, together with the representatives of the people, could bring peace to the country through constructive legislative work.

. . .The basis of the Union's programme [was]:

  1. The preservation of the unity and indivisibility of the Russian state, whilst allowing individual nationalities significant rights in the cultural field;
  2. The development and strengthening of the foundations of a constitutional monarchy with a representative assembly elected on a broad franchise. . . .
  3. The guaranteeing of civil rights, and the inviolability of the individual, his residence, correspondence and property.
  4. The urgent summoning of the State Duma to put through political reforms . . . to deal with such matters as

Source: D.N. Shipov, Vospominaniia i dumy o perezhitom. Moscow, 1918, pp. 404-6.

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