Development of Soviet Federalism from Lenin to Gorbachev: Major Characteristics and Reasons for Failure
Posted: 30 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 21, 2018
This article aims at examining different stages of the development of Soviet federalism, distinguishing its major principles and characteristics and identifying the reasons for its failure. In doing so, it explains the Marxist background to the emergence of Soviet federalism and the vision of Lenin, the architect of the Soviet state, of building a federation as a transitory phase towards achieving proletarian unitarism. The article provides a background to the Constitutions of the USSR of 1924, 1936 and 1977 paying particular attention to the key terms of the federal structure and also the views of the respective subsequent Soviet leaders, Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev, on the development of Soviet federalism. Further, it demonstrates the course of the constitutional reforms conducted by Gorbachev that eventually resulted in the collapse of the USSR. Finally, it draws some conclusions summarizing and demonstrating the major features of Soviet federalism and explaining why it failed.
Keywords: USSR, Communist Party, Soviet Federalism, Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev
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