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In 1905 Tsar Nicholas II faced a series of domestic problems that became known as the 1905 Revolution. This included Bloody Sunday, the Potemkin Mutiny and a series of strikes that led to the establishment of the St. Petersburg Soviet. Over the next few weeks over 50 of these soviets were formed all over Russia.
Sergi Witte, the new Chief Minister, advised Nicholas II to make concessions. He eventually agreed and published the October Manifesto. This granted freedom of conscience, speech, meeting and association. He also promised that in future people would not be imprisoned without trial. Finally he announced that no law would become operative without the approval of a new organization called the Duma.
Pavel Milyukov, who had been living in exile, decided to return to Russia and establish a new political party, the Constitutional Democratic Party (Cadets) in October 1905. Members included George Lvov, Ariadna Tyrkova, Peter Struve, Sofia Panina, Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov, Nikolai Nekrasov, Sergey Oldenburg, Alexander Kornilov, Nikolay Gredeskul, Vasily Maklakov and Vladimir Vernadsky. The Cadets demanded universal suffrage and a Constituent Assembly that would determine the country's form of government.
The American journalist, Louise Bryant, commented: "The Cadet party is the party of the propertied classes; it has no force of arms and no great mass of people. At one time the only accredited legal party which stood for fairness and reform, as the revolution progressed it lost in influence and fell rapidly into ill repute." Catherine Breshkovskaya agreed: "As regards our capitalists, great and small, I must tell you that upon them rests a great, bloody sin. I am impartial - you know the class I come from - I repeat our enemy at home is just this merchant and capitalist class."
Marie Spirodonova, a member of the Left Socialist Revolutionary Party, also dismissed the Constitutional Democratic Party as an important political force: "It is impossible at the present moment to be anything more reactionary than a Cadet. The reason is simple. No one dares to come out openly in favour of a monarchy or to say he is hostile to Socialism, so naturally all these people hide behind the Cadet party-claim to be Cadets, although they are not actually members and they do their best to destroy it. That is why the party that was once an honest, liberal party has become the Black Hundred organisation - hated and despised."
The Cadets won over 30% of the seats in the First State Duma in February 1906. The first meeting of the Duma took place in May 1906. Several changes in the composition of the Duma had been altered since the publication of the October Manifesto. Tsar Nicholas II had also created a State Council, an upper chamber, of which he would nominate half its members. He also retained for himself the right to declare war, to control the Orthodox Church and to dissolve the Duma. The Tsar also had the power to appoint and dismiss ministers. Under Milyukov's leadership, the party criticized this restriction of freedom.
The First Duma had a left majority consisting of Cadets, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Bolsheviks, Octobrists. At their first meeting, members of the Duma put forward a series of demands including the release of political prisoners, trade union rights and land reform. Nicholas II rejected all these proposals and dissolved the Duma in July, 1906. As a result Pavel Milyukov drafted the Vyborg Manifesto. In the manifesto, Milyukov called for passive resistance, non-payment of taxes and draft avoidance.
Elections for the Second Duma took place in 1907. The Tsar's chief minister, Peter Stolypin, used his powers to exclude large numbers from voting. This reduced the influence of the left but when the Second Duma convened in February, 1907, it still included a large number of reformers. After three months of heated debate, Nicholas II closed down the Duma on the 16th June, 1907.
Stolypin now made changes to the electoral law. This excluded national minorities and dramatically reduced the number of people who could vote in Poland, Siberia, the Caucasus and in Central Asia. The new electoral law also gave better representation to the nobility and gave greater power to the large landowners to the detriment of the peasants. Changes were also made to the voting in towns and now those owning their own homes elected over half the urban deputies.
The Third Duma met on 14th November 1907. The former coalition of Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Bolsheviks, Octobrists and Constitutional Democrat Party, were now outnumbered by the reactionaries and the nationalists. Unlike the previous Dumas, this one ran its full-term of five years.
On the outbreak of the First World War the Cadet leader, Pavel Milyukov began promoting patriotic policies of national defense, insisting his younger son volunteer for the army (he was later killed on the Eastern Front). In 1914 the Russian Army was the largest army in the world. However, Russia's poor roads and railways made the effective deployment of these soldiers difficult. By December, 1914, the army had 6,553,000 men. However, they only had 4,652,000 rifles. Untrained troops were ordered into battle without adequate arms or ammunition. In 1915 Russia suffered over 2 million casualties and lost Kurland, Lithuania and much of Belorussia. Agricultural production slumped and civilians had to endure serious food shortages.
In September 1915, Nicholas II replaced Grand Duke Nikolai as supreme commander of the Russian Army fighting on the Eastern Front. This failed to change the fortunes of the armed forces and by the end of the year there were conscription riots in several cities. Milyukov and other Cadet leaders now began criticizing the government for its inefficiency.
General Alexei Brusilov, commander of the Russian Army in the South West, led an offensive against the Austro-Hungarian Army in June, 1916. Initially Brusilov achieved considerable success and in the first two weeks his forces advanced 80km and captured 200,000 prisoners. The German Army sent reinforcements to help their allies and gradually the Russians were pushed back. When the offensive was called to a halt in the autumn of 1916, the Russian Army had lost almost a million men.
On 26th February Nicholas II ordered the Duma to close down. Members refused and they continued to meet and discuss what they should do. Michael Rodzianko, President of the Duma, sent a telegram to the Tsar suggesting that he appoint a new government led by someone who had the confidence of the people. When the Tsar did not reply, the Duma nominated a Provisional Government headed by Prince George Lvov, a member of the Cadet Party. Pavel Milyukov was appointed Foreign Minister and Peter Struve, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prince Lvov allowed all political prisoners to return to their homes. Joseph Stalin arrived at Nicholas Station in St. Petersburg with Lev Kamenev on 25th March, 1917. His biographer, Robert Service, has commented: "He was pinched-looking after the long train trip and had visibly aged over the four years in exile. Having gone away a young revolutionary, he was coming back a middle-aged political veteran." He immediately joined the Pravda editorial board.
The Petrograd Soviet recognized the authority of the Provisional Government in return for its willingness to carry out eight measures. This included the full and immediate amnesty for all political prisoners and exiles; freedom of speech, press, assembly, and strikes; the abolition of all class, group and religious restrictions; the election of a Constituent Assembly by universal secret ballot; the substitution of the police by a national militia; democratic elections of officials for municipalities and townships and the retention of the military units that had taken place in the revolution that had overthrown Nicholas II.
Soon after taking power Pavel Milyukov wrote to all Allied ambassadors describing the situation since the change of government: "Free Russia does not aim at the domination of other nations, or at occupying by force foreign territories. Its aim is not to subjugate or humiliate anyone. In referring to the "penalties and guarantees" essential to a durable peace the Provisional Government had in view reduction of armaments, the establishment of international tribunals, etc." He attempted to maintain the Russian war effort but he was severely undermined by the formation of soldiers' committee that demanded "peace without annexations or indemnities".
As Robert V. Daniels, the author of Red October: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 (1967) pointed out: "On the 20th April, Milyukov's note was made public, to the accompaniment of intense popular indignation. One of the Petrograd regiments, stirred up by the speeches of a mathematician who happened to be serving in the ranks, marched to the Marinsky Palace (the seat of the government at the time) to demand Milyukov's resignation." With the encouragement of the Bolsheviks, the crowds marched under the banner, "Down with the Provisional Government".
Ariadna Tyrkova, a member of the Cadets, argued: "A man of rare erudition and of an enormous power for work, Milyukov had numerous adherents and friends, but also not a few enemies. He was considered by many as a doctrinaire on account of the stubbornness of his political views, while his endeavours to effect a compromise for the sake of rallying larger circles to the opposition were blamed as opportunism. As a matter of fact almost identical accusations were showered upon him both from Right and Left. This may partly be explained by the fact that it is easier for Milyukov to grasp an idea than to deal with men, as he is not a good judge of either their psychology or their character."
On 5th May, 1917, Milyukov was forced to resign. He was now unpopular with the party and at a conference on 22nd October, 1917, he was severely criticized. Melissa Kirschke Stockdale, the author of Paul Miliukov and the Quest for a Liberal Russia (1996) has argued that delegates "lashed out at Miliukov with unaccustomed ferocity. His travels abroad had made him poorly informed about the public mood, they charged; the patience of the people was exhausted." Miliukov defended his policies by arguing: "It will be our task not to destroy the government, which would only aid anarchy, but to instill in it a completely different content, that is, to build a genuine constitutional order. That is why, in our struggle with the government, despite everything, we must retain a sense of proportion.... To support anarchy in the name of the struggle with the government would be to risk all the political conquests we have made since 1905."
The Cadet party newspaper did not take the Bolshevik challenge seriously: "The best way to free ourselves from Bolshevism would be to entrust its leaders with the fate of the country... The first day of their final triumph would also be the first day of their quick collapse." Leon Trotsky accused Milyukov of being a supporter of General Lavr Kornilov and trying to organize a right-wing coup against the Provisional Government.
Alexander Kerensky later claimed he was in a very difficult position and described Milyukov's supporters as beings Bolsheviks of the Right: "The struggle of the revolutionary Provisional Government with the Bolsheviks of the Right and of the Left... We struggled on two fronts at the same time, and no one will ever be able to deny the undoubted connection between the Bolshevik uprising and the efforts of Reaction to overthrow the Provisional Government and drive the ship of state right onto the shore of social reaction." Kerensky argued that Milyukov was now working closely with General Lavr Kornilov and other right-wing forces to destroy the Provisional Government: "In mid-October, all Kornilov supporters, both military and civilian, were instructed to sabotage government measures to suppress the Bolshevik uprising."
On the evening of 24th October, orders were given for the Bolsheviks to occupy the railway stations, the telephone exchange and the State Bank. The following day the Red Guards surrounded the Winter Palace. Inside was most of the country's Cabinet, although Kerensky had managed to escape from the city. The Winter Palace was defended by Cossacks, some junior army officers and the Woman's Battalion. At 9 p.m. the Aurora and the Peter and Paul Fortress began to open fire on the palace. Little damage was done but the action persuaded most of those defending the building to surrender. The Red Guards, led by Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko, now entered the Winter Palace and arrested the Cabinet ministers. On 26th October, 1917, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets met and handed over power to the Soviet Council of People's Commissars.
The Constitutional Democratic Party only won 17 seats in the Constituent Assembly in November, 1917. The election was won by the Socialist Revolutionaries. The Bolsheviks were bitterly disappointed with the result as they hoped it would legitimize the October Revolution. When it opened on 5th January, 1918, Victor Chernov, leader of the Socialist Revolutionaries, was elected President. When the Assembly refused to support the programme of the new Soviet Government, the Bolsheviks walked out in protest. Later that day, Lenin announced that the Constituent Assembly had been dissolved. Soon afterwards all opposition political groups were banned in Russia.
Ariadna Tyrkova and her husband, Harold Williams, now fled the country. The following year she published her account of the Russian Revolution in her book, From Liberty to Brest-Litovsk (1918). In 1919 she returned to Russia as a supporter of the White Army in the Russian Civil War. She had now moved to the far-right and had completely rejected the idea of democracy. She wrote: "We must support the army first and place the democratic programs in the background. We must create a ruling class and not a dictatorship of the majority. The universal hegemony of Western democracy is a fraud, which politicians have foisted upon us. We must have the courage to look directly into the eye of the wild beast -- which is called the people."
After the Russian Revolution most members of the Constitutional Democratic Party supported the White Army in the Russian Civil War. The Red Army victory forced most of its leaders into exile. Most of its leaders now moved to the far-right and had completely rejected the idea of democracy. Ariadna Tyrkova wrote: "We must support the army first and place the democratic programs in the background. We must have the courage to look directly into the eye of the wild beast -- which is called the people."
At the head of the Government stood Prince George Lvov. He was known to all Russia as a Zemstvo worker, as the President of the Zemstvo Union. This organisation, which united all the provincial Zemstvos (local government councils), came into being during the war and rendered important services in the task of caring for the sick and wounded soldiers. Prince Lvov had always held aloof from a purely political life. He belonged to no party, and as head of the Government could rise above party issues. Not till later did the four months of his premiership demonstrate the consequences of such aloofness even from that very narrow sphere of political life which in Tsarist Russia was limited to work in the Duma and party activity. Neither a clear, definite, manly programme, nor the ability for firmly and persistently realising certain political problems were to be found in Prince G. Lvov. But these weak points of his character were generally unknown.
All rejoiced at having got rid of mercenary, dishonest nonentities, like the Ministers Sukhomlinov or Protopopov, and were glad to see an irreproachably honest patriot, such as Prince G. Lvov always was and will be, placed at last at the head of the Russian Government. Among the members of the Government Paul Milyukov was the one who possessed the most strongly marked political individuality. He was a historian, and his works on the history of Russian culture are still looked upon as leading studies in the subject. But his academic career was soon ended. The Tsar’s Government regarded P.N. Milyukov with great suspicion, and he was forbidden to lecture or to reside in university towns. He himself gradually abandoned scientific research and gave himself up to politics, preferring to make history rather than to study it. Milyukov took an energetic part in the Constitutional movement, when it still bore a conspirative character (before the Treaty of Portsmouth), and after the first revolution in 1905 became one of the leaders of the newly formed Constitutional-Democratic (Cadet) party.
He became the leader of the opposition in the Third and Fourth Dumas, and his speeches caused far greater irritation in Government circles than did the sharper but narrowly Socialistic speeches of the extreme Left orators.
A man of rare erudition and of an enormous power for work, Milyukov had numerous adherents and friends, but also not a few enemies. This may partly be explained by the fact that it is easier for Milyukov to grasp an idea than to deal with men, as he is not a good judge of either their psychology or their character.
Not merely able but honest and courageous, he was one of the first who in the days of boundless revolutionary dreams and raptures uttered warnings against the dangers lurking on all sides, and even had the temerity to declare aloud that it would be better to settle on a constitutional monarchy, without being carried away by the idea of a republic which Russia as yet was incapable of realising.
These words, as well as his persistent and constant reminder that Russia would become free and powerful if only she, together with her Allies, succeeded in completely defeating Germany, gave Milyukov’s enemies the opportunity of raising a campaign against him from the very outset. He also added strength to the enemy’s position by emphasizing in his statement of war aims that the possession of the Dardanelles was Russia’s vital need. This gave the Revolutionary Democracy occasion to clamour about Milyukov’s predatory aspirations and imperialism. During the Revolution all those to the right of him rather supported him. Those to the left feared or even hated him.
The Cadet party is the party of the propertied classes; it has no force of arms and no great mass of people. At one time the only accredited legal party which stood for fairness and reform, as the revolution progressed it lost in influence and fell rapidly into ill repute....
In trying to compare the deep chasm between the mass of the people in Russia and our own people where lines are hardly discernible, we must remember that in Russia over 80 per cent. of the people are proletariat or semi-proletariat. That is, they are either entirely without property or they have such small holdings that they are unable to exist from them. On the other hand-after the revolution the propertied classes refused to co-operate in any way with the democratic organisations of the masses. They bent every effort to break down those institutions.
The fall of Miliukov caused Prince Lvov to reconstruct the Provisional Government. A coalition government was formed of moderate Socialists from the Soviet and seven Liberals. The Socialists were Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. The Liberals were from the Cadets and other groups. Kerensky became War Minister. He was a lawyer who made a great name for himself in defending victims of Tsarist oppression and was generally very popular. The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries believed that at that stage of the Revolution the workers and soldiers of the Army were unable to run the country alone and needed the co-operation of the middle-class Liberals.
A.F. Kerensky and P. Milyukov presented the two most characteristic and influential figures of the Cabinet. Unfortunately they were divided not merely by a divergence of views, but also by personal ill-will. Kerensky, as the more emotional and impulsive of the two, gave way to this sentiment of enmity and made no endeavours to conceal it even at Cabinet meetings. On his part P. Milyukov lost no opportunity of emphasizing the logical unsteadiness and political immaturity of the Revolutionary Democracy, and incidentally of Kerensky himself, as its gifted representative.
A.F. Kerensky was considerably younger than P.N. Milyukov. In a revolutionary epoch this is an important privilege, as the stormy vacillations accompanying each upheaval claim great versatility and flexibility from revolutionary leaders. A lawyer by education, A. Kerensky possessed the pleader’s superficial eloquence. His speeches in the Duma - he was a member of the Third and Fourth Dumas - were neither profound nor original, yet nevertheless Kerensky occupied a prominent place upon the Left benches, for in both these Dumas the Socialists were rather feebly represented and lacked prominent members. Although a member of the Social Revolutionary party Kerensky officially belonged to the party of Toil. This was a compulsory conspirative camouflage, for members of the Social Revolutionary party, which employed terroristic methods, were cruelly persecuted by the Tsarist Government. Even before the Revolution A. Kerensky was extremely popular in Socialist circles of various shades. Later, as Head of the Provisional Government, he exhibited the meagreness of his political outlook and the instability and levity of his character. But at the beginning of the Revolution it seemed as if some inner fire had been kindled within him, and he at once became enormously popular. In those early days Kerensky, protecting the honour of the Revolution at the risk of his own life, saved the Tsarist Ministers, whom he hated, from the ever-growing wrath of the mob. This was a magnanimous and daring act. He gave proof of a similar courage when at the risk of losing his rapidly increasing popularity he consented to enter the Provisional Government without asking permission of the Soviet. This was an act of temerity. The Socialists grouped around Cheidze preferred that Prince Lvov’s Cabinet should remain a purely bourgeois one, so that they might assume the position of an irresponsible opposition. But Kerensky first consented to accept a portfolio and then placed before the Soviet a fait accompli, forcing their approval of his act by a short but powerful and skilfully framed speech.
In those days his speeches were full of an infectious revolutionary passion. Amid the roar and clamour of the ever-growing popular movement Kerensky rose to heights of real eloquence. And he did not become a tribune, only because he lacked what seems to be the primary and absolutely necessary quality - the intellect of a statesman. And, it may be, also a more delicate conscience.
Kerensky was perhaps the only member of the Government who knew how to deal with the masses, since he instinctively understood the psychology of the mob. Therein lay his power and the main source of his popularity in the streets, in the Soviet, and in the Government.
Constitutional Democratic Party
The Constitutionally-Democratic Party ( Russian Конституционно-демократическая партия , Konstituzionno-demokratitscheskaja partija ) and cadets ( кадеты, kadety ), were an early 20th century in the Russian Duma active moiety. After their abbreviation KD, they were also known as cadets . Politically, they were close to liberal ideas.
In the first State Duma , elected as a result of the Russian Revolution of 1905 , the party made up the largest parliamentary group with 37% of the MPs. This was also due to the fact that the left parties boycotted the election. After Tsar Nicholas II dissolved the Duma just a few months after its opening, some members of the party signed the Vyborg Manifesto , which called for people to refuse to pay taxes and to refuse military service. After the February Revolution of 1917 , the Cadets appointed Prince Lvov, Russia's first democratically legitimized Prime Minister. Party leader Pavel Nikolayevich Milyukov became foreign minister of the Provisional Government . In the Miliukov Note , he promised the Western Allies, England and France, that World War I would continue at their side. This and the lack of land reform in favor of the peasants cost the party its earlier broad support in the further course of the revolution. In the elections to the Constituent Assembly , she received only 17 seats.
When this on 5./6. When it met in January 1918, the Cadet Party was already banned. On November 28, 1917, the Bolsheviks , who had ruled since the October Revolution , declared it a "party of enemies of the people " and Lenin decreed the arrest of their leaders. With the simultaneous decline of the Social Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks , the multi-party system in Soviet Russia disappeared .
Well-known representatives of the Cadets include Miljukow and Prince Lwow Vladimir Dmitrijewitsch Nabokow , Nikolai Wissarionowitsch Nekrasow and Mykola Wassylenko .
Constitutional Democratic Party – Party of Popular Freedom
The Constitutional Democratic Party – Party of Popular Freedom (Russian: Конституционно-демократическая партия - Партия народной свободы) was a political party in the USSR and Russia. It followed a path of development similar to that of the Democratic Party of Russia in early 1990s, developing from pro-reform/pro-democracy positions (as a member of the Democratic Russia coalition until late 1991) to nationalist opposition to Yeltsin and successive governments.
The party was founded in 1990 by disenchanted 'fundamentalist' members of the Union of Constitutional Democrats. The party leaders adopted the 1917 program of the Cadet party of the Russian Empire. Mikhail Astafyev, people's deputy of RSFSR defected to the new organization in August 1990.
In June 1991 the 'XI Refoundation Congress' of the Cadet party took place (the last congress of the historical cadet party was held in 1920). Astafyev was elected as the chairman of the re-established party. The party was initially strongly pro-reform and joined the Democratic Russia coalition, but moved to the opposition following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whereas in 1991 they advocated 'dis-establishing the totalitarian communist regime', in early 1992, Astafyev in effect joined the radical communist-nationalist opposition to Yeltsin's government, which led a number of party members to resign. From that time on, the party called for resignation of the 'government of Yeltsin-Gaidar', putting end to privatization of state enterprises and 'collapse of kolkhozes', 'veto to territorial concessions' etc. Astafyev concentrated his efforts on the National Salvation Front activities. The party could not participate in the 1993 legislative election due to failing to gather necessary number of signatures. In 1994, the Cadet party split, as internal opposition led by N.Kulikov accused Astafyev of having moved to 'left-wing extremist positions'. In 1995, Astafyev joined Alexander Rutskoy's Derzhava movement, but the two soon parted ways due to a dispute in dividing positions in electoral list. Later in 1995, the Cadet party of Astafyev joined Zemsky sobor ('All-National Congress'), another minor nationalist coalition.
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(Cadets), members of the Constitutional Democratic Party. The party&rsquos official name was People&rsquos Freedom Party.
The Cadets were the chief party of the counterrevolutionary liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie in Russia. The party was formed during the course of the 1905&ndash revolution in Russia. The founding congress of the Cadets, which adopted a program and a set of party rules, was held in Moscow, Oct. 12&ndash, 1905. The formation of the party followed the activity of the liberal bourgeois Union of Liberation and Union of Zemstvo Constitutionalists these two groups provided the central core for the new party. The party was definitively established at its second congress in St. Petersburg, Jan. 5&ndash, 1906, at which its program was made more precise and a permanent Central Committee was elected. (The first congress, because of its small attendance, had only elected a temporary Central Committee.) Among the chief figures in the Cadet leadership were P. N. Miliukov, A. M. Ko-liubakin, V. A. Maklakov, A. I. Shingarev, P. B. Struve, F. I. Rodichev, I. V. Gessen, A. I. Kaminka, V. D. Nabokov, Prince Pavel D. Dolgorukii, Prince Petr D. Dolgorukii, M. M. Vinaver, A. A. Kornilov, Prince D. I. Shakhovskoi, and I. I. Petrunkevich. In 1906 the party had 70, 000&ndash, 000 members. Representatives of the bourgeois intelligentsia predominated on the Central Committee&mdashlawyers, professors, literary figures, zemstvo (local government) activists, and liberal landowners. The newspaper Rech &rsquo, which in fact became the central organ of the party, began publication in February 1906. The third and fourth congresses of the party were also held in 1906, the third in St. Petersburg, April 21&ndash, and the fourth at Helsinki, September 23&ndash. The fifth congress was held in Helsinki, Oct. 23&ndash, 1907. No further congresses were called until 1916.
The Cadet program adopted in October 1905 left open the question of what form the state should take. (Paragraph 13 stated: &ldquoThe constitutional structure of the Russian state is determined by its basic laws.&rdquo) But three months later, when the situation had changed and the defeat of the revolution was under way, the second Cadet congress made this formula more precise: &ldquoRussia should be a constitutional and parliamentary monarchy,&rdquo with ministers responsible to the &ldquorepresentatives of the people,&rdquo that is, a one-chamber or two-chamber parliament elected on the basis of universal suffrage. The program included demands for bourgeois freedoms, such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, and the inviolability of one&rsquos home and person. The agrarian part of the program provided for the distribution of state lands, crown lands (udeVnye and kabinetnye), and church and monastery lands to peasants with little or no land, and for the partial alienation of privately owned land through purchase at &ldquoequitable, not market, prices.&rdquo On labor matters, the program called for the extension of labor legislation to all forms of wage labor, the gradual introduction (&ldquoinsofar as is possible&rdquo) of the eight-hour day, the right of workers to strike and form unions, and compulsory government insurance, &ldquowith the costs to be carried by the employers.&rdquo Special attention was paid to enlarging the rights of the zemstvos, extending such units of local self-government throughout the country, and creating smaller units of self-government. On the national question, the Cadets demanded the right for non-Russians to use their own languages in public life, as well as autonomy for Poland and Finland within the empire. The relatively radical character of the program is explained by the fact that the party was formed at the culminating phase of the revolution, when the revolutionary spirit of the masses was at its height, and the Cadets aimed at influencing these masses and drawing them along behind them. The Cadets&rsquo aspiration to fill the role of &ldquoleader of the nationwide opposition&rdquo was based on their mistaken assumption of the peasantry&rsquos political backwardness and a conviction peculiar to liberal bourgeois intellectuals in general that they represent the interests of the nation as a whole, &ldquoabove classes.&rdquo
The Cadets&rsquo chief thesis was the categorical rejection of revolution, to which they counterposed the path of &ldquopeaceful&rdquo and &ldquoconstitutional&rdquo development for Russia. Their aim was to &ldquobring the revolutionary chaos under control&rdquo and guide it into the channels of &ldquonormal social reform.&rdquo Until the Manifesto of October 17, 1905, the liberal bourgeoisie in part regarded the revolutionary movement as justified, with certain reservations, and even sympathized with it, attempting to frighten the tsarist regime by revolution and hoping to make a deal with it in order to win a &ldquoconstitution&rdquo at the expense of the people. The Manifesto of October 17, in the Cadets&rsquo opinion, signified the realization of the revolution&rsquos goals and the beginning of &ldquoan era of creative parliamentary work.&rdquo After the armed insurrections of December 1905 the Cadets made a sharp turn to the right. They protested against the &ldquotyrrany of the revolution&rdquo and condemned the &ldquomadness of armed insurrection&rdquo and tactics of &ldquoextremists,&rdquo especially of the revolutionary Social Democrats.
The Cadets used the State Duma as the arena for their political activity. The victory of the Cadets in the elections to the First State Duma in 1906 was assured by the constitutional illusions of the broad layers of the democratically minded voters (especially the peasants), who, because of the boycott of the Duma elections by the Social Democrats and the Socialist Revolutionaries (SR&rsquos), gave their votes to the Cadets as the only opposition party. Of the 478 deputies, the Cadet Duma group numbered 179 and became the directing center of the Duma. The Cadet S. A. Muromtsev became president of the Duma. In the spring of 1906 the Cadets entered into secret negotiations with the government in regard to assuming ministerial offices. Speculating on the fear of the Trudoviks (the Toilers group of deputies in the Duma) that the Duma would be dispersed, the Cadets demanded that the former pursue a moderate policy and repudiate any conflicts with the government. The Cadets tried to win over the Trudoviks through a draft agrarian law (the draft of the 42). However, the Trudoviks rejected it, introducing their own draft law (that of the 104). The Cadets&rsquo policies in the Duma brought about a sharp decline in their influence among the masses. In an attempt to shore up their prestige and to avert a call by the left-wing parties for revolutionary action in response to the dissolution of the Duma, a group of the Cadet deputies signed the Vyborg Appeal in July 1906. This called on the population to offer passive resistance to the government. But two months later the Fourth Congress of the Constitutional Democratic Party opposed any attempt to implement the appeal.
In the Second Duma the Cadet representation was reduced by almost half (98 deputies out of 518), but as a result of the waverings of the Trudoviks, the Cadets maintained their position as the &ldquocenter.&rdquo The right-wing Cadet F. A. Golovin was elected president of the Duma. Under the conditions of the further decline of the revolution, the Cadets&rsquo politics took on a more and more moderate and counterrevolutionary character. &ldquoThere is no longer any of last year&rsquos vacillation between reaction and the struggle of the people,&rdquo wrote Lenin in characterizing the right-ward evolution of the Cadets. &ldquoThis has yielded to frank hatred for this struggle, a cynically outspoken ambition to put a stop to the revolution&rdquo (Poln. sobr. sock, 5th ed., vol. 15, p. 20). The Cadets&rsquo capitulatory policies made it easier for the government to dissolve the Second Duma and carry out the June 3, 1907, coup d&rsquoetat. This betrayal of the people&rsquos interests exposed the Cadets conclusively in the eyes of the masses. Any elements whatsoever of a democratic tendency at that point abandoned the party.
In the period of reaction after June 3 the Cadet party went through a state of crisis and collapse. As Miliukov acknowledges, the Cadets ceased to exist as an organizational unit. At the fifth congress they decided against any independent drafting of legislation and took the road of &ldquoseriously criticizing&rdquo the draft legislation of the government and &ldquointroducing improvements in it.&rdquo Their fifth congress resolved that the Cadets should enter into a bloc with the Octobrists in the Third Duma and &ldquodecisively rebuff&rdquo the leftists should they try to undermine the work of the Duma. The Cadets described their role in the Third Duma, in which they were a minority (54 deputies), as that of the &ldquoresponsible&rdquo opposition, as distinct from the &ldquoirresponsible&rdquo opposition of the Social Democrats, who used the Duma for propaganda purposes. In 1909 the Cadets took part in the ideological offensive of the reaction against revolution and democracy, contributing to the renegade collection Vekhi. In the summer of 1909, at a luncheon given by the lord mayor of London, Miliukov declared: &ldquoso long as there is a legislative chamber in Russia controlling the budget, the Russian opposition will remain His Majesty&rsquos opposition, and not an opposition to His Majesty.&rdquo This declaration was approved by a Cadet conference in November 1909.
The new revolutionary upsurge, the deepening crisis of the ruling circles, the legislative paralysis of the Duma, and the fear of becoming completely isolated from the masses in the event of a new revolution&mdashall these things together forced the Cadets to adopt a more &ldquoleftist&rdquo tone in the Fourth Duma. They introduced legislation for universal suffrage, reform of the State Council, and bourgeois freedoms, condemned the policies of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, and carried out other similar activities. In 1913 the Cadet leaders were forced to acknowledge that the solution to political problems lay not in the Duma but in &ldquorapprochement with the masses.&rdquo However, as before, the liberal bourgeoisie feared the revolutionary movement of the masses more than they did the reaction. Thus, the Cadets continued to place their main hopes in the Duma on a bloc with the Octobrists.
World War I set aside for the moment the contradictions between the liberal bourgeoisie and the autocracy. The Cadets solemnly declared their &ldquounity&rdquo with the government and proclaimed the need to set aside all &ldquodifferences&rdquo until the war had been victoriously concluded. The defeats on the battlefront, the corruption of the tsarist regime, the prospect of total military collapse, and the deepening of the revolutionary situation in the country revived and strengthened the oppositional mood not only among the bourgeoisie but also among the landlords. In 1915 the Cadets played a decisive role in the formation of the so-called Progressive Bloc in the Duma (consisting of Cadets, Octobrists, Progressives, and others). The Bloc&rsquos program (calling for a &ldquogovernment of public confidence&rdquo and a minimum of liberal reforms) was aimed at warding off the imminent revolution and carrying the war &ldquoto a victorious conclusion.&rdquo
The February Revolution of 1917 abrubtly changed the Cadets&rsquo situation. They began to play a leading role in the first bourgeois Provisional Government, in which the Cadets Miliukov, Shingarev, N. V. Nekrasov, and A. A. Manuilov were ministers. &ldquoThe Cadet party,&rdquo Lenin noted, &ldquothe chief capitalist party, held pride of place as the ruling and government party of the bourgeoisie&rdquo (Poln. sobr. sock, 5th ed., vol. 34, p. 58). Having come to power, the Cadets did everything they could to prevent the resolution of the agrarian and national questions or any other fundamental question of the revolution. They favored continuation of the war. Their seventh congress, held in Petrograd, Mar. 25&ndash (Apr. 7&ndash), 1917, taking the antimonarchist mood of the masses into account, declared that &ldquoRussia must be a democratic republic.&rdquo In 1917 the Constitutional Democratic Party had no more than 50, 000 members.
The imperialist foreign policy of Miliukov&rsquos ministry aroused sharp protests on the part of the revolutionary masses during the April Crisis of 1917. The leaders of the bourgeoisie saw their way out of the crisis by forming a coalition government with the SR&rsquos and Mensheviks on May 5 (18). The Cadet ministers in the government were Shingarev, Nekrasov, Manuilov, and Shakhov-skoi. The eighth congress of the Constitutional Democratic Party, held in Petrograd, May 9&ndash (22&ndash), declared &ldquofull support for the new Provisional Government.&rdquo However, on July 2 (15), as the political situation reached a point of extreme tension, the Cadets left the government, calculating that by the threat of destroying the coalition they could force the SR-Menshevik leadership of the Soviets to take the road of openly suppressing the mass movement and establishing a &ldquostrong authority.&rdquo Having eliminated dual power and established, with the aid of the compromisers, the single rule of the bourgeoisie, the Cadets entered the newly formed coalition government on July 24 (August 6) with F. F. Kokoshkin, S. F. Ol&rsquodenburg, P. P. Iurenev, and A. V. Kartashev as ministers. The ninth congress of the Cadets (Moscow-Petrograd, July 23&ndash [August 5&ndash]) steered a course toward a counterrevolutionary coup and establishment of a military dictatorship. The Cadets demanded the dissolution of the Bolshevik Party and organized a new slander campaign against the Bolsheviks and Lenin.
The collapse of the Kornilov revolt laid bare the counterrevolutionary nature of the Cadets as the &ldquomain Kornilovite party&rdquo (Lenin, op. cit, p. 217) and greatly weakened their position. The SR-Menshevik leaders arrived at a new agreement with the Cadets, with the result that the last Provisional Government (formed on September 25 [October 8]) had the following Cadet ministers: A. I. Konovalov, N. M. Kishkin, S. A. Smirnov, and A. V. Kartashev. In the face of the oncoming revolution, the Cadets intensified their activities in mobilizing counterrevolutionary forces and began to prepare for a new attempt at a Kornilov-type coup. This political line was confirmed by the decisions of the tenth congress of the Constitutional Democratic Party in Moscow, October 14&ndash (27&ndash). The October Socialist Revolution frustrated the Cadets&rsquo plans. On Nov. 28 (Dec. 11), 1917, the Soviet government issued a decree declaring the Cadets to be a &ldquoparty of enemies of the people.&rdquo Members of the leading bodies of the party were subject to arrest and trial before a revolutionary tribunal. The Cadets went underground and continued their bitter struggle against Soviet power. Cadet leaders led a number of underground anti-Soviet centers, such as the National Center and the League of Restoration. They collaborated with the White Guard generals Kaledin, Kolchak, Denikin, and Wrangel and took part in a number of White Guard governments.
After the defeat of the White Guards and interventionists, most of the leading Cadet elements fled abroad. At a conference of Central Committee members of the party, held in Paris in May 1921, a split occurred. Miliukov appeared at the head of the so-called democratic group, which held that the essence of a &ldquonew tactic&rdquo should be that of undermining the proletarian dictatorship from within. In 1924, Miliukov&rsquos group formed the Republican-Democratic Association. The other Cadet group, headed by Gessen and Kaminka, which continued to support the &ldquoinvading from outside&rdquo stand, centered on the newspaper RuV. The Cadet party as a unified political organization had definitively ceased to exist.
During the February Revolution of 1917, Kadet deputies in the Duma and other prominent Kadets formed the core of the newly formed Russian Provisional Government with five portfolios. Although exercising limited power in a situation known as dual power, the provisional government immediately attempted to deal with issues of the many nationalities in the Russian Empire. They introduced legislation abolishing all limitations based on religion and nationality and introduced an element of self-determination by transferring power from governor-generals to local representatives. They issued a decree recognising Polish autonomy, more as a symbolic gesture in light of the German occupation of this territory. However this tendency was limited as most of the ministers feared a break up of the empire. One of the Kadet leaders, Prince Lvov, became Prime Minister and Miliukov became Russia's Foreign Minister. A radical party just 11 years earlier, after the February revolution the Kadets occupied the rightmost end of the political spectrum since all monarchist parties had been dissolved and the Kadets were the only openly functioning non-socialist party remaining.
The Kadets' position in the Provisional Government was compromised when Miliukov's promise to the Entente allies to continue the war (April 18) was made public on April 26, 1917. The resulting government crisis led to Miliukov's resignation and a powersharing agreement with moderate socialist parties on May 4–5. The Kadets' position was further eroded during the July crisis when they resigned from the government in protest against concessions to the Ukrainian independence movement. The coalition was reformed later in July under Alexander Kerensky and survived yet another government crisis in early September. Sergei Fedorovich Oldenburg was Minister of Education and served briefly as chair of the short-lived Commission on Nationality Affairs. The Kadets had become a liability for their socialist coalition partners and an evidence of the treason of the moderated socialists, exposed by Bolshevik propaganda. With the Bolshevik seizure of power on October 25–26, 1917 and subsequent transfer of political power to the Soviets, Kadet and other anti-Bolshevik newspapers were closed down and the party was suppressed by the new regime. Oldenburg and a group of academics visited Vladimir Lenin at the Smolny Institute to complain about the arrest of several former ministers of the Provisional Government.
CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY: AN OUTLINE OF ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
This outline attempts to set forth the essential elements or characteristics of constitutional democracy. Democracy is government of, by, and for the people. It is government of a community in which all citizens, rather than favored individuals or groups, have the right and opportunity to participate. In a democracy, the people are sovereign. The people are the ultimate source of authority.
In a CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY the authority of the majority is limited by legal and institutional means so that the rights of individuals and minorities are respected. This is the form of democracy practiced in Germany, Israel, Japan, the United States, and other countries.
This framework is intended to assist interested persons in various nations in establishing or improving curricular programs which foster an understanding of and support for constitutional democracy. The outline must be adapted to fit the circumstances and needs of individual political communities.
I. WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS AND PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY?
CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY is the antithesis of arbitrary rule. It is democracy characterized by:
A. POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY. The people are the ultimate source of the authority of the government which derives its right to govern from their consent.
B. MAJORITY RULE AND MINORITY RIGHTS. Although "the majority rules," the fundamental rights of individuals in the minority are protected.
C. LIMITED GOVERNMENT. The powers of government are limited by law and a written or unwritten constitution which those in power obey.
D. INSTITUTIONAL AND PROCEDURAL LIMITATIONS ON POWERS. There are certain institutional and procedural devices which limit the powers of government. These may include:
1. SEPARATED AND SHARED POWERS. Powers are separated among different agencies or branches of government. Each agency or branch has primary responsibility for certain functions such as legislative, executive, and judicial functions. However, each branch also shares these functions with the other branches.
2. CHECKS AND BALANCES. Different agencies or branches of government have adequate power to check the powers of other branches. Checks and balances may include the power of judicial review—the power of courts to declare actions of other branches of government to be contrary to the constitution and therefore null and void.
3. DUE PROCESS OF LAW. Individual rights to life, liberty, and property are protected by the guarantee of due process of law.
4. LEADERSHIP SUCCESSION THROUGH ELECTIONS. Elections insure that key positions in government will be contested at periodic intervals and that the transfer of governmental authority is accomplished in a peaceful and orderly process.
II. WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTAL VALUES OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY?
The fundamental values of constitutional democracy reflect a paramount concern with human dignity and the worth and value of each individual.
A. BASIC RIGHTS. Protection of certain basic or fundamental rights is the primary goal of government. These rights may be limited to life, liberty, and property, or they may be extended to include such economic and social rights as employment, health care and education. Documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights enumerate and explain these rights.
B. FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND EXPRESSION. A constitutional democracy includes among its highest purposes the protection of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. These freedoms have value both for the healthy functioning and preservation of constitutional democracy and for the full development of the human personality.
C. PRIVACY AND CIVIL SOCIETY. Constitutional democracies recognize and protect the integrity of a private and social realm comprised of family, personal, religious, and other associations and activities. This space of uncoerced human association is the basis of a civil society free from unfair and unreasonable intrusions by government.
D. JUSTICE. A constitutional democracy promotes
- DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE. The fair distribution of the benefits and burdens of society.
- CORRECTIVE JUSTICE. Fair and proper responses to wrongs and injuries.
- PROCEDURAL JUSTICE. The use of fair procedures in the gathering of information and the making of decisions by all agencies of government and, most particularly, by law enforcement agencies and the courts.
E. EQUALITY. A constitutional democracy promotes
- POLITICAL EQUALITY. All citizens are equally entitled to participate in the political system.
- EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW. The law does not discriminate on the basis of unreasonable and unfair criteria such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious or political beliefs and affiliations, class or economic status. The law applies to the governors as well as the governed.
- ECONOMIC EQUALITY. Constitutional democracies have differing conceptions of the meaning and importance of economic equality. At the very least, they agree that all citizens should have the right to an equal opportunity to improve their material wellbeing. Some constitutional democracies also attempt to eliminate gross disparities in wealth through such means as progressive taxation and social welfare programs.
F. OPENNESS. Constitutional democracies are based on a political philosophy of openness or the free marketplace of ideas, the availability of information through a free press, and free expression in all fields of human endeavor.
III. WHAT ARE SOME COMMON WAYS CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACIES ARE ORGANIZED?
A. UNITARY, FEDERAL AND CONFEDERATE SYSTEMS. Unitary and federal systems are the most common ways of organizing constitutional democracies. There also are associations of states called confederations.
1. UNITARY SYSTEMS. In a unitary system central government has full power, which it may delegate to subordinate governments.
2. FEDERAL SYSTEMS. In a federal system power is shared between a central government which has full power over some matters and a set of subordinate provincial or state governments that have power over other matters.
3. CONFEDERATIONS. In a confederation, a league of independent states, which retain full sovereignty, agrees to allow a central government to perform certain functions, but the central government may not make laws applicable to individuals without the approval of the member states.
B. CHECKS AND BALANCES. These are constitutional mechanisms by which each branch of government shares power with the other branches so that no branch can become absolute. Each branch "checks" the others, because it is balanced against another source of power.
C. SEPARATION OF AND SHARING OF POWERS. All constitutional democracies use separation of powers as an important means of limiting the exercise of political power. This separation is typically among legislative, executive, and judicial functions. Although primary responsibility for each of these powers may be placed with one or more specific agencies or branches of government, other agencies and branches share the powers. For example, although one branch may have primary responsibility for creating laws, other branches may draft proposed laws, interpret their meaning, or manage disputes over them.
D. PARLIAMENTARY AND PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS. Governments can be organized as parliamentary or as presidential systems. In a few countries, the two systems are combined and called a "dual executive" system.
1. In PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMS the chief executive, usually called the prime minister, is chosen from among the members of the legislature. While law fixes the maximum interval between elections, parliamentary governments may end sooner. If a majority of parliament votes for a motion of "no confidence" in a government, it is obliged to resign. In this case, the government is said to "fall" and new elections are held.
Parliamentary systems require that members of the prime minister's cabinet be members of the legislature (parliament). The prime minister is the head of government but not the head of state. A separate office holder, either a constitutional monarch or "president," is head of state.
2. In PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS or SYSTEMS OF SHARED POWERS, executive power is separated from the legislative power. The chief executive or head of government is not a member of the legislature. He or she serves a term fixed by the constitution and can be removed only in extraordinary circumstances such as impeachment and trial proceedings. The president also is chief of state and represents the policy on ceremonial occasions.
In presidential systems, the separation of legislative and executive powers may be incomplete. The executive may exercise some power over the legislature, and vice versa. Thus, the executive may be able to veto legislation passed by the legislature while the legislature may be able to curtail actions of the executive by cutting off funds for specific executive activities.
Although the political system of the United States and other constitutional democracies have been called presidential systems, this term does not reflect the reality of these complex systems with their dispersed and shared powers. Contemporary scholars have increasingly referred to such nations as possessing systems of SHARED POWERS, a more accurate description.
IV. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS OF CITIZENS ENABLE CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY TO FLOURISH?
A. CITIZENSHIP IN A CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY. There is a difference between being a citizen in a constitutional democracy and being a subject in an authoritarian or totalitarian regime. In a democracy, each citizen is a full and equal member of a self-governing community endowed with certain fundamental rights, as well as with certain responsibilities. A subject, in contrast to a citizen, is obliged to obey the commands of others. The relation of the subject to the state is not dependent upon consent.
B. KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS. Constitutional democracy requires informed and effective participation by citizens who understand and have a reasoned commitment to its fundamental principles and values, as well as a familiarity with its political processes.
1. CIVIC KNOWLEDGE. Citizens, of course, cannot know everything they would or should in an ideal democracy, but they should have some understanding of the following:
- HISTORY. Citizens should be familiar with the political, economic, and social history of their own country, how the modern world came to be, including how constitutional democracy developed, and the major events, issues and ideas of others of the contemporary world.
- GEOGRAPHY. Citizens should be familiar with the geography of their own country and of the world in order to be able to incorporate geographical factors into their thinking about political, social, and economic events.
- BASIC POLITICAL IDEAS. Citizens should be familiar with such fundamental concepts as popular sovereignty, constitutionalism, individual rights, and the common good.
- POLITICAL SYSTEM. Citizens should be familiar with both formal political institutions and with civil society, and they should understand the influence of the one upon the other. They also should be familiar with the purposes of government and with the principal individual and organizational actors in the political life of their country.
- LEGAL SYSTEM. Citizens should be familiar with the operation of the legal system and the rights and obligations of citizens under it.
- BASIC ECONOMIC IDEAS. Citizens should be familiar with basic concepts and principles of economics, the economic policies of their own country, and its economic relations with the rest of the world.
- HOW NATIONS INTERACT. Citizens need to know how the world is organized politically, as well as the role of international governmental and non-governmental organizations.
- SOURCES OF INFORMATION. Citizens should understand the significance of the mass media in a free society and the ways in which the media influences public opinion.
B. CIVIC SKILLS. Competent and responsible citizenship requires not only knowledge and understanding, but the development of intellectual and participatory skills essential to civic life.
1. INTELLECTUAL SKILLS include the capacity to
- think critically about information, arguments, and commentaries on public affairs
- make thoughtful judgments about government and public policy
- read, write, and speak effectively in forums appropriate to civic life and public affairs
2. PARTICIPATORY SKILLS include the capacity to
- MONITOR the manner in which issues are dealt with in the political process and by government
- INFLUENCE policies and decisions by
- clearly articulating interests and making them known to key decision and policy makers
- building coalitions, negotiating, deliberating, compromising, and seeking consensus
C. TRAITS OF CIVIC CHARACTER. Certain traits of public and private character help constitutional democracy to flourish. While there is no universally agreed upon list of traits of civic character essential to constitutional democracy, the following traits are commonly accepted.
1. CIVILITY which means treating others with respect as individuals inherently worthy of consideration regardless of their positions on political issues. Civility means adhering to commonly accepted standards of discourse while taking part in public debate, refraining from vituperation and personal attacks, and respecting the right of others to be heard.
2. INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY which means that citizens understand the importance for themselves and for society of fulfilling their personal responsibilities. These responsibilities include taking care of one's self, supporting one's family, friends, and community adhering to one's moral principles and considering the rights and interests of others.
3. SELF-DISCIPLINE which means that citizens freely adhere to the fundamental values and principles of constitutional democracy without requiring the imposition of external authority.
4. CIVIC-MINDEDNESS which means that citizens are concerned about the common good and not just their own private affairs. Tensions between private interests, including the interests of the extended family, and the common good are bound to occur. Citizens need to understand how to reconcile their personal interests with the needs of the larger community.
5. OPEN-MINDEDNESS which means that citizens are receptive to different ideas and arguments. They consider opposing positions, but reject unsupported generalizations and dogmatism.
6. COMPROMISE which means that citizens sometimes must make accommodations or concessions in the political process. Compromise may be appropriate when the alternative is political stalemate, indecision, or, in extreme cases, violence.
7. TOLERATION OF DIVERSITY which means that citizens should respect the right of others to differ about ideas, ways of life, customs, and beliefs. Citizens should appreciate the benefits of having people of diverse beliefs and ethnic and racial backgrounds as a part of their community, as well as an understanding of how and why diversity can exacerbate tensions.
8. PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE which means that citizens understand that developing or changing public policy usually require time and persistent effort. Delays or failure to immediately attain goals appropriate to constitutional democracy should not lead them to abandon their efforts.
9. COMPASSION which means that citizens empathize with others and demonstrate concern for their welfare.
10. GENEROSITY which means that citizens should be willing to expend their time, effort, and resources for the benefit of others and the community at large.
11. LOYALTY to principles and ideals which means that citizens act in accord with the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Citizens also should be committed to working toward narrowing the gap between democratic ideals and reality.
The Constitution Party was founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The man who was most responsible for establishing the party was Howard Phillips, a veteran conservative political activist who had left the republican party in 1974 after feeling that the party was insufficiently conservative. Phillips has been the dominant figure in the party since its founding, running as its presidential candidate in 1992, 1996, and 2000.
Phillips had been involved in the Republican Party since his early teens, when he decided to chart a different course. He had served as chairman of the Boston Republican Party, as a staff member at the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., and finally as the director of the Office of Economic Opportunity under President richard nixon, with an explicit mandate to dismantle the program. When, because of political constraints, he was not allowed to do this, he quit the administration and established the Conservative Caucus, a lobbying group that became somewhat influential during the presidency of ronald reagan.
Phillips decided that the next step was to form a political party, according to his web site, with "the common goal of limiting the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries and restoring the foundations of civil government back to the fundamental principles our country was founded upon." The party that he formed in 1992 was named the U.S. Taxpayers Party, and befitting its name, it committed itself to stopping all federal expenditures that were not specifically authorized by the U.S. Constitution, and to "restore to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has usurped."
Though the original party that Phillips formed had a primarily fiscal purpose, it also took strong conservative stands on social issues, advocating making abortion illegal in all instances, supporting a moratorium on immigration into the United States, and calling for the abolition of all welfare programs. Taking this platform nationwide, Phillips and his running mate, Albion Knight, managed to get on the presidential ballot in 21 states and garnered approximately 40,000 votes in the 1992 presidential campaign. In 1996, Phillips and running mate, Herb Titus, managed to get on the ballot in 39 states and won 182,000 votes.
In 1999, the U.S. Taxpayer Party renamed itself the Constitution Party. With Phillips once again its presidential candidate, this time running with Dr. J. Curtis Frazier, the party was able to gain access to the ballot in 42 states. However, the totals for Phillips this time were lower than he had received in 1996—approximately 98,000 votes. For the 2004 election, the Constitution Party has as its goal to get its presidential ticket on all 50 states.
The Constitution Party does not only run presidential candidates. For the 2002 election, at least 20 states had candidates affiliated with the Constitution Party running for office, for positions ranging from governor and U.S. Senate down to city council and state house. In Nevada alone, the party had affiliated candidates for 30 offices for the 2002 election. In Wisconsin, the party has two affiliated elected officials: an alderman and a county supervisor.
The Constitution Party takes strongly conservative stands on a variety of issues. The party's preamble to its 2000 National Platform views the American political system with a strongly religious bent. "The U.S. Constitution established a Republic under God, rather than a democracy," it states. "Our Republic is a nation governed by a Constitution that is rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are Constitutionally elected by the citizens."
On abortion, the Constitution Party's 2000 platform stated that "Roe v. Wade is illegitimate, contrary to the law of the nation's Charter and Constitution. It must be resisted by all civil government officials, federal, state, and local, and by all branches of the government—legislative, executive, and judicial." It argues that abortion should be illegal nationwide.
Regarding the prevention of AIDS, the Constitution Party states in its platform, "Under no circumstances should the federal government continue to subsidize activities which have the effect of encouraging perverted or promiscuous sexual conduct. Criminal penalties should apply to those whose willful acts of omission or commission place members of the public at risk of contracting AIDS or HIV."
For members of Congress, the Constitution Party suggests abolishing federal pay for members of Congress, and abolishing Congressional pensions. It also advocates abolishing the direct election of Senators and returning that function to the state legislatures. It supports repealing all laws that delegate legislative powers to regulatory agencies, bureaucracies, private organizations, the federal reserve board, international agencies, the president, and the judiciary.
On national defense, the Constitution Party platform advocates "maintenance of a strong, state-of-the-art military on land, sea, in the air,
and in space." It opposes allowing U.S. forces to serve under any foreign flag or command. However, it also opposes "the Presidential assumption of authority to deploy American troops into combat without the consent of Congress."
The Constitution Party would like to see the department of education abolished, and it also supports the elimination of the food and drug administration, the Federal Reserve Board, the National Security Administration, and the internal revenue service. It supports voluntary social security and would change the tax system to offer an apportioned "state-rate tax" in which the responsibility for covering the cost of federal obligations unmet by a tariff on foreign products will be divided among the several states in accordance with their proportion of the total population of the United States, excluding the District of Columbia. Under this system, if a state contains 10 percent of the nation's citizens, it will be responsible for assuming payment of 10 percent of the annual deficit.
On foreign affairs, The Constitution Party would like to see the United States withdraw from all international monetary and financial institutions and agencies, including the international monetary fund (IMF), the world bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the north american free trade agreement (NAFTA), and the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT). It wants to terminate all programs of foreign aid, whether military or non-military, to any foreign government or to any international organization. It would withdraw the United States from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and would withdraw recognition of Communist China, which its platform describes as a murderous and tyrannical regime enslaving the Chinese people.
The Constitution Party refuses to take any federal funds for its presidential campaigns. The party made it clear after the 2000 campaign that it planned to be around for a while. On its web site, it stated, "In light of the widespread need across the country, the party is fully dedicated to building party strength and organization at the State, County and local level."
The rule of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali
In 1987 Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali executed a constitutional coup by invoking an article that allowed for the replacement of the president on grounds of death, illness, or incapacitation. Ben Ali subsequently assumed leadership of the party and set about reviving and reforming it through a number of measures. The party’s political bureau was reduced in size, and many of the old-style Bourguibists were removed and replaced. A massive recruitment drive designed to attract younger participants drew large numbers of new party members. Meanwhile, reforms in the relationship between state and party subordinated the party to government and reduced the influence of the party hierarchy on the government itself. A nominally multiparty system was permitted in 1988, but the other political parties lacked financial or organizational capacity to mobilize serious opposition. Elections were contested but not competitive, allowing the party to retain a monopoly over political activity.
In 1988 the party was renamed the Democratic Constitutional Rally (Rassemblement Constitutionnel Démocratique RCD), marking a break with the Neo-Destour Bourguibist past and movement toward a new commitment to democracy. Under Ben Ali the party became firmly tied to an economic reform program that subsequently transformed both the structure of the economy and its performance, although crony capitalism and corruption remained rampant through the end of Ben Ali’s rule. Despite the espoused ideal of commitment to a more liberal political arena, the RCD continued to be closely linked to the regime and was consequently rewarded with a dominant position in virtually every national matter.
Contemporary levels of government
Most national societies have passed through a stage in their social and political development, usually referred to as feudalism, in which a weak and ineffectively organized national government competes for territorial jurisdiction with local power holders. In medieval England and France, for example, the crown was perennially threatened by the power of the feudal nobles, and a protracted struggle was necessary before the national domain was subjected to full royal control. Elsewhere, innumerable societies continued to experience this kind of feudal conflict between local magnates and the central government well into the modern era. The warlords of 19th- and 20th-century China, for example, were just as much the products of feudal society as the warring barons of 13th-century England and presented the same kind of challenge to the central government’s claim to exercise sovereign jurisdiction over the national territory. By the 1970s, feudalism was almost extinct. The social patterns that had formerly supported the power of local landowners were rapidly disappearing, and central governments had generally acquired a near monopoly of communications and military technology, enabling them to project their power into areas once controlled by local rulers.
In nearly all national political systems, central governments are better equipped than ever before to exercise effective jurisdiction over their territories. In much of the developing world, nationalist political movements and a variety of modern economic forces have swept away the traditional structures of local government, and the quasi-autonomous governments of village and tribe and province have been replaced by centrally directed systems of subnational administration. Even in the heavily industrialized states of the modern world, there has been an accelerating tendency toward greater centralization of power at the national level. In the United States, for example, the structure of relationships among the governments at the national, state, and local levels has changed in a number of ways to add to the power of the federal government in Washington. Even though the system of national grants-in-aid appears to have been designed as a means of decentralizing administration, the effect has been decidedly centralist, for the conditional character of the grants has allowed the federal government to exercise influence on state policies in fields that were once invulnerable to national intervention.
An Important Turning Point
Japan’s democracy after World War II was based on a rebuilding of its democracy from between the wars—a return to the combination of popular rule at home and a foreign policy based on international cooperation. It was a revived and strengthened version of the country’s post–World War I Taishō Democracy. In that sense, World War I was an important turning point in Japanese politics, acting to open the curtain to the modern age in Japan in the same way it did in the West. As we look back in this centennial year, we are reminded once more of the clear fact that Japanese history is not some separate domestic matter but a part of global history. In the same way, today’s popular efforts to bring about a more peaceful world are inextricably linked to those of the post–World War I era.
Major Events of the Party Cabinet Era
June 11, 1924– 1st Katō Takaaki Cabinet (parties: Kenseikai, Seiyūkai, Kakushin Kurabu) Tenant Dispute Mediation Law, Soviet–Japanese Basic Convention, revision of House of Representatives Election Law to allow universal suffrage for males over 25, Peace Preservation Law, four-division reduction of army strength by Army Minister Ugaki Kazushige, reform of House of Peers Cabinet resigns due to disagreement between coalition members. August 2, 1925– 2nd Katō Takaaki Cabinet (Kenseikai) Katō leads Kenseikai cabinet following collapse of coalition.
Cabinet resigns due to death of Katō from pneumonia.
January 30, 1926– 1st Wakatsuki Reijirō Cabinet (Kenseikai) Labor Dispute Mediation Law, introduction of universal male suffrage in local elections, end of Taishō and start of Shōwa era, Shōwa Financial Crisis
Cabinet resigns due to opposition from Privy Council.
April 20, 1927– Tanaka Giichi Cabinet (Seiyūkai) Establishment of two major parties, Geneva Naval Conference, Shandong Expeditions, Jinan Incident, crackdown on communism, assassination of Zhang Zuolin, Kellogg-Briand Pact
Cabinet resigns due to criticism from the emperor.
February 20, 1928: first House of Representatives election is held following the introduction of universal male suffrage.
Results: Seiyūkai 217, Minseitō 216, Others 33
July 2, 1929– Hamaguchi Osachi Cabinet (Minseitō) Wall Street Crash (start of Great Depression), lifting of gold embargo, Shōwa Depression, London Naval Conference, dispute over violation of imperial right of supreme command, attempted assassination of Hamaguchi, March Incident (attempted coup)
Cabinet resigns due to Prime Minister Hamaguchi’s poor health following assassination attempt.
February 20, 1930: House of Representatives election is held.
Results: Minseitō 273, Seiyūkai 174, Others 19
April 14, 1931– 2nd Wakatsuki Reijirō Cabinet (Minseitō) Manchurian Incident, October Incident (attempted coup)
Cabinet resigns due to internal discord.
December 13 1931–May 26, 1932 Inukai Tsuyoshi Cabinet (Seiyūkai) Reimposition of gold embargo, Shanghai Incident, League of Blood Incident, May 15 Incident
Cabinet resigns due to Inukai’s assassination in May 15 Incident.
February 20, 1932: House of Representatives election is held.
Results: Seiyūkai 301, Minseitō 146, Others 19
(Originally published in Japanese on July 30, 2014. Banner photo: Sannō Hotel in Akasaka, Tokyo, the base for the February 26 Incident of 1936, one of a series of attempted coups that contributed to the waning of democracy in Japan in the period before World War II. © Jiji.)
(*1) ^ For a systematic presentation of “Taishō Democracy,” see Mitani Taichirō, Taishō demokurashī ron: Yoshino Sakuzō no jidai (On Taishō Democracy: The Yoshino Sakuzō Era), 3rd ed. (Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 2013).
(*2) ^ Quotations from historical documents and other details are taken from the author’s books: Seitō naikakusei no seiritsu: 1918–27 nen (The Establishment of the Party Cabinet System 1918–1927) (Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 2005) and Seitō naikakusei no tenkai to hōkai: 1927–36 nen (The Development and Breakdown of the Party Cabinet System 1927–1936) (Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 2014). This article mainly discusses the establishment of party politics, but both books also consider Yoshino Sakuzō, Ichikawa Fusae, and other thinkers of the time as well as the development of social movements based on party politics. Frederick R. Dickinson, World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919–1930 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), also takes a multifaceted look at Japan in the post–World War I era.
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