The Following is a list of Political Parties within the Russian Empire. Since Russia's slow transition towards a parliamentarian system, the Empire has seen a equally varying evolution in its political parties. Russia is a multi-party system and there has been a plethora of political parties that have operated in one form or another throughout the Empire's early and later history. This list primarily concerns itself with those political parties which currently operates within the Empire. Some of the parties listed have operated since the earliest days of Russia's opening of the parliamentarian process, though not in the form they are currently in. Others have only recently emerged into the political arena.
Parties in the Russian Empire primarily concern the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, the People's Duma. This list is divided into two categories, major parties and minor parties. Major parties within the Russian Empire are those political parties which have consistently competed for the majority of the People's Duma. Minor parties are those political parties which do not possess the numbers necessary to gain an unquestioned majority but maintain a consistent number of delegates to the chamber. While minority parties may not always be in a position to effect change directly, sometimes it is necessary for a majority party to join a minority party or two and form a coalition in order to maintain a majority hold on the chamber. During these times in the People's Duma, the minority party or parties are given concessions by the majority in order to facilitate their cooperation in the coalition. While political party association is not outlawed in the upper chamber, the Imperial State Council, association with a political party is usually only confined to those seats not held by a person of the Nobility or Clergy, thus not constituting a position to effect leadership or change in the chamber itself.
Major Political Parties
The following is a list of the current major political parties of the Russian Empire. At present, these parties are the White Guard, Russian Social Democratic Labor, and the ????. Generally speaking, the White Guard and Russian Social Democratic Labor parties are the two primary parties in the Russian Empire, with the Russian Environmentalists forming a close third. While generally speaking these parties maintain a healthy enough membership in the People's Duma to effect a majority control on the chamber, it is sometimes necessary for the parties to form coalition's with some of the minor parties.
The White Guard
|Party Strength||Major Party|
Belaya Gvardiya (White Guard) is a major political party within the Russian Empire. The party was founded by Nikolay Wrangel in honor of the White Army led by Nikolay's descendant, Baron Pyotr Wrangel. The party's headquarters is located in Saint Petersburg but they also have a major office in Moscow.
The history of the White Guard party takes into account several different movements near the end of the First Russian Empire. Influenced by both the Party of Democratic Reform and the Russian Monarchist Party, the party considers its strongest historical ties are with the The White movement. The White movement and its military arm, the White Army, was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces that fought the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War (1917–1922/3) and, to a lesser extent, continued operating as militarized associations both outside and within Russian borders until roughly the Second World War. Remnants and continuations of the movement, some of which only had narrow support, endured within the wider White émigré community until after the fall of Communism. The White movement was the chief opponent of the Red Army. They said they would bring law and order and the salvation of Russia, fighting against traitors, barbarians, and murderers. They often acted in response to previous Red aggression and worked to remove Soviet organizations and functionaries in White-controlled territory. Overall, the White Army was nationalistic and rejected ethnic particularism and separatism. The White Army generally believed in a united multinational Russia, and opposed separatists who wanted to create nation-states instead of the Tsarist Russian Empire. Many of the White leaders were conservative. They accepted autocracy while being suspicious of politics (which they characterized as consisting of speeches, elections, and party activities). Aside from being anti-Bolshevik and patriotic, the Whites had no set ideology or main leader. The White Armies did acknowledge a single provisional head of state, the so-called Supreme Governor of Russia, but this post was prominent only under the leadership of Alexander Kolchak.
Due to a lack of true consolidation in the White Movement, White forces were constantly defeated during the Russian Civil War, ultimately loosing the war to the Bolsheviks. The defeated anti-Bolshevik Russians went into exile, congregating in Belgrade, Berlin, Paris, Harbin, Istanbul, and Shanghai. They established military and cultural networks that lasted through the Second World War (1939–45), e.g., the Russian community in Harbin and the Russian community in Shanghai). Afterward, the White Russians' anti-Communist activities established a home base in the United States, where numerous refugees emigrated. Moreover, in the 1920s and the 1930s, the White Movement established organisations outside of Russia, which were meant to depose the Soviet Government with guerrilla warfare, e.g., the Russian All-Military Union, the Brotherhood of Russian Truth, and the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists, a far-right anticommunist organization founded in 1930 by a group of young White emigres in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Some white émigrés adopted pro-Soviet sympathies and were termed "Soviet patriots". These people formed organizations such as the Mladorossi, the Evraziitsi, and the Smenovekhovtsi. After World War II, active anti-Soviet combat was almost exclusively continued by the National Alliance of Russian Solidarists: other organizations either dissolved, or began concentrating exclusively on self-preservation and/or educating the youth. Various youth organizations, such as the Russian Scouts-in-Exteris became functional in raising children with a background in pre-Soviet Russian culture and heritage. It is these organizations that, while during a dark period of no real organization or work, monarchism survived towards the modern period.
A monarchist party in Russia did not rise against until shortly after the coronation of Emperor Paul II, and the opening of a new Duma for the new Empire. Nikolay Wrangel, a distant descendant of the famous Baron Wrangel who fought for the White Movement, formed the White Guard in honor of the historical movement. Unlike the first White Movement however, Nikolay's White Guard had clear organization, ideology, and purpose. His campaign focus primarily on the surge of patriotism and rise in monarchism that flooded Russia during the restoration of the Empire. Though the party was particularly successful with the wealthy and nobility that was returning the Russia, it also shape itself into a party of the middle class as well. After the first election of the State Duma, the White Guard became the first majority or ruling party. It was an extreme success for Nikolay and a success the party would continue through successive elections until parliament was dissolved by Emperor Ivan VIII. Though acquitted by the Emperor, the party remained dormant for several years until the party led a coalition of itself, the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, and the Greens in calling for a restoration of parliament.
Today the party remains a majority political force with the Russian Empire. Considered conservatives, the party advocates an emphasis towards the traditional family and social stability as well as favoring of limiting immigration. The party is also committed to the general principle of reducing direct taxation whilst arguing that the country needs a dynamic and competitive economy, with the proceeds of any growth shared between both tax reduction and extra public investment. The party advocates both a strong military budget as well as a foreign policy dedicated to alliances between Russia and other like-minded and politically similar nations. They pledge their support of a healthcare system that is primarily privacy based, but supported with subsidies from the government to keep cost down. The party also supports many reforms to education that would emphasis Russo-centric education as well as policies that would make it easier for pupils to be searched for contraband items, granting of anonymity to teachers accused by pupils, and the banning of expelled pupils being returned to schools via appeal panels. In higher education they support tax-related programs that would help off-set the cost of university tuition. Economically, the White Guard strongly believes that free markets and individual achievement are the primary factors behind economic prosperity. To this end, they advocate in favor of laissez-faire economics, fiscal conservatism, and the elimination of government run welfare programs in favor of private sector nonprofits and encouraging personal responsibility.
The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party
|Political Ideology|| Social Democracy|
|Party Strength||Major Party|
|Party Colors||Red and Black|
The Rossiyskaya sotsial-demokraticheskaya rabochaya partiya (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party or Trudoviks), is a major political party within the Russian Empire. The party was originally founded by Julius Martov in 1912 and was resurrected in its current state by a descendant of Julius, Sergei Martov shortly after the crowning of Emperor Paul II. The party has its headquarters in Saint Petersburg but also operates a large complex in Moscow and other major Russian cities world wide.
The history of the RSDR traces its roots to the original party of the same name. The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party was a revolutionary socialist political party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organizations of the Russian Empire into one party. Before the Second Congress, a young intellectual named Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov joined the party, better known by his pseudonym — Vladimir Lenin. In 1902 he had published What is to be Done?, outlining his view of the party's task and methodology — to form 'the vanguard of the proletariat.' He advocated a disciplined, centralized party of committed activists. In 1903, at the Second Congress of the party, the RSDR split into two irreconcilable factions on November 17: the Bolsheviks, headed by Lenin, and the Mensheviks, headed by Julius Martov. By 1912, the General Jewish Labor Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia became a federated part of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Menshevik). After the October Revolution, differences emerged inside the party. In 1921 the party issued the Platform of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, calling for liquidating the political monopoly of the Communist Party (The Bolsheviks by this time), which was identified as something quite different from the dictatorship of the proletariat, privatizations of large sectors of industry and giving full voting rights to the peasantry and those treated by the Soviet government as the bourgeois class. From the beginning of 1921, after the Kronstadt Uprising, the 10th Communist Party congress banned the Mensheviks, forcing the RSDR to operate underground in Soviet Russia and Soviet Union. The party was able to openly operate in exile in Europe, first located in Berlin (until 1933), then shifting to Paris and in 1940 moved to New York. The party's membership dwindled while in exile. The party main publication, the Sotsialisticheskii vestnik (Socialist Courier) ran until 1965, effectively ushering in an era of silence from the Menshevik faction of the RSDR.
The modern history of the party began following the coronation of Emperor Paul II, and a revival of the Russian Empire. A descendant nephew of Julius Martov, one Sergei Martov, was a lawyer who was living in Moscow at the time. A socialist politically, Sergei sought to unit the moderate socialist factions of Russia at the time into a party and took inspiration from his own lineage in reviving the RSDR into a modern political party. Inspired by the moderate nature of the split in Socialism, Serge Martov's party took on a more Social Democratic nature. The party's moderate nature attracted many who'd been disenfranchised by the hard-line policies of the Communist regime of old. While they were glad to see a more free Russia they still remained loyal to the ideals of socialism. Sergei's RSDR gave them an option they never had before and he quickly won over much of the middle and lower class, particularly those of the traditional working, hard labor class. This propelled the RSDR into a major political party by the end of the first Duma elections, with the RSDR coming in a close second place in terms of Duma seats to the conservative White Guard. Though the party would never take the majority, they remained a powerful opposition force to the White Guards and used this to push through many social-minded programs during their time in the Duma. When parliament was dissolved by Emperor Ivan VIII, the RSDR was acquitted of any wrong-doings and remained organized, becoming one of the three major parties along with the White Guard and Greens to push for a restoration of parliament.
Today, the party remains a strong and vibrant voice for moderate socialism in the Russian Empire. The party advocates a peaceful and evolutionary transition of the economy to socialism through progressive social reform of capitalism. It promotes extending democratic decision-making beyond political democracy to include economic democracy to guarantee employees and other economic stakeholders sufficient rights of co-determination. It supports a mixed economy that opposes the excesses of capitalism such as inequality, poverty, and oppression of various groups, while rejecting both a totally free market or a fully planned economy. The RSDR is also advocates of universal social rights to attain universally accessible public services such as education, health care, workers' compensation, and other services, including child care and care for the elderly. The RSDR is connected with the trade union labor movements and supports collective bargaining rights for workers.
The Constitutional Democratic Party
|Founder||Konstantin Kavelin, Boris Chicherin, and Pavel Miliukov|
|Political Ideology||Social Liberalism, Third Way, Progressivism|
|Party Strength||Major Party|
The Konstitutsionno-demokraticheskaya partiya (Constitutional Democratic Party or Kadets)is a major political party within the Russian Empire. The party was founded in 1905 with Konstantin Kavelin's and Boris Chicherin's writings forming the theoretical basis of the party's platform. Historian Pavel Miliukov was the party's first leader. The Kadets' base of support were intellectuals and professionals; university professors and lawyers were particularly prominent within the party. The party holds its headquarters in Saint Petersburg.
Minor Political Parties
Democratic Republican Patriots
United Imperial Front
Progressive Worker's Union
Orthodox Christian Alliance
Russian Environmentalist Party
|Political Ideology|| Green politics|
|Party Strength||Minor Party|
The Russkiy Ekolog partiya (Russian Environmentalist Party) or simply, Green Party, is a minor political party within the Russian Empire. The party was founded by Oleg Kerkashov shortly after the coronation of Emperor Paul II. The party holds headquarters in Saint Petersburg though they also operate offices in Moscow and a few other major cities. The party has served as a voice for environmental policies and general conservation within the Empire. Most modern day recycling programs and major national parks owe their continued existence to policies pursued and endorsed by the Greens.
The history of the party begins with Oleg Kerkashov, founder and major inspiration behind much of the party's ideology. Kerkashov was born into a family of farmers with his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all being farmers. Indeed as far back as anyone knows, the Kerkashov family has served Russia as proud and successful farmers. However, coming into the modern era the Kerkashov family was quick to recognize the ill effects the modern, industrialist society had had on the agrarian lifestyle there family had enjoyed for generations. A born orator and leader, Oleg Kerkashov sought to change this and ran successfully for a seat on his local municipal council. His initial promises and plans were to employ safe and effective policies designed to cut harmful waste produced by local manufacturing companies and improve the quality of the local environment. Daunting as the task was, Kerkashov worked tirelessly with industrial leaders in his hometown to find ways to cut harmful waste not not impeding on profits. Much of this time was a trial and error period of Kerkashov but once the right formula was achieve, success was quick to follow. Following local support, Kerkashov ran for his local seat to the national parliament of Russia at the time. Though both the White Guard and RSDR were well-established parties at the time, Kerkashov's own ideology differed greatly from either political party. So instead, Kerkashov instead used his own personal finances to register a political party of his own, the Environmentalist party. To Kerkashov's surprise his party attracted many and soon the party was an official political entity, with Kerkashov as the party's biggest success story after he won the seat in the Duma at the time. This success continued for Kerhashov for three terms in office before he stepped down to take on a party leadership role. Kerkashov would remain party leader for many years until his death a few years after the coronation of Emperor Alexei I. Various leaderships continued to push the party forward and the Greens remains a voice within the Duma.
With the assassination of Emperor Alexei I, implications that members of parliament aided the assassin brough the dissolution of parliament by Emperor Ivan VIII. Afterwards many politicians and parties were detained. While there were many who attempted to implicate the Greens as accomplices to the plot by the Communists, these implications were later found to be factless rumors and most party members were acquitted of any wrong doing.