MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Organisations



Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies

Created on February 27, 1917, in Tauride Palace, Petrograd, by the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. The organisation was based on the famous Soviet of Deputies, which had arisen in 1905, as directly elected bodies of striking workers in the midst of the general strike.

The Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet had its strongest base of support from the newly political peasant/soldiers, who were formerly reliant on the top-down Zemstvo. Because the Petrograd Soviet was in the nation's capital, other Soviets across the country looked to it as a State body, and the Executive Committee would duly take up this role.

On March 14, the Executive Committee held a Conference of Soviets, where delegates from 185 different organisations were present. Most delegates were officers, and the attendence included representatives from 16 provincial regions, which helped strengthen the Executive Committee's base of support. The Executive Committee resolved that it would have full autocratic control over all Soviets. Besides recieving their full and unconditional support, the Executive Committee had no further use of local Soviets, and would constantly be at odds with them, until they were elected out of office at the Second All-Russian Congress of the Soviets.

Further Reading: History of the Russian Revolution: The Executive Committee