Formation of the

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


Background      Creation     Structure    Evaluation





During the Civil War, Russia disintegrated.   Much of Russia was controlled by the 'Whites'.   Generals Denikin and Wrangel ran the areas under their control as independent states.   In the meantime, places like the Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Georgia tried to set up their own, nationalist governments.


As the Bolsheviks began to win the Civil War, they also began to re-conquer the states surrounding Russia.   In the Ukraine, the Bolsheviks allied themselves with a Ukrainian socialist party called the Borotbists, and took over the government.   In Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, huge Bolshevik armies simply advanced and conquered the country.  



The Creation of the USSR

In Moscow on 23-27 December  1922, the Tenth All-Russian Congress of Soviets took place.   Of the 2,215 delegates,  488 were from the neighbouring Bolshevik-controlled states of the Ukraine, Belorussia and Transcaucasia (i.e. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia).   At the Congress, a leading Bolshevik named Josef Stalin made a speech announcing the union of:

the Russia Soviet Federated Socialist Republic with


the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,


the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic and


the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist republic.


Stalin concluded:

Let us hope, comrades, that by forming our Union Republic we shall create a reliable bulwark against international capitalism, and that the new Union State will be another decisive step towards the union of the working people of the whole world into a World Soviet Socialist Republic. (Prolonged applause. The "Internationale" is sung.)


The Congress agreed and thereby the 'Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics' (USSR) was set up.     



The Structure of the Government

The Soviet government was elected by the Congress of Soviets, which in turn was elected by local Soviets.   It had two parts - the Central Executive Committee, comprised of 101 members, which ran the administration, and the Council of People's Commissars, which made the laws.   As time went on, however, the government came increasingly under the control of the Communist Party, and in the end merely rubber-stamped the decisions the Party had already made.




The USSR marked the successful establishment of the Bolshevik state - it was a remarkable achievement in the face of such great opposition.