Bolshevism by John Spargo

By John Spargo

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No attempt was made to prevent the procession from reaching the square in front of the Winter Palace. Suddenly, without a word of warning, troops appeared from the courtyards, where they were hidden, and fired into the crowded mass of human beings, killing more than five hundred and wounding nearly three thousand . All who were able to do so turned and fled, among them Father Gapon . Bloody Sunday, as the day is known in Russian annals, is generally regarded as the beginning of the First Revolution .

Yet there FROM REVOLUTION TO REVOLUTION 41 was substantial gain : civic freedom as a practical fact did not exist, but civic freedom as a lawful right lived in the minds of millions of people-the greatest fact in Russia. The terms of the Manifesto of October 17thAbsolutism's solemn covenant with the nation-had not been repealed, and the nation knew that the government did not dare to repeal it . Not all the Czar's armies and Black Hundreds could destroy that consciousness of the lawful right to civic freedom .

11 When the elections for the Duma were held, in March, 19o6, the failure of the government's attempt to capture the body was complete . It was overwhelmingly a progressive parliament that had been elected . The Constitutional Democrats, upon a radical program, had elected the largest number of members, 178 . Next came the representatives of the peasants' organizations, with a program of moderate Socialism, numbering 116. This group became known in the Duma as the Labor Group . A third group consisted of 63 representatives of border provinces, mostly advanced Liberals, called Autonomists, on account of their special interest in questions concerning local autonomy .

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