Comparing The Us Constitution

1260 Words3 Pages
In 1918, while the rest of Europe was still engaged in World War I, a newly formed communist government was developing in Russia. Much like 18th century Americans, they had just managed to overthrow what was viewed as a tyrannical government and hoped to form a new nation free of the injustices of the previous rule. Both countries wrote a new constitution as well as a declaration of rights to facilitate this, but their respective documents had vast differences. These disparities stemmed from differences in the ideologies of the new governments. The primary objectives of the Russian Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People and the later constitution were the “abolition of all exploitation of man by man, complete elimination of the division of society into classes, merciless suppression of the exploiters, socialist organization of society, and victory of socialism in all countries.” Americans wanted equality of opportunity and personal freedom instead of the social equality desired by the Russians. The American constitution and Bill of Rights were created to protect personal liberties and individual freedom while the Russians were more concerned with the welfare and equality of the population as a whole. This difference is partially due to the differences in the conditions leading to revolution in each country. The American Revolution was initiated by the wealthy in response to what they considered unfair treatment by a foreign ruler while the Russian revolution was instigated by the poor in reaction to centuries of oppression and exploitation by the wealthy within their own country.
In the years leading up to World War I, social unrest among the Russian people was spreading rapidly. There was a huge social gulf between the peasants who were former serfs and the landowners. The peasants regarded anyone who did not work as a parasite. They had always regarded as all land belonging to them. They regarded any land retained by the landowners at the time serfs were freed as stolen and only force could prevent them from taking it back. By the time Russia entered the war, one peasant rebellion had already been suppressed and several socialist revolutionary movements were developing.
In February of 1917 a group of female factory workers and led a revolt in which the Tsar was dethroned, only to be replaced by a provisionary government composed of the Russian elite. When this government did not live up to its promises of an end to Russian involvement in World War I, the Bolsheviks (“majority”), a revolutionary movement led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisionary government in what bacame known as the October revolution.
Open Document