Left Socialist-Revolutionaries

The Party of Left Socialist-Revolutionaries was a revolutionary socialist political party formed during the Russian Revolution.

Party of Left

Партия левых
LeaderYakov Blumkin
Boris Kamkov
Mark Natanson
Maria Spiridonova
Split fromSocialist Revolutionary Party
IdeologyAgrarian socialism
Anti-Bolshevism (later)
Revolutionary socialism
Political positionLeft-wing to far-left

In 1917, the Socialist Revolutionary Party split between those who supported the Russian Provisional Government, established after the February Revolution; and those who supported the Bolsheviks, who favoured a communist insurrection. The majority stayed within the mainstream party, but a minority who supported the Bolshevik path became known as Left Socialist-Revolutionaries or Left SRs.

Maria Spiridonova was a prominent leader of the Left SRs. They split from the main party, but the split was not completed before the Russian Constituent Assembly elections. The first meaningful electoral test between the parties in the peasant soviets a few weeks after the Assembly elections showed the parties had roughly equal support among the peasantry.


Split with the Socialist Revolutionary Party

The Left SRs departed the Socialist Revolutionary Party due to their support for the overthrow of the Alexander Kerensky government. The Left SRs would later support the Bolsheviks who came to overthrow the provisional government.[1]


The Left SRs made the following demands:

  • Condemnation of the war as an imperialist venture and immediately exit from the same war.
  • Cessation of cooperation with the provisional government of the Socialist Revolutionary Party.
  • Immediate resolution of the land issue in accordance with the program of the party and giving of the land to the peasantry.

October Revolution

The Left SRs became the coalition partner of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Government (the Council of People's Commissars) after the October Revolution of 1917, heading the People's Commissariats for agriculture, justice, posts and telegraph. They later resigned their positions in protest at the signing (3 March 1918) and ratification of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but they continued for a time to co-operate with the Bolsheviks at other levels.

Split with the Bolsheviks

The Left SRs had participated in the Bolshevik government until July 1918 at the 5th Congress of the Soviets, where they were expelled.[2]

The Left SRs had criticized the Bolsheviks for their repressions on trade union freedoms, ending factory worker councils and support of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.[3]

Russian Civil War

In mid-July 1918, the Left SRs tried to incite an uprising in areas ceded to Germany by the Brest-Litovsk Treaty,[4] therefore their supporters were involved in the assassination of German ambassador Wilhelm von Mirbach in Moscow on 6 July and Field Marshal Hermann von Eichhorn (commander of Army Group Kiev and military governor of Ukraine) on 30 July. Von Mirbach's assassination signaled the beginning of the LSR's failed revolt in Moscow in 1918. Some Left SRs became full members of the Soviet Communist Party.


  1. "So". marxists.org. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  2. "Socialist Revolutionary Party". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  3. "Left Socialist Revolutionaries". Spartacus International. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  4. Häfner, Lutz (July 1991). "The Assassination of Count Mirbach and the "July Uprising" of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries in Moscow, 1918" (PDF). Russian Review. 50 (3): 324–344. doi:10.2307/131077.
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