People's Republic

"People's Republic" is a title used by some sovereign states with republican constitutions. The term initially became associated with populist movements in the 19th century such as the German Völkisch movement and the Narodniks in Russia. A number of the short-lived states formed during World War I and its aftermath called themselves "people's republics". Many of these sprang up in the territory of the former Russian Empire, which collapsed following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Additional people's republics emerged following the 1945 Allied victory in World War II. The term has become associated with countries adhering to Marxism–Leninism, although its use is not unique to such states. A number of republics with liberal-democratic political systems - such as Algeria and Bangladesh - adopted the title after popular wars of independence given its rather generic nature.

Marxist–Leninist people's republics (people's democracy)

The first Marxist–Leninist people's republics that came into existence were those formed following the Russian Revolution. Ukraine was briefly declared a people's republic in 1917,[1] and in 1920 the Khanate of Khiva[2] and the Emirate of Bukhara,[3] both territories of the former Russian Empire, were declared people's republics. In 1921 the Russian protectorate of Tuva became a people's republic,[4] followed in 1924 by neighbouring Mongolia.[5] Following World War II, developments in Marxist–Leninist theory led to the appearance of people's democracy, a concept which potentially allowed for a route to socialism via multi-class, multi-party democracy. Countries which had reached this intermediate stage were called people's republics.[6] The European states that became people's republics at this time were Albania,[7] Bulgaria,[8] Czechoslovakia,[9] Hungary,[10] Poland,[11] Romania[12] and Yugoslavia.[13] In Asia, China became a people's republic following the Chinese Communist Revolution[14] and North Korea also adopted Marxism–Leninism to become a people's republic.[15]

Many of these countries also called themselves socialist states in their constitutions. During the 1960s Romania and Yugoslavia ceased to use the term people's in their official name, replacing it with the term socialist as a mark of their ongoing political development. Czechoslovakia also added the term socialist into its name during this period; it had become a people's republic in 1948 but had not used that term in its official name.[16] Albania used both terms in its official name from 1976 to 1991.[17] In the West these countries are often referred to as communist states. However, none of them described themselves in that way; they regarded communism as a level of political development that they had not yet reached.[18] The communist parties in these countries often governed in coalitions with other progressive parties.[19]

During the postcolonial period a number of former European colonies that had achieved independence and adopted Marxist-Leninist governments took the name people's republic. Angola,[20] Benin, Congo-Brazzaville,[21] Ethiopia,[22] Cambodia,[23] Laos,[24] Mozambique[25] and South Yemen[26] followed this route. Following the Revolutions of 1989, the people's republics of Central and Eastern Europe (Albania,[27] Bulgaria,[28] Hungary[29] and Poland[30]) along with Mongolia[31] dropped the term people's from their names as it was associated with their former communist governments. They became known simply as republics and adopted liberal democracy as their system of government.[32] At around the same time most of the former European colonies that had taken the people's republic name began to replace it as part of their move away from Marxism-Leninism.

The current officially socialist states that include the words people's republic in their full names:

Historical examples include:

Other titles commonly used by Marxist–Leninist and socialist states are democratic republic (e.g. the German Democratic Republic or the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia between 1943 and 1946) and socialist republic (e.g. the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic).

Non-Marxist–Leninist people's republics

The collapse of the European empires during and following World War I resulted in the creation of a number of short-lived non-Marxist–Leninist people's republics during the period 1917–22. In many cases these governments were unrecognised and often had Marxist–Leninist rivals.

The Russian Empire produced several non-Marxist–Leninist people's republics after the October Revolution. The Crimean People's Republic was opposed to the Bolsheviks and the latter went on to capture its territory and establish the Taurida Soviet Socialist Republic. The socialist-leaning Ukrainian People's Republic declared its independence from the Russian Republic, but it had a rival in the Ukrainian People's Republic of Soviets (later Ukrainian Soviet Republic) whom it fought during the Ukrainian War of Independence. The Belarusian People's Republic tried to create an independent Belarusian state in land controlled by the German Imperial Army, but the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia replaced it once the German army had left. All of these territories finally became constituent parts of the Soviet Union.

In the former Austro-Hungarian Empire the West Ukrainian People's Republic was formed in eastern Galicia under the political guidance of Greek Catholic, liberal and socialist ideologies. The territory was subsequently absorbed into the Second Polish Republic. Meanwhile in Hungary the Hungarian People's Republic was established, briefly replaced by the Hungarian Soviet Republic, and eventually succeeded by the Kingdom of Hungary.

In Germany the People's Republic of Bavaria – a name sometimes translated as People's State of Bavaria (German: Freier Volksstaat Bayern) – was a short-lived socialist state formed in Bavaria during the German Revolution of 1918–19 as a rival to the Bavarian Soviet Republic. It was succeeded by the Free State of Bavaria which existed within the Weimar Republic.

During the 1960s and 1970s a number of former colonies that had gained independence through revolutionary liberation struggles adopted the name people's republic. Examples include Algeria, Bangladesh and Zanzibar. Libya adopted the term after its Al Fateh Revolution against King Idris.

In Ukraine in the 2010s, separatist movements during the War in Donbass declared the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk to be people's republics, but they have not received diplomatic recognition from the international community.

Founded in socialist ideals, though not necessarily Marxist-Leninist:




See also


  1. Åslund, Anders (2009). How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy. Peterson Institute. p. 12. ISBN 9780881325461.
  2. Minahan, James (2013). Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States. Routledge. p. 296. ISBN 9781135940102.
  3. Tunçer-Kılavuz, Idil (2014). Power, Networks and Violent Conflict in Central Asia: A Comparison of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Routledge advances in Central Asian studies. Volume 5. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 9781317805113.
  4. Khabtagaeva, Bayarma (2009). Mongolic Elements in Tuvan. Turcologica Series. Volume 81. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 21. ISBN 9783447060950.
  5. Macdonald, Fiona; Stacey, Gillian; Steele, Philip (2004). Peoples of Eastern Asia. Volume 8: Mongolia–Nepal. Marshall Cavendish. p. 413. ISBN 9780761475477.
  6. White, Stephen (2002). Communism and Its Collapse. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 9781134694235.
  7. Gjevori, Elvin (2018). Democratisation and Institutional Reform in Albania. Springer. p. 21. ISBN 9783319730714.
  8. Stankova, Marietta (2014). Bulgaria in British Foreign Policy, 1943–1949. Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Anthem Press. p. 148. ISBN 9781783082353.
  9. Müller-Rommel, Ferdinand; Mansfeldová, Zdenka (2001). "Chapter 5: Czech Republic". In Blondel, Jean; Müller-Rommel, Ferdinand (eds.). Cabinets in Eastern Europe. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 62. doi:10.1057/9781403905215_6. ISBN 978-1-349-41148-1.
  10. Hajdú, József (2011). Labour Law in Hungary. Kluwer Law International. p. 27. ISBN 9789041137920.
  11. Frankowski, Stanisław; Stephan, Paul B. (1995). Legal Reform in Post-Communist Europe: The View from Within. Martinus Nijhoff. p. 23. ISBN 9780792332183.
  12. Paquette, Laure (2001). NATO and Eastern Europe After 2000: Strategic Interactions with Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Bulgaria. Nova. p. 55. ISBN 9781560729693.
  13. Lampe, John R. (2000). Yugoslavia as History: Twice There Was a Country. Cambridge University Press. p. 233. ISBN 9780521774017.
  14. "The Chinese Revolution of 1949". Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs. United States Department of State.
  15. Kihl, Young Whan; Kim, Hong Nack (2014). North Korea: The Politics of Regime Survival. Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 9781317463764.
  16. Webb, Adrian (2008). The Routledge Companion to Central and Eastern Europe Since 1919. Routledge Companions to History. Routledge. pp. 80 & 88. ISBN 9781134065219.
  17. Da Graça, John V (2000). Heads of State and Government (2nd ed.). St. Martin's Press. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-56159-269-2.
  18. Wilczynski, J. (2008). The Economics of Socialism after World War Two: 1945-1990. Aldine Transaction. p. 21. ISBN 978-0202362281. Contrary to Western usage, these countries describe themselves as 'Socialist' (not 'Communist'). The second stage (Marx's 'higher phase'), or 'Communism' is to be marked by an age of plenty, distribution according to needs (not work), the absence of money and the market mechanism, the disappearance of the last vestiges of capitalism and the ultimate 'whithering away' of the State.
  19. Wegs, J. Robert (1996). Europe since 1945: A Concise History. Macmillan International Higher Education. pp. 28–9. ISBN 9781349140527.
  20. "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola". Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  21. Hughes, Arnold (2015). Marxism's Retreat from Africa. Routledge. pp. 10–11. ISBN 9781317482369.
  22. Shinn, David H.; Ofcansky, Thomas P. (2013). Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. Scarecrow Press. p. 105. ISBN 9780810874572.
  23. Schliesinger, Joachim (2015). Ethnic Groups of Cambodia. Vol 1: Introduction and Overview. Booksmango. p. 75. ISBN 9781633232327.
  24. Anderson, Ewan W. (2014). Global Geopolitical Flashpoints: An Atlas of Conflict. Routledge. p. 194. ISBN 9781135940942.
  25. Wilczynski, Jozef (1981). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Marxism, Socialism and Communism. Macmillan International Higher Education. p. 318. ISBN 9781349058068.
  26. Busky, Donald F. (2002). Communism in History and Theory: Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 73. ISBN 9780275977337.
  27. Europe Review 2003/04: The Economic and Business Report. World of Information. Kogan Page Publishers. 2003. p. 3. ISBN 9780749440671.
  28. Dimitrov, Vesselin (2013). Bulgaria: The Uneven Transition. Postcommunist States and Nations. Routledge. p. ix. ISBN 9781135136772.
  29. Yup, Xing (2017). Language and State: An Inquiry Into the Progress of Civilization. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 138. ISBN 9780761869047.
  30. "Polska. Historia", Internetowa encyklopedia PWN [PWN Internet Encyklopedia] (in Polish), archived from the original on 1 October 2006, retrieved 11 July 2005
  31. Bulag, Uradyn E. (2010). Collaborative Nationalism: The Politics of Friendship on China's Mongolian Frontier. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 65. ISBN 9781442204331.
  32. Rupnik, Jacques (July 2018). "Explaining Eastern Europe: The Crisis of Liberalism". Journal of Democracy. National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press. 29 (3): 24–38. doi:10.1353/jod.2018.0042.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.