Decembrists’ revolt

   In 1825, following the death of Tsar Aleksandr I, a group of Imperial Army officers moved to rebel against Aleksandr’s brother Nicholas, heir to the throne. The plotters, all drawn from the nobility and veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, sought a confrontation in Senate Square in St. Petersburg on 14 December, when the troops were to take the oath of allegiance to the new autocrat. A second confrontation between rebels and imperial troops took place in southern Russia. The confrontation ended with troops loyal to the new tsar firing on the rebels, many of whom were peasant soldiers who did not even know the cause of the confrontation. For example, rebel troops chanted “Konstantin i Konstatutsiya” [Constantine and constitution] but when asked what this meant, the soldiers told the authorities that Konstantin was the legitimate tsar and Konstatutsiya—a female noun in Russian—was his wife.
   The leaders of the revolt were arrested in the capital and the provinces. Five of the conspirators were hung and 121 were sentenced to exile or imprisonment in Siberia. The Decembrist revolt was an important watershed in the history of the Russian internal security service, convincing the new tsar that the threat to his regime came not from a peasant revolution, but from young officers contaminated with the virus of liberalism. It also convinced the new autocrat to form a security police, the Third Section, to conduct surveillance of those suspected of disloyalty and treason. Russians honor the Decembrists as the first Russian revolutionaries.
   Joseph Stalin was very conscious of the Decembrists’ example. He believed that just as the Decembrists had been impressed with the West during 1812–1814, so Soviet officers exposed to the West during World War II could also be seduced into rebellion and treason. For this reason, Stalin and his major security lieutenants carefully monitored the attitude of soldiers who had served in Germany, from the rank of marshal down. Shortly after victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, several leading officers were arrested, and Marshal Georgi Zhukov was banished to a military district to rusticate.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Decembrists Square — or Ploshchad Dekabristov ( ru. Площадь Декабристов) is a historic city square in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is situated on the bank of the Neva River, in front of Saint Isaac s Cathedral.Until 1925 it was known as Senate Square. In that year it …   Wikipedia

  • Decembrist revolt — Decemberist redirects here. For the rock band, see The Decemberists. For the unfinished Tolstoy novel, see The Decembrists. Decembrist Revolt Decembrists at the Senate Square …   Wikipedia

  • Chernigov Regiment revolt — Part of the Decembrist revolt …   Wikipedia

  • Decembrist revolt — (December 1825) Unsuccessful uprising by Russian revolutionaries. Following the death of Alexander I, a group of liberal members of the upper classes and military officers staged a rebellion in an effort to prevent the accession of Nicholas I.… …   Universalium

  • Military history of the Russian Empire — Armies of Russia Kievan Rus Druzhina (862–1400s) Voyi …   Wikipedia

  • Permanent Revolution (album) — Infobox Album | Name = Permanent Revolution Type = Album Artist = Catch 22 Released = June 27, 2006 Recorded = 2006 Genre = Third wave Ska Length = 33:40 Label = Victory Producer = Catch 22 Reviews = *AbsolutePunk (84%)… …   Wikipedia

  • Dissidents —    In the tsarist period, intellectual dissent originated with Russian military officers who had served in the Napoleonic Wars, as well as with a small group of nobility exposed to radical French, English, and German philosophy. This culminated… …   Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence

  • Exile —    The tsarist regime used Siberian exile as a punishment for dissidents. Following the Decembrists’ Revolt in 1825, hundreds of officers were exiled to Siberia by Tsar Nicholas I. Most of these officers took their wives and children with them.… …   Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence

  • Petrashevskiy Circle —    Aminor official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, M. V. Petrashevskiy came under surveillance by the Third Section in early 1848 because of a political tract he wrote. Petrashevskiy and 33 other men then quickly came under suspicion for a… …   Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence

  • Mikhail Miloradovich — Portrait by George Dawe in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace Born Octo …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.