Russian Constituent Assembly

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The Russian Constituent Assembly ("Всероссийское Учредительное Собрание, Vserossiyskoye Uchreditelnoye Sobranie) was a democratic representative constitutional body envisaged in Russia after the February_Revolution in 1917. It was to be a democratically elected Constituent Assembly to which elections would be held on October 25 in 1917.

The Russian Provisional Government was so titled as its members intended only to hold power until a permanent form of government was established by the Constituent Assembly. The Provisional Government's policy of leaving so many questions to be settled by the democratic process undermined its own authority and weakened its will to remain in power in the face of challenges from Bolsheviks.

In October of 1917 (November 1917, new style), the Bolsheviks engineered a coup d'tat (known as the October Revolution) through the medium of the Petrograd Soviet's Military Committee, and while they permitted elections to continue they did not accept the ultimate authority of the Constituent Assembly to decide on any alternative form of government to that of the soviets.

In the election to the Constituent Assembly (the first fully democratic national election in Russian history), Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks received only 25% of the vote while the Socialist-Revolutionary Party received 40%. The Bolshevik guards manning the assembly hall dispersed the Constituent Assembly at the end of its first day's session and overturning the election.

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