Political terror and the right-wing movement (The case of Vladimir Governorate)

Political terror and the right-wing movement (The case of Vladimir Governorate)

Igor' V. Omel'yanchuk
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The article examines the street confrontation of October 1905 which went down in history as Jewish pogroms. The source base of the work comprises the documents of the police department deposited in the State Archive of Vladimir Oblast and the materials from periodicals of various political leanings.
After the publication of the Manifesto of the 17th of October, 1905, in the streets of Russian cities, the revolutionary demonstrations whose participants viewed the Manifesto as a signal for a decisive assault on the autocracy clashed with the patriotic manifestations held by those who wanted to defend their familiar world. The defiant behavior of opposition supporters who preached their political ideals and in doing so insulted national and religious feelings of the conservative strata of population provoked street excesses, which then turned into bloody clashes. The situation was aggravated by the inaction of the local authorities who had not received timely instructions from St Petersburg and showed confusion during the first “days of freedom.” Thus, the pogroms of October 1905 which took place outside the Pale of Settlement were directed not so much against the Jews as against the revolutionaries (a considerable part of them were Jews).
Contrary to the idea prevailing in historiography that the clashes of October 1905 were organized, the pogroms arose spontaneously. Neither the government, which was prostrate, nor the right-wing parties, the numerical composition of which in Russia at that time was measured by several thousand people, initiated or organized those events. In October 1905, there were no monarchist organizations in Vladimir Governorate at all.
However, the supporters of autocracy are responsible for two political murders which occurred after the pogroms in November–December 1905. In Ivanovo-Voznesensk the crowd infuriated with the events of recent months tore to pieces a revolutionary woman who was transporting weapons, and in the village of Undol workers killed an agitator who called for the overthrow of autocracy. After the foundation of monarchist organizations in Vladimir Governorate, street clashes between the opponents and the supporters of autocracy gradually died down because the monarchists got an opportunity to defend their political convictions in a more civilized form. Although the conflicts between persons of opposite political views continued for some time, they were more like domestic quarrels and had no victims. Both sides were equally responsible for those incidents.
Igor' V. Omel'yanchuk
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Russian History
Moscow City University, Moscow, Russia
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Revolution of 1905–1907, pogroms, government, monarchist parties, political terror, Vladimir Governorate
For citation:
Omel'yanchuk, I. “Political terror and the right-wing movement (The case of Vladimir Governorate).” Historia Provinciae – the Journal of Regional History, vol. 5, no. 3 (2021): 690–742,

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