Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Councils

(Rate-kongress)
   Held at the request of the USPD, the first and most significant General Congress of German Workers and Soldiers Councils met in the Prussian Abgeordnetenhaus from 16 to 21 December 1918. Elections to the event, held in late November and reflective of worker opinion at the time, gave the SPD an overwhelming preponderance of the 514 delegates; Karl Liebknecht* and Rosa Luxemburg* failed to win seats. The delegates showed little sympathy for events in Russia; their key decision came on 19 December when, by a 344-98 vote, they rejected a motion to confirm the council system as "the basis of the con-stitution of the socialistic republic. Correspondingly, they passed by 400-50 the motion of Oskar Cohn* setting National Assembly* elections for 19 January 1919. Disillusioned, the USPD delegates abstained from a vote creating a new central committee—aimed at coordinating the relationship between the councils and the interim government (the Council of People s Representatives*)—and thereby abandoned an opportunity to counterbalance the power of the SPD. Before adjourning, the Congress passed nonbinding resolutions to initiate "so-cialization of all industries ready for it and to destroy the symbols of German militarism. This last proved especially irritating to conservatives.
   The decision in favor of traditional parliamentarianism was the Congress s paramount ruling. A bitter defeat for the Spartacus League,* the Revolutionary Shop Stewards,* and the USPD, it led indirectly to the USPD s 27 December withdrawal from the interim government and to the overhasty decision of the Spartacists to establish the KPD and boycott elections.
   A second Congress convened on 15 April 1919. Largely a USPD affair (the SPD was satisfied that the need for councils had ended with the January elec-tions), it was an inconclusive attempt to resolve the debate between those fa-voring a parliamentary course ("Party Independents") and those clinging to a council system ("Council Independents ). Because the strength of the Shop Stewards had been squandered in three months of civil war, the debate proved inconclusive.
   REFERENCES:Herwig, "First German Congress"; Kolb, Weimar Republic; Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria; Morgan, Socialist Left; Ryder, German Revolution of 1918.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Workers and Soldiers Councils — (Arbeiter und Soldatenräte)    Inspired by the slogan all power to the councils ( Alle Macht den Raten ), Germany s council system was launched on 3 November 1918 by mutinous sailors in Kiel. Gaining greater support from the Revolutionary Shop… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Congress of Soviets — The Congress of Soviets was the supreme governing body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and several other Soviet republics from 1917–36 and again from 1989 91. After the creation of the Soviet Union, the Congress of Soviets of… …   Wikipedia

  • All-Russian Congress of Soviets — Всероссийский Съезд Советов Type …   Wikipedia

  • HISTORICAL SURVEY: THE STATE AND ITS ANTECEDENTS (1880–2006) — Introduction It took the new Jewish nation about 70 years to emerge as the State of Israel. The immediate stimulus that initiated the modern return to Zion was the disappointment, in the last quarter of the 19th century, of the expectation that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Libraries and Museums — ▪ 2007 Introduction Libraries and museums grappled with ways to attract more patrons during the year, introducing innovative software (Library 2.0), technological wizardry (iPods as museum aides), and even “bib dating.” Efforts continued to… …   Universalium

  • RELIGIOUS LIFE AND COMMUNITIES — Jews UNDER OTTOMAN RULE The Jews of the pre Zionist old yishuv, both sephardim (from the Orient) and ashkenazim (of European origin), dedicated their lives to the fulfillment of religious precepts: the study of the torah and the meticulous… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Social Democratic Workers' Party (Netherlands) — Infobox Dutch Political Party party name = Social Democratic Workers Party party party wikicolourid = SP leader = Pieter Jelles Troelstra (1893 1925) Willem Albeda (1925 1945) foundation = 1894 Dissolved = 1946 merged into the Labour Party… …   Wikipedia

  • Zionist and Palestinian Arab attitudes before 1948 — As used here, Zionists refers to members of the movement for a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, and Palestinian Arabs refers to the non Jewish population of Palestine at the same time. This article covers the period from the start of Zionism in… …   Wikipedia

  • Nationalism and resistance in Algeria — Part of a series on the History of Algeria …   Wikipedia

  • POLITICAL LIFE AND PARTIES — Introduction It was largely due to the existence of the pre state political parties, which had conducted intensive political activities for almost half a century within the framework of the yishuv , under the British Mandate for Palestine, that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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.