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USSR and Russian Constitutions

The Constitution of the RSFSR 1918

Adopted by the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets on July 10th, 1918

The birth of the Soviet State was accompanied with the appearance of the Declaration of Rights of Working and Exploited People adopted on January 25th, 1918, by the Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets. It was included into the wording of the first Soviet Constitution and is now the monument of law. Certain authors directly call the declaration the first document of Soviet Russia having a constitutional nature.

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The Constitution of the USSR 1924

It was adopted by the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets on January 31, 1924

It specified that "union republics make amendments to their constitutions in accordance with this Constitution”. The Constitution comprised two sections – the USSR Establishment Declaration and the USSR Establishment Agreement.

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The Constitution of the USSR 1936

It was adopted by the Extraordinary Eighth Congress of Soviets of USSR on December 5, 1936. 

The USSR Constitution of 1936 was the most democratic constitution in the history of our country. By the content and structure, it was entirely different from the USSR Constitution of 1924. Drafting of the new Principal Law was connected, first and foremost, with the victory of socialism, full restructuring of the socio-economic, political and spiritual spheres of life, which necessitated making amendments to the Union Constitution.

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The Constitution of the USSR 1977

It was adopted by an extraordinary seventh session of the USSR Supreme Soviet of the ninth convention on October 7, 1977

The USSR Constitution of 1977 entered the history of the Constitution of Developed Socialism. It was adopted at the extraordinary session of the USSR Supreme Soviet of the ninth convention on October 7, 1977, and was called Brezhnev Constitution. Pursuant to Article 6 of the new Principal Law, the single-party political system was assigned: “The Communist Party of the Soviet Union is the guiding and governing force of the Soviet society, the core of its political system, governmental and non-governmental agencies”.

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The Constitution of the Russian Federation 1993

It was adopted by the Nation-Wide Voting (Referendum) on December 12, 1993

Some 58 percent of participants in the referendum voted for it. The Constitution took effect on the date it was published in The Rossiyskaya Gazeta, on December 25, 1993. The Constitution became a manifesto of the new democratic Russia. An important distinction of the current Constitution from the earlier adopted ones is its special drafting procedure. Two of its drafts were simultaneously drafted; disputes concerning them caused the aggravation of the 1992/1993 constitutional crisis that resulted in an armed conflict in October 1993 and had chances of turning into the civil war.

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