Russia Foreign Ministry and the State Duma During The First World War
Stanislav I. Chernyavskiy – Doctor of Historical Sciences, Director of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies, Professor, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Envoy, MGIMO-University. 76 Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russia. E-mail: email@example.com.
The article studies the cooperation between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the State Duma during the First World War. A hundred years ago, the Russian parliament made the first real steps in democratization of public administration. MPs to the best of their ability and within the limits of the emperor’s powers sought to modernize the outdated system of monarchical rule. They were pushed by the tragic conditions of the First World War in which Russia was plunged by the royal family. The February Revolution of 1917 breathed new strength into the political struggle unfolding in Russia, it forced many conservative oriented public administrators to support the efforts of the MPs to establish a republican form of government. Russian diplomats also contributed to the effort when they assisted thousands of Russians who were caught up in captivity in hostile countries, as well as prisoners of war and seriously wounded.
Using archival documents and memoirs, the author observes the evolution of the relationship between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the emerging civil society and how these changing relationships influenced the work of Russian diplomatic missions. This complex set of relationships evolved around issues faced by the authorities during the First World War and the February Revolution. Methodologically, the author relies on institutional approach and partially on the Annals school, analyzing the subject matter taking into account the specific historical conditions. In addition, the study uses elements of diachronic analysis, a comparison of the post-revolutionary and post-Soviet restructuring of diplomatic institutions in Russia, which demonstrates how deep the institutional memory can be under conditions of a consistent change in the socio-political structure.
Key words: The First World War, February Revolution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prisoners of war, political refugees, humanitarian cooperation.
1. Belova I.B. Vynuzhdennye migranty: bezhentsy i voennoplennye Pervoi mirovoi voiny v Rossii 1914–1925 gg. [Forced migrants, refugees and military hostages in I World War in Russia, 1914-1925]. Moscow: AIRO-HHI, 2014. 432 p. (In Russian).
2. Buldakov V.P., Leont’eva T. G. Voina, porodivshaia revoliutsiiu [The war that forged revolution]. Moscow: Novyi khronograf. 2015. 720 p. (In Russian).
3. Deiatel’nost’ diplomatov tsarskogo i Vremennogo pravitel’stv v emigratsii v 1917–1938 godakh [Activities of diplomats of the Tsarist and the Temporary government in 1817-1938]. Mezhdunarodnaia zhizn’. 2001, no. 9–10, pp. 71-83.
4. Diplomatiia Vremennogo pravitel’stva v bor’be s revoliutsiei [The Temporary government diplomacy against revolution]. Krasnyi arkhiv. Istoricheskii zhurnal. 1927. Vol. XX, pp. 25–38. (In Russian).
5. Morozova I.M. Nekotorye aspekty vzaimodeistviia Ministerstva inostrannykh del Rossii i Gosudarstvennoi dumy v 1905–1917 godakh [Some aspects of interaction. Human Rights in Russia: 1905-1917]. Diplomaticheskii vestnik. 2001, no. 11, pp. 27-35. (In Russian).
6. Nagornaia O.S. Drugoi voennyi opyt. Russkie voennoplennye Pervoi mirovoi voiny v Germanii (1914–1922) [Another military experience. Russian prisoners of war of the First World War in Germany (1914-1922)]. Moscow, 2010. 440 p. (In Russian).
7. Pamiati kn. Gr N. Trubetskogo [In memory of the earl N. Trubetskoy]. Digest of articles. Paris, 1930. 163 p. (In Russian).
8. Cherniavskii S.I. Diplomatiia Rossii. Opyt Pervoi mirovoi voiny [Diplomacy of Russia. Experience of the First World War]. Moscow, Algoritm, 2016. 414 p.