Vyborg Manifesto

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The Vyborg Manifesto ("To the People from the People's Representatives") was an appeal given by a group of members of the First State Duma to the people of Russia, on July 23, 1906, in the city of Vyborg. It was intended as a sign of protest against the dissolution of the Duma. After the dissolution of the Duma, on July 21, 1906, deputies of the Labor Group (Trudoviks) called for an assembly in St. Petersburg with the purpose of issuing a manifesto of insubordination to the act of dissolution and calling for the people to support them. Holding an assembly in St. Petersburg was impossible, because both the Duma building and the Cadet (Constitutional Democrat) Party Club were surrounded by police and military forces. At the proposition of the Cadets, between 220 and 230 Duma deputies, mostly Cadets and Trudoviks, met in Vyborg, Finland, on the eve of July 22. The chairman was the chairman of the Duma, Sergei Muromtsev. During the night, the deputies discussed two possible versions of the manifesto. The first, prepared by the Trudoviks and the Social Democrats, called for the army and navy to support the cause of the revolution and for the people not to follow the orders of the government. The second, prepared by the Cadets and written by Pavel Milyukov (who was not a deputy), called for passive resistance: ignoring military service, not paying taxes, and refusal of state loans unless the Duma approved. The final draft of the Manifesto, processed by the approval committee, was close to the Cadets' version. Despite the remaining controversies, on July 23 the final revision of the appeal was signed, because an order came from St. Petersburg of the dissolution of the assembly and the danger of "fatal consequences for Finland." The Vyborg Manifesto was signed by 180 deputies, later to be joined by 52 more. It was printed in the form of a leaflet on July 23, 1906, in Finnish and then Russian in 10,000 copies, and was reprinted abroad. The reprint of the Vyborg Manifesto by Russian newspapers was punished with the confiscation of the press run, and spreading the leaflets was punished with arrests. On July 29, 1906, a court case was started against those who signed the Manifesto, which called for the nation to oppose the law and the lawful orders of the government. The Vyborg Manifesto had no significant impact on the people. In December 1907, the so-called Vyborg trial was held in St. Petersburg. At the trial, 167 of the 169 former deputies of the Duma were sentenced to three months of incarceration, which meant that they were bereft of the right to run for position in the Duma and other civil services.

See also: constitutional democratic party; duma; revolution of 1905


Ascher, Abraham. (1992). The Revolution of 1905: Authority Restored. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Maklakov, V.A. (1964). The First State Duma. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Oleg Budnitskii