Constitutional Democratic (kadet) party

Constitutional Democratic (kadet) party (Конституционно-демократическая партия or Партия народной свободы; Konstitutsiono-demokraticheskaia partiia or Partiia narodnoi svobody). Russian liberal party founded in October 1905 whose members were popularly known as the Kadets. The Kadets took part in all the Russian state dumas and held 35 percent of the seats in the First Russian State Duma. On the nationality question, the party recognized the right of the non-Russian peoples to develop their national cultures, but was opposed to the reconstruction of Russia on the principle of autonomy or federalism. The party's leader, Pavel Miliukov, in 1914 spoke in the Duma against the government's prohibition of the celebration of Taras Shevchenko's anniversary. Ukrainians active in the Kadet party included Mykola Vasylenko, D. Hryhorovych-Barsky, B. Butenko, Teodor Shteingel, Yurii Sokolovsky, Illia Shrah, Mykhailo Mohyliansky, Ivan Luchytsky, and Antin Rzhepetsky. The party played an important role in the Russian Provisional Government of 1917. At that time it proposed that Russia become a democratic republic. Yet most Kadets opposed the Central Rada's demands for autonomy. Several former Kadets were in the cabinet of the Hetman government in 1918 (M. Vasylenko, A. Rzhepetsky, Yu. Sokolovsky, S. Gutnik, B. Butenko, Ihor Kistiakovsky).

Rosenberg, W. Liberals in the Russian Revolution: The Constitutional Democratic Party, 1917-1921 (Princeton 1974)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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