The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is one of the greatest empires of the twentieth century. The formation of the territory took place from 1922 to 1956. In the final version of the USSR consisted of 15 republics.
The formation of the USSR
The date when the creation of the USSR was officially proclaimed was to be considered December 29, 1922. The initiators of the signing of the memorandum on the formation of the state association were: the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, Belarus, Ukraine and the republics of the Transcaucasus.
The main factors that influenced the unification of countries into a single union were:
- ideology - the republics that are part of the USSR were governed by one party - the Bolsheviks;
- common historical traditions - all subjects in one way or another were formerly part of the Russian Empire;
- the need to unite for collective military security - minimizing costs by creating a unified army.
The day after the declaration of association within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the first All-Union Congress of Soviets was held, which proclaimed the union of the republics into a single state, and the declaration and text of the union treaty was signed. The date of December 30, 1922 is the starting point in the history of the USSR.
The declaration stated that the structure of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics assumed the unification of the republics on the principles of equality, as well as on the basis of nationality. The form of the organization fully corresponded to the basic Bolshevik theses, such as the dictatorship of the proletariat and the poorest peasants.
Like any public education, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics received its Constitution. It was adopted in January 1924 and was a partial copy of the constitution of the “main” founder - the RSFSR. The first version of the Constitution of the USSR was considered quite modern and coped with the tasks characteristic of the basic law. Namely, defended the basic rights and freedoms of the citizen. This constitution lasted until 1936. It was changed due to the fact that the composition of the USSR was expanded. Also, the adjustment of the basic law was influenced by foreign economic and foreign policy factors.
Republics that are part of the USSR in the twenties and thirties
Soon after the adoption of the first constitution of 1924, the number of republics also increased. The first who replenished the newly formed state were the Uzbek and Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republics. These republics were created in the territory, which is part of the RSFSR. On October 27, the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was abolished, and in its place these two new subjects of the USSR appeared.
The next stage of reformatting the republics took place on December 5, 1929, when part of the territory (Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) was separated from the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a separate republic.
Seven years later, on December 5, 1936, the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic was abolished. On this day, it was decided to create three new republics in these territories: the Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republics.
In the same time period, the second part of the RSFSR and the creation of two more union republics took place. So, on December 5, the Kazakh and Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republics appeared, based on the corresponding ASSR.
The subsequent growth of new subjects is directly related to the foreign policy events that took place in Europe. Expansion occurred as a result of the Second World War and military actions against Finland.
On March 31, the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Republic was established. It appeared as a result of the defeat of Finland and the loss of a significant part of the territory in favor of the RSFSR. Such parts of Finland as part of the Rybachy Peninsula, Lake Ladoga region, and the Karelian Isthmus were ceded to the USSR. In the status of the republic, the Karelo-Finnish territory existed until July 16, 1956. On that day, it was abolished in the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and became part of the RSFSR. Also part of the territory was returned to Finland, and the definition of “Finnish” disappeared from the title.
The present-day Ukraine within the USSR also did not have stable outlines. The first change of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic was within the framework of secret agreements between the USSR and Germany, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. According to it, Ukraine received its modern western regions. In fact, the USSR returned the lands of the Russian Empire, which were given to Poland under the 1921 treaty. It happened in the autumn of 1939. And on August 2, 1940, a part of Ukraine, in the form of the Moldavian ASSR with the addition of Bessarabia, seized from Romania, became the Moldavian SSR.
Accession of the Baltics
The latest expansion of the USSR was the accession of the Baltic states. June 22, 1940 in the USSR entered the Estonian Republic. A corresponding declaration was adopted. Lithuania as a part of the USSR appeared on August 3, 1940. The Lithuanian SSR was formed on July 21, 1940. The last of the Soviet republics was the Latvian SSR. Latvia as part of the USSR completed the formation of the main outlines of the territory of the Union. It happened on August 5, 1940.
As a result of the unification of 15 Soviet republics, the Soviet Union became the largest country, occupying one sixth of the entire land mass of the planet.