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The subject index / Narodnaya Volya

Narodnaya Volya

Categories / Social Life/Political Parties and Organizations

NARODNAYA VOLYA (People's Will), the largest revolutionary public organization of the late 1870-80s. Originated in June 1879 as a result of the disunity among members of Zemlya i Volya, Narodnaya Volya was founded as an organization at a congress held illegally in Lesnoy, St. Petersburg in August 1879. The Executive Committee operated in St. Petersburg in 1879-81 as the governing body of the party. The members of the committee were A.D. Mikhaylov, A.A. Kvyatkovsky, A.I. Zhelyabov, S.L. Perovskaya, N.A. Morozov, M.F. Frolenko, L.A. Tikhomirov, V.N. Figner, A.V. Yakimova, et al. numbering about 30 people by the early 1881. Narodnaya Volya's charter and program were drawn up at the meetings of the Executive Committee in Leshtukov Lane (today, 15 Dzhambula Lane) in autumn 1879. The Executive Committee launched a campaign among the students from the late 1879. Zhelyabov and I. P. Kakovsky drew up The Program of Workers, Members of Narodnaya Volya that was approved in 1880. Numerous circles were organised and Rabochaya Gazeta (The Workers' Gazette) was printed illegally in Troitsky Lane (today, 25 Rubinsteina Street) in the same year. Members of the Executive Committee carried on revolutionary propaganda among officers of St. Petersburg and Kronstadt and the students of military schools from the late 1879. The military organization of Narodnaya Volya was founded in the late 1880-early 1881 with N.E. Sukhanov at the head. The Central Circle of the organization held its meetings at Sukhanov's house in Nikolaevskaya Street (today, 11 Marata Street). There were a number of illegal printing offices in St. Petersburg where the newspaper Narodnaya Volya was printed as a party organ. The organization enjoyed the support of many prominent scientists, lawyers, and literati. The Executive Committee maintained close contact with publicists N.K. Mikhaylovsky, N.V. Shelgunov, S.N. Krivenko, and others. Members of Narodnaya Volya blaming Emperor Alexander II for the poor life people lived and the severe punishment administered to revolutionists in 1870s, the Executive Committee passed a capital sentence to the emperor as early as in August 1879. While Narodnaya Volya numbered several hundred members, several dozens of them were engaged in preparation of assassinations. Dynamite workshops were organized in St. Petersburg, one of them at 24 11th Line of Vasilievsky Island (commemorative plaque), with N.I. Kibalchich and S.G. Shiryaev at the head. S.N. Khalturin, a member of Narodnaya Volya, set off an explosion in the Winter Palace on February 5, 1880. In the summer 1880, members of Narodnaya Volya failed an attempt at the life of Emperor Alexander II on Kamenny Bridge over the Ekaterininsky Canal. Finally, Emperor Alexander II was wounded and killed with a bomb thrown by I.I. Grinevitsky at the Ekaterininsky Canal on 1 March 1881 (see The First of March, 1881). Mass arrests conducted a day before and after March 1 rendered the organization lifeless, the former Executive Committee no longer functioned. Difficulties among its members brought to a split of Narodnaya Volya with the Narodnaya Volya Youth Party organized after the split. G. A. Lopatina and N. M. Salova failed their attempts to revive the united Narodnaya Volya and were arrested in October 1884. Separate circles and groups of Narodnaya Volya carried on their activities in St. Petersburg in 1880-90s including the Terrorist Group of Narodnaya Volya, the Group of Members of Narodnaya Volya, etc. Some members of Narodnaya Volya sided with Social Democrats in 1890s, while other members joined the Party of Socialist Revolutionaries in the early 20th century.

Reference: Волк С. С. Народная воля, 1879-1882. М.; Л., 1966; Троицкий Н. А. "Народная воля" перед царским судом (1880-1894). 2-е изд., испр. и доп. Саратов, 1983; Барабанова А. И., Ямщикова Е. А. Народовольцы в Петербурге. Л., 1984; От народничества - к марксизму: Воспоминания участников рев. движения в Петербурге (1883-1894 гг.). Л., 1987; "Народная воля" и "Черный передел": Воспоминания участников рев. движения в петербурге в 1878-1882 гг. Л., 1989.

Z. P. Solovyeva.

Alexander II, Emperor
Figner Vera Nikolaevna
Frolenko Mikhail Fedorovich
Grinevitsky Ignaty Ioakhimovich
Kakovsky Ivan Pavlovich
Khalturin Stepan Nikolaevich
Kibalchich Nikolay Ivanovich
Krivenko Sergey Nikolayevich
Kvyatkovsky Alexander Alexandrovich
Lopatin German Alexandrovich
Mikhaylov Alexander Dmitrievich
Mikhaylovsky Nikolay Konstantinovich
Morozov Nikolay Alexandrovich
Perovskaya Sofia Lvovna
Salova Neonila Mikhailovna
Shelgunov Nikolay Vasilievich
Shiryaev Stepan Grigorievich
Sukhanov Nikolay Evgenievich
Tikhomirov Lev Alexandrovich
Yakimova Anna Vasilievna
Zhelyabov Andrey Ivanovich

11th Line of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 24
Dzhambula Lane/Saint Petersburg, city, house 15
Marata St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 11
Rubinsteina St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 25

Волк С. С. Народная воля, 1879-1882. М.; Л., 1966
Троицкий Н. А. "Народная воля" перед царским судом (1880-1894). 2-е изд., испр. и доп. Саратов, 1983
Барабанова А. И., Ямщикова Е. А. Народовольцы в Петербурге. Л., 1984
От народничества - к марксизму: Воспоминания участников рев. движения в Петербурге (1883-1894 гг.). Л., 1987
"Народная воля" и "Черный передел": Воспоминания участников рев. движения в петербурге в 1878-1882 гг. Л., 1989

The subject Index
Zemlya i Volya (Land and Liberty) of 1870s
First of March, 1881


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