SOME REMARKS ON THE EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND AND POLITICAL CAREER IN (TZARIST) RUSSIA OF ALEXANDER F. KERENSKY

Gábor HAMZA

Resumen: Breve estudio sobre la formación intelectual como jurista de Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky (1881-1970), que fue ministro de Justicia en Rusia en 1917. Estudió Derecho en la Universidad de San Petersburgo e inició igualmente estudios de Letras, que no pudo llegar a terminar. Es posible que redactara una tesis doctoral en Derecho romano. Vivió exiliado en Francia y en Estados Unidos de América. Sus memorias publicadas en 1966 ofrecen un gran interés para la historia de Rusia en el siglo XX.

Palabras claves: Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky, Rusia, Duma, Revolución socialista, Trudoviki, Derecho romano.

   Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky (1881-1970), was appointed on March 15th, 1917 minister of justice in the government ‒ consisting of the representatives of the Constitutional Democratic Party i.e. (abridged) Kadet Party ("constitutional democrats" ‒ in Russian: konstitutsionnije demokraty) ‒ and the Octobrist Party ("constitutional monarchists" ‒ in Russian: oktobristy) of duke (in Russian: knjaz) Georgij Jevgenjewitch Lvov (1861-1925). Alexander F. Kerensky announced in February 1917 that he joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party (the leftist "Peasant Party") i.e. the (abridged) Esser Party ("party of the social revolutioneers" ‒ in Russian: sotzialn'ije revoljutionery).
   In addition to that governmental i.e. cabinet post, from May 18th, 1917 onwards, he held also the portfolio of the minister of war and marine, along with the portfolio of the minister of justice, in the (second) coalition government, comprising among its members also the representatives of the Menshevik Party ("socialdemocrats") and the Esser Party, of duke G. J. Lvov. The tsar Nicholas II (1894-1917) dissolved the Fourth State Duma (in Russian: Gosudarstvennaja Duma) on 12th March, 1917 in Mogiljev (now in Belorussia i.e. Belarus’) the army headquarters of the Russian Empire. Nicholas II abdicated (twice on the same day!) on March 15th, 1917.
   On July 22th, 1917, after the resignation of duke G. J. Lvov from the post of the prime minister, became (the second) prime minister of the Russian Provisional Government (in Russian: Vremennoje Pravit`elstvo). The cabinet of Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky took office on 6th August, 1917. The second coalition government of Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky was formed on 8th October, 1917. Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky became also the commander in chief ("supreme commander") of the Russian army. On 14th September, 1917 was proclaimed by the government, with large popular consent, the Republic of Russia i.e. the monarchy became abolished.
   It is worth mentioning that Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky became member of the Fourth State Duma in 1912. He was elected as a Trudoviki ("labour group") delegate from Volsk, in Saratov province. It has to be pointed out that his political affiliation has undergone numerous changes.
   When the Bolsheviks seized power on 7th November, 1917 he fled first to Finland and remained there until fleeing i.e. escaping to London in May 1918. Alexander Fjodorovits Kerensky moved later to France (Paris) where he led the (propaganda) campaign against the communist (totalitarian) system in Russia. He edited the newspaper "Dni" (in English: "Days") published in Paris and Berlin. Prior to the German invasion of France in June 1940 he moved to the United States of America.
   Prior to being involved in politics in Tzarist Russia, Alexander F. Kerensky practiced law as a private attorney (advocate) in Saint Petersburg (Sankt Petersburg). In 1905 after graduation from the Faculty of Law he became member of the Moscow Bar.
   Alexander F. Kerensky graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Saint Petersburg University [founded by the tzar Alexander I (1801-1825) in 1819] in 1904. He was enrolled as a regular student at the Imperial University (in Russian: Imperatorskij Universit’et) of Saint Petersburg in 1899. Prior to his enrollment at the faculty of law (in Russian: juridjitseskij fakultet), he studied philosophy and history, including classical philology. I think, albeit I am not sure, he studied during a period of at least four semesters i.e. two academic years. However, Alexander F. Kerensky never completed his studies at the Faculty of Arts (in Russian: Guman’itarnij Fakult’et) of the Imperial University of Saint Petersburg.
   It is very likely that his doctoral thesis (in Russian: Dissertatsija) was in relation to a Roman law related topic (subject). I deem that some research in the archives of the University of Saint Petersburg (from 1948 through 1989 named "Leningradskij Gosudarstvennij Universitet imenji Zhdanova") should be carried out in this regard. [Recibido el 25 de septiembre de 2014].


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