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January 31, 1924

In December 1922 , the I Congress of Soviets of the USSR approved the Declaration and the Treaty on the formation of the USSR. The Treaty on the formation of the USSR proclaimed that 4 independent Soviet socialist republics: the RSFSR (Russia), the Ukrainian SSR (Ukraine), the BSSR (Belarus) and the ZSFSR (the Transcaucasus) - in order to strengthen Soviet power on a voluntary and equal basis, form a single union state. The treaty provided for the organization of all-Union state authorities and in general terms determined their competence. 

January 31 , 1924 II Congress of Soviets of the USSR unanimously approved the first Constitution of the USSR and completed the constitutional design of a single Soviet state. 

The 1924 Constitution was entirely devoted to the principles of building the world's first socialist union multiethnic state on the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It legislated the full legal equality of all the peoples of the USSR and their sovereignty. The State Flag, the Coat of Arms and the capital of the USSR were approved. 

The approval and change of the basic principles of the Constitution were in the exclusive competence of the Congress of Councils of the USSR. The Union Republic retained the right to secede from the Union; its territory could be changed only with its consent. Established a single union citizenship. The Union’s exclusive jurisdiction included: external relations and trade; decisions on issues of war and peace; organization and leadership of the armed forces; general management and planning of the economy and budget; development of the fundamentals of legislation (all-union justice).

The highest authority of the USSR was declared the Congress of Soviets of the USSR. In the period between congresses, the Central Executive Committee of the USSR (CEC of the USSR) was the highest authority . 

The main law of the USSR in 1924 was different from the subsequent Soviet constitutions in that it did not contain characteristics of the social structure, chapters on the rights and duties of citizens, on the right to vote, on local authorities and administration. All these issues were determined by the republican constitutions. The main focus of the Constitution of the USSR in 1924 was the fact of the final legal registration of the formation of the USSR, the rights of the USSR and Union Republics, and the system of the highest state bodies of the USSR and Union Republics.

The Constitution (Basic Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (approved by the II Congress of Soviets of the USSR of January 31, 1924)

Section one.
Declaration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Since the formation of the Soviet republics of the state, the world has split into two camps: the camp of capitalism and the camp of socialism.

There, in the camp of capitalism, there is national hostility and inequality, colonial slavery and chauvinism, national oppression and pogroms, imperialistic atrocities and wars.

Here, in the camp of socialism, mutual trust and peace, national freedom and equality, peaceful coexistence and fraternal cooperation of peoples.

Attempts to solve the issue of nationality by combining the free development of nations with the system of exploitation of man by man have proved fruitless for decades in the capitalist world. On the contrary, the tangle of national contradictions is becoming increasingly confused, threatening the very existence of capitalism. The bourgeoisie was powerless to establish cooperation among the peoples.

Only in the camp of the soviets, only in the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, rallying the majority of the population around itself, it was possible to completely destroy national oppression, create an atmosphere of mutual trust and lay the foundations for fraternal cooperation among nations.

It was only thanks to these circumstances that the Soviet republics managed to repel the attack of the imperialists of the whole world, internal and external, only because of these circumstances did they succeed in successfully eliminating the civil war, ensure their existence and start peaceful economic construction.

But the war years did not pass without a trace. The ruined fields, the stopped factories, the destroyed productive forces and the exhausted economic resources inherited from the war make the separate efforts of individual republics for economic construction inadequate. The restoration of the national economy turned out to be impossible with the separate existence of the republics.

On the other hand, the instability of the international situation and the danger of new attacks make the creation of a united front of the Soviet republics in the face of the capitalist encirclement inevitable.

Finally, the very structure of Soviet power, international in its class nature, pushes the working masses of the Soviet republics onto the path of unification into one socialist family.

All these circumstances imperatively demand the unification of the Soviet republics into one union state, capable of ensuring both external security and internal economic gains, and the freedom of the national development of peoples.

The will of the peoples of the Soviet republics, who had recently gathered at the congress of their councils and unanimously decided on the formation of the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics", is a reliable guarantee that this Union is a voluntary union of equal peoples, that each republic is guaranteed the right to free out of the Union, that access to the Union is open to all socialist Soviet republics, both existing and having in the future, that the new union state will be a worthy crown October 1917, the foundations of peaceful coexistence and fraternal cooperation of the peoples, that it will serve as a sure bulwark against world capitalism and a new decisive step along the path of uniting the working people of all countries into the World Socialist Soviet Republic.


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