Decree abolishing ranks and classes (1917)

Passed by the Bolshevik-controlled Central Executive Committee on November 10th 1917, the following decree formally abolished classes and civil service ranks in Soviet-controlled Russia:

“1. All estates and class divisions of citizens that existed before in Russia, including privileges and restrictions, estate organisations and institutions as well as all civil ranks, are abolished.

2. Any titles (nobleman, merchant, tradesman, peasant, etc.), titles (prince, earl, etc.) and offices of civilian officials are destroyed and one common name for the entire Russian population is established.

3. The property of noble institutions is immediately transferred to the appropriate local governments.

4. The property of merchant and petty-bourgeois societies shall immediately be placed at the disposal of the respective city governments.

5. All caste institutions, affairs, industries and archives are transferred immediately to the jurisdiction of the respective city and local governments.

6. All relevant articles to currently valid laws are repealed.

7. This decree comes into force on the day of its publication and is to be immediately carried out by the local councils of workers, soldiers and peasants deputies.

This decree is approved by the Central Executive Committee of Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies.”

Chairman of the Central Executive Committee – Sverdlov.

Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars – Ulyanov.

Head of the Council of People’s Commissars – Bonch-Bruevich.

Council Secretary – Gorbunov.