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Soviet Union

Early Soviet Constitutions

In the Civil War in France, 1848-1850, Karl Marx maintained that constitutions ought to reflect existing class and political relationships, not prescribe the nature of such relations. Vladimir I. Lenin adopted Marx's understanding of the role of constitutions in a state. Of certain provisions in the first Soviet constitution, he wrote that they were embodied in it "after they were already in actual practice." Joseph V. Stalin rejected a prescriptive preamble for the 1936 constitution, stating that the constitution should "register" the gains of socialism rather than prescribe "future achievement." The four Soviet constitutions thus have reflected the changes that government and society have undergone over the course of Soviet history.

Data as of May 1989