Russia History   Russian Empire   Russia in XIX-XX centuries. First World War.
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Coming to the Power of Nikolay II
The Revolution Movement and the Creation of Parties
Socio-Economical Development of Russia
The First Russian Revolution 1905-1907
The State Parliament and its Functions
P.A. Stolypin and the Attempts of Reforms
The Internal Political Crisis during World War l.
The February Revolution. Dethronement of Autocracy.
The Russian Culture at the close of IX and the beginning of XX century.
The Foreign Policy of Russia during the Reign of Nicolay II.
The Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905.
The Character of the International Relations in 1906-1914.
World War I
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The State Parliament and its Functions

The 19th of October 1905 the decree 'About measures of the consolidation of the role of ministries and main departments' was approved. According to it the Council of ministers became a permanent government organ.

The council of Ministers couldn't give projects of law to the parliament without the preliminary discussion by the Council of Ministers. The relative independence received war and marine ministers and the minister of foreign affairs. But the reports of the ministries to the tsar were not suspended.
The first president of the reformed Ministers Council became S.U.Vitte (till the 22nd of April 1906). From April to July the Ministers Council chose I.L.Goremykin) who didn't have great authority and could not get the confidence of the Ministers. He was replaced at that post by the ministry of internal affairs P.A.Stolypin (till September 1911).

The 11th of December 1905 the electoral law was confirmed, which increased the rights through the formation of the 4th work kuriya. Elections were not general nor equal for all.
The 20th of February were confirmed the laws concerning the role of the parliament and the reconstruction of the 'State Council'. The first law was defining the mandate of the parliament (5 years); it means that the tsar couldn't dissolve the parliament and announce anticipated elections. He was defining the day and the time of the session and the pauses in their work.

The formation of the parliament leaded to the reform of the State Council. It became a constitutional organ, having the same rights with the parliament. It could reject any project of law taken by the majority in the parliament.

In 1906 Nikolay II prepared and confirmed the 'Basis of the State Laws'. According to the 4th article, the supreme power belongs to the Emperor. From the fundamental law was deleted the definition of the tsar's power as unlimited.

Article 86 consolidated the power of the Parliament and the State Council. 'No new law can be approved without the acceptation of the parliament and the State Council, and can't be in force without the confirmation of the Emperor." 'Basic laws' defined the cooperation between the parliament and the State Council and also these 'chambers' with the Council of ministers and the central apparatus. Projects of law, which were not approved by the Parliament and the Council, were considered as rejected; projects rejected by one of the chambers could be inserted again for analysis, but with the approbation of the tsar. Almost after the publication in 1906 the tsar lost two prerogatives: the absolute power as initiator of the constitution and the control over the state budget.

The black-hundred parties did not get places in the parliament. The serious defeat of the Octobrists at the elections was evident; they got only 13 places in the parliament. The greatest place among the deputies was occupied by the peasants group (107 places). By the end of the existence of the 1st Duma, the social democrats formed an independent group of 17 people. 63 deputies were representing the autonomists (Polish, Lithuanian, Lets, Muslims). The president of the parliament was the 'constitutional democrat' S.A.Muromtsev. The Duma started working on the 27 of April 1906.

There were changes in the government due to the dissolution of the parliament. The 8th of 1906 the president of the Council of Ministers was P.A.Stolypin, exercising commutatively the post of Ministry of internal affairs. He played a great role in the dissolution of the parliament and showed himself as a politician full of energy.
The activity of the State parliament generally leaded to the destruction of the 'constitutional illusions' of the democratic intelligence and couldn't realize the hope of peasants concerning the agricultural problem.

The 17th of 1906 started the revolt of soldiers in the fortress of Sveaburgh; the 19th of July they were being helped by the soldiers of Kronstadt and Revil. Only after 3 days of tension the government could repress the rebels. After it the tsar's government finally chose the opened terror against the revolution's movement which gradually decreased.

In this total confusion were taking place elections in the 2nd State parliament. Through direct repressions the government was trying to form a parliament of its choice. In the 2nd Parliament were elected 518 deputies. Cadets lost 55 places; popular parties got 157 places, and social democrats 65 places. There was in total 222 mandates of the left parties, or 43% of the voices of the parliament. The significant right wing of the parliament increased in number: black-hundred and the Octobers got 54 mandates (10%)together.

The inauguration of the State Parliament took place the 29th of February 1907. The president of the Parliament became the Cadet F.A.Golovin. The main question was the agricultural one, and each group presented its law project; the Parliament was actively discussing the question the State budget of the year 1907, the question of the military service and the abolition of the military courts.

The 3rd of June 1907 was published the tsar's manifest about the dissolution of the State parliament and changes in the electoral system. The publication of the new law about the electoral system was almost a push, as it was completely changing the 'basic laws' which say that no law could be taken without the acceptation of the parliament. The state parliament was just looking as a Law organ. In 72 days of activity of the State government Nikolay II confirmed 222 law acts and only one of them was discussed in the State Parliament and was approved by the State Council. In 102 days the State parliament confirmed 390 laws and only one of them passed through the State government and the State Council.

The 3rd State parliament was elected: the rights-51, the Octobers-136, the progressists-28, the Cadets-53, the nationalists-90 and the workers-13, the social-democrats-19. The presidents of the State parliament were the Octobers: N.A.Khomyakov, in 1910 A.I.Guchkov, and from 1911 M.V.Rodzyanko. During 5 years of work (from the 9th of July 1912) there were 611 sessions, discussed 2572 law projects in which 205 were rejected by the same State parliament. The main place in the State debates was the agricultural reform and the national one.

In June 1912 the mandate of the deputies was accomplished and in autumn of the same year were organized elections of the 4th State Parliament. The sessions opened the 15 of November 1912. The president became the October M.V.Rodzyanko. The main groups were: the Right-nationalists (157), the progressists (48), the Cadets (59), the Workers (10) and the social democrats (14).

The world war which began in 1914 temporally damped the opposition movement in the Russian society. In August 1915 at the meeting of the members of the State parliament and The State Council was created the Progressive bloc, in which were Cadets, Octobers, progressists, and part of the nationalists (236 and 422) members of the State Council.
The president of the Progressive Bloc became the October S.I.Chidlovsky and the chief was P.I.Milyukov. The declaration of the bloc was published in the journal 'Rech' in August 1915 and had a compromise character including the 'social confidence' (composed of the tsar dignitaries and members of the parliament.)

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