October Manifesto Fundamental Laws
- What the Tsar issued after Bloody Sunday.
- No precise detail of what the Duma would be.
- New constitutional arrangement was drawn up
with the two legislative houses.
- At the top of the Government
- Council of Ministers, under Prime Minister.
Appointed by Tsar. Answered to the
- Lower Chamber was the State Duma and
- Upper Chamber was the State Council.
5 days before the Duma met, Nicholas issued these
Fundamental Laws. They stated that
- Tsar posses supreme administrative power.
- Supreme leader of foreign relations.
- Supreme command over land and sea forces.
- Sole power to appoint and dismiss government
- Sole power to declare war, conclude peace,
- Has the right to overturn verdicts and sentences.
Divided between Bolsheviks and
Mensheviks. Committed to Marxism.
Founded in 1898. Split in 1903.
Bolsheviks: Led by Lenin.
Disciplined, centralized, organized.
Believed in the role of the
proletariat under party guidance.
Favoured peasant alliance.
Mensheviks: Led by Mártov.
bourgeois/liberals. Use of legal
channels of opposition.
Led by Viktor Chernov
Favoured populist ideas.
Redistribution of land.
Belonged to the left, terrorism
to achieve aims.
Favoured nationalization of
Minimum wage. 8 hour
working day. Peasants and
Led by Pavel Milyukov.
Central liberal party.
Full civil rights.
Redistribution of large
(Union of 17th
Led by Alexander
party. Accepted the
concessions to workers
Demonstration 17 October 1905,
painting by Ilya Repin
‘Union of the
Led by Vladimir Purishkevich.
Extremely right wing favouring
Promoted violence on the left
wing. Pogroms through street-
A loose grouping of
businessmen who favoured
Georigians, Muslims - all
seeking rights and greater
The First Duma
National campaign - winter
Revolutionaries and the
extreme right-wing Unión of
Russian People refused to
The first state duma, “Duma of National
Hopes”, overwhelmingly radical-liberal in
Kadets - won the largest number of seats of
any grouping. British model with legislative
The new deputies, were peasants. Biggest
The First Duma met for the first time on
May 10th, 1906 in the Tauris Palace.
“One saw peasants in their long black coats, some of them
wearing military medals and crosses; tartars; poles; priests;
men in every kind of dress except uniform.”
Sergei Witte the architect of the October Manifesto, and head of
Nicholas´s Council of Ministers resigned, under pressure.
Replaced by Ivan Goremykin, extremely conservative. Liberals,
lost hope. Witte negotiated an important French loan, to keep the
The Duma was a radical one. They demanded, among other
things, transfer of ministerial responsibility, and compulsory
seizure of the lands of gentry, without compensation.
The Tsar ignored these demands for ten weeks and after
dissolved the Duma.
The Second Duma
“The Duma of National Anger”
More oppositional than the previous one.
Neither the left nor the right wanted the Duma to succeed, they
managed to cripple it as a political force.
Stolypin passed an Agrarian Reform Program under the
emergency powers while Duma was not in session. It refused
to ratify this.
Agrarian Reform Program
Based on the abolition of the Mir´s communal land. This would
make it possible for peasants to become permanent owners of
their land. Basically the transformation of the communal
pattern of Russian rural life.
Stolypin plotted against the Duma, and dissolved it. Peasants,
workers and national minorities lost political power after this.
The Third Duma
Octobrists and Rightists (government favorites) won majority
Kadets and Socialists reduced in size & divided in principles.
“Duma of Lords and Lackeys”
Far from submissive, agreed most of government proposals.
Including the agricultural reform, by Stolypin.
Disputes over naval staff, Stolypin’s proposals to extend
primary education and some government reforms.
Duma suspended twice. Government passed laws over
Duma had no power over the actions of the Tsar or the
The Fourth Duma
● Docile body and a new Prime Minister, Kokovtsov. He
replaced Stolypin after he was assassinated in 1911.
● “Thank God we still have no parliament”
● He simply ignored the Duma.
● Too divided to fight back
● The workers took the initiative of taking action and
● Outbreak of the war.