Change and continuity in government

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  • Created on: 05-05-20 09:04
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  • Change and Continuity in Government
    • The Fundmental Laws
      • In April 1906, the Tsar attempted to reassert his authority.
        • He promoted the Fundmental Laws (basically the new constitution).
          • They re-established the autocratic nature of Russian government.
        • He was in a stronger position in April than he had been in October 1905.
          • His opponetns were divided and the workers had been crushed.
      • The Tsar's Powers
        • The Fundamental Laws gave the Tsar extensive powers:
          • -Article 4 stated that the Tsar had absolute, God-given autocratic power.
          • -The Tsar retained sole authority over command of the army and dealings with foreign nations.
          • -Article 87 layed out the nature of the Tsar's relationship with the new Duma.
            • The Tsar kept 'supreme sovereign power'.
              • Meant Nicholas could make laws without the consent of the Duma.
              • Nonetheless, the Duma had the power to formally ratify the Tsar's laws.
          • -The Tsar was given the right to dissolve the Duma and call new elections at any time.
      • The Duma
        • The 1906 constitution altered the nature of Russian government:
          • -Created a 'two-house' Duma.
            • The lower house was elected by an electorate made up of most male Russians.
            • The upper house (the 'Council of State') was partically appointed by the Tsar.
              • Other half was appointed by institutions, eg the Orthodox Church.
          • -The upper house had the right to veto laws proposed by the lower house.
          • -Guarenteed individuals rights of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience, the right to form political parties and unions, as well as freedom of the press.
    • Reactions to the Fundamental Laws
      • The new consitution failed to satisfy liberals:
        • -The limited powers of the Duma did not fulfil the demands of the liberals as the elected lower house didn't have ultimate law making power.
        • -Liberals recognised that the promise of individual rights was largely meaningless.
      • Socialists argued that the new constitution failed to address Russia's underlying problems.
      • The SR's argued that the new constitution did nothing to satify the peasants' desire for land.
      • Lenin argued that it would not limit the oppression of the working class.
    • The Radicalism of the first Duma
      • 1st Duma was elected in April 1906.
      • Was largely made up of conservative Octoberists, the liberal Kadets and the Troudoviks.
        • The SRs and the factions of the RSDLP boycotted the election.
      • The newly elected Duma made a series of radical demands:
        • -The creation of universal suffrage
        • Land refom
        • Freedom of political prisoners
      • The Tsar dissolved this Duma after 73 days because they were making too many radical demands.
      • The Vyborg Manifesto
        • Led by the Kadets, radicals from the First Duma fled to the Finnish town of Vyborg.
          • Kadets assumed that they would be safe from persecution while in Finland as the Tsar promised to respect the traditional rights of the Finns.
        • Kadet radicals issued an open letter, the 'Vyborg Manifesto'.
          • Called on the Russian people to refuse to pay tax until the Duma was re-established.
          • However, Russian workers and peasants didn't support the middle-class Kadets.
            • This was because the Kadets had compromised with the Tsar in late 1905.
          • Failed to have an impact, and the Kadets who had organised the protest were imprisoned.
        • The failure of the 1st Duma ad the Vyborg Manifesto led many Russian people to lose faith in liberal reform.
          • Thus, the Kadets lost popular support and public opinion became polarised between revolutionaries on the left and reactionaries on the right.
  • Change and continuity in government


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