Tsarisms Last Chance: Detailed revision notes

AS History, Edexcel

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The Dumas:
1. The first Duma [April ­ June 1906]:
Elections boycotted by SRs and Bolsheviks
All groups wanted to use Duma to introduces reforms, when these requests were refused, a vote of
no confidence was passed
Was dissolved by the Tsar after 72 days
Only 2 out of 391 requests passed (one against capital punishment, and the other in favour of famine
`Duma of Public Anger'
2. The second Duma [February ­ June 1907]:
Passed important land reform
Criticised the administration of the army which angered the Tsar and his supporters
Police framed radical members of the Duma for trying to encourage mutinies
Provided excuse for Tsar to dissolve Duma
3. The third Duma [November 1907 ­ June 1912]:
Election restricted to only the richest 30% of male population
Pro-government parties performed well
Stolypin: used Duma to push for further land reform
Radical opposition called it the `Duma of Lords and Lackeys' because of pro-government views
4. The fourth Duma [November 1912 ­ August 1914]:
Very pro-Tsar and conservative
Vladimir Kokovtsov took over Stolypin's position
Successes Failures
Third and fourth Duma not so radical, and Never a truly parliamentary institution
therefore the government was more inclines to
listen to them
Some reforms successful (e.g. ­ improvements to
army and navy, universal primary education, and
land captains replaced by justices of the peace in
3rd and 4th Duma)
Less censorship ­ debates reported in the press
The make-up of the Duma:
Lower House = the State Duma (elected by the people)
Upper House = the Council of State (elected half from Zemstva, nobility, church and intelligentsia and
half appointed by the Tsar)
Prime Minister came from the appointed Council of State
Council of State = more powerful chamber
In order to pass laws, both houses had to agree
Council of State most reactionary
State Duma more open to reform

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Most radical/reformist Dumas:
Trudoviks = workers and peasants
Kadets = full democracy and written constitution
Kadets (half as many)
SD's ­ Mensheviks
(Shut down as seen as a threat as they do not agree with style of rule)
Split into `Rightists' ­ extreme conservatives, very traditional and `Octobrists' ­ happy with
October Manifesto
(Tsar restricted electoral franchise ­ mass pro-government views, no presences of SRs or
Most change/reform:
Land reform…read more

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Tsar forced to share political power with parliament ­ moving away from an absolute monarch
Achievements of the third and fourth Dumas:
Achieved some real reforms
E.g. ­ carried out land reforms, led by Stolypin (solved problems faced by the peasantry)
E.g. ­ replaced hated Land Captains with democratically elected J.O.T.P
E.g.…read more

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Appointed to the Council of State
Prime Minister 1906-1911
Strong supporter if Tsarism
Viewed peasant discontent as the key danger to Tsarism
Assassinated in 1911
Wipe out all opposition to Tsarism
Improve the conditions of the peasantry
Repression Reform
Used field court martials Freed peasants from communes
Use of death penalty Peasant land banks to loan to peasants (land
ownership increased from 20% in 1905, to
50% in 1915)
Closure of 1000 newspapers and 600 trade Redemption payments abolished (1907)
Labour…read more

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What caused the February revolution?
1. WW1:
(Made the Tsarist regime unstable, both politically and economically)
It humiliated the regime:
The war effort went badly
Russian soldiers were poorly equipped and industry was unable to produce the necessary supplies
and munitions
Army used outdated tactics which led to humiliating defeats (e.g.…read more

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Why did Tsarism fall in February 1917?
Liberal View Soviet view Revisionists
(G.B & U.S Historians since (written in Russia since October (G.B & U.S Historians writing since
1946) optimists, pro-tsar.…read more

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Why didn't the Mensheviks wanted to stick Mensheviks were Mensheviks/Soviets scared
soviet the Marxist cycle "petty-bourgeois that if they took power, they
(Mensheviks and Therefore, they then socialists" would risk being crushed by
SRs) take power expected 50-100 years, as They betrayed the w/c by the elites rejoining the Tsar,
in February they reached capitalist allowing the Duma to take supporting him
1917? stage power…read more


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