1.1.03 Nature of Gov- Central Administration


Continuity in Tsarist Central Administration

  • All administratins under Russian leaders were hierarchical in nature, at top = Tsar/Politburo. Various organs of gov always accountable to leaders and not the people. Democracy debated, but never properly implemented-> Nearest was PG's attempts to set up the Constituent Assembly
  • Tsar used these organs of gov:
  • Council of Ministers (chaired by Tsar + officials appointed by him, main law-making organ, ABANDONED in 1882 by A3 and duties shared out with other organs)
  • Imperial Council of State (advised Tsar on legal and financial matters, but Tsar had no obligation to heed their recommendations)
  • the Senate (Supreme Court until 1905, final court on all major legal matters+ promoter of manifestos Ukaz  made by Tsar)
  • Committee of Ministers (did not formulate policy and was limited seen as ministers did not cooperate or communicate) abolished in 1906. 
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Continuity in Soviet Central Administration

  • the All-Russian Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committeee (CEC) very similar to the Council of Ministers used under the tsars (CEC divided up into 3 political offices -> Politburo (small elite group of bols, Policy), Orgburo (organised) and Ogburo (maintained order and dealt w/ opposition))
  • Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom); consisting of People's commissars (ministers) who had specific governmental responsabilities. Trotsky eg in charge of foreign affairs. Initially did have members of other parties (left wing SRs) but in Summer of 1918 were expelled.
  • Members of the Sovnarkom were voted in by the Soviets,with village soviets choosing reps from district soviets and district soviets choosing members for provinical soviets who then made up the membership of the Sovnarkom. (Soviets dominated by Bols). In theory Sovnarkom only answerable to the CEC.

RULED UNDER PRINCIPLE OF DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM= idea that people had technically agreed to be run by a small cadre of party officials.

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Change in Tsarist Central Administration +PG

  • Nicholas II's October Manifesto 1905 abandoning the Committee of Ministers, with first ever DUMA (elected lower chamber) assembly of people from different social groups and upper chamber= State Council (old Imperial Council of State) checking on Dumas, and nomiated by tsar/ members of nobility. 
  • Nicholas II did however restrict the power of the Dumas through issuing the 1906 Fundamental Laws-> Dumas still accountable to the Tsar

Provisional Government March 1917-Oct 1917

  • 1st March 1917, Soviet Order No. 1 = Petrograd soviet all power over Russian military
  • Dual authority w/ Petrograd soviet
  • Reform, made changed to provide greater freedom to people
  • Democratic rather than autocratic, but still members of the 'Old Guard'
  • Liberalisation in the judiciary, political prisoners were freed-> Lenin etc, key reason why PG Fell.
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Change in Soviet Central Administration

  • Stalin implemented change through his 1936 Constitution introducing  new representative organs eg the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (law making body which elected the SOVNARKOM, met twice a year), Soviet of the Union (reps from whole of USSR), Soviet of Nationalities (representing particular regional groups)
  • But this did not alter the fact that Communist Party remained "the nucleus of all the public and state organisation of the working people" Article 126 of Constitution, therefore just a puppet.
  • Judiciary run by revolutionary justice
  • But the constitution did bring more people into positions of power creating, Like A2's Zemstva 1864, a new intelligensia, dominating things such as in Republic education policy.

Continuity, even with NK, Party dominated organisation and structure of central government. 

(Consitution of 1918 created the RSFSR, Lenin proclaimed that all non-Russian states were in theory of equal status to Russia,  and the Constitution of 1924 = USSR, when each republic could have own government and own flags)

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