Structure of Russian Government 1855-1964

  • Created by: rubyanglo
  • Created on: 22-02-18 18:07

Central Administration Under Tsars: 1855-1905

The Tsar:

-Autrocrat, total control of policy making, all government organs answerable to him

Council of Ministers (1861):

-Main law-making body, discussed draft legislation, link between tsar and government organs

Imperial Council of State:

-Advised tsar on legal and finance matters, argued as a somewhat 'irrelevant' organ

Committee of Ministers (1861):

-Each minister had a different role e.g. war or finance, purely administrative, abolished 1906

The Senate:

-Supreme Court of Russia, was the final court to settle major legal disputes

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Changes in Central Administration After 1905

-1905 known as a year of revolution that sparked Nicholas II's October Manifesto, meaning changes in the structure of government to be more 'representative"


-Remained same, 1906 Fundamental Laws reinforced his autocratic power (Article 87)

The Senate: 

-Remained the same

Council of Ministers:

-Remained relatively the same but became main law-making body

State Council:

-Previously Imperial Council of State, debated alongisde the Dumas, monitored Duma activity


-Elected assembly from a range of social groups (in theory), proposed legislation 

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Central Administration Under Communists: Bolshevik

The All-Russian Congress of Soviets and Central Executive Committee (CEC):

-Similar to Council of Ministers (law-making,administrative), CEC became dominated by Bolsheviks (many were Commissars) quickly giving way for Bolsheviks to form a one party state

Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom):

-Elected members, each Commissar had specific role e.g. Stalin = national minorities, in theory it was answerable to the CEC however the two began to 'merge' as Bolsheviks began to dominate

Central Executive Committee was split into 3 offices:

-Politburo, small group of Bolsheviks who made policy                                                                       -Orgburo, organised party affairs                                                                                            -Ogburo, maintained order and controlled opposition

Eventually, all government positions became filled by Bolsheviks. The party became the government. 

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Central Administration Under Communists: 1936

Stalin wished to continue democratic centralism. His new constitution did so, whilst also giving Russian people the impression of more representative government. (Stalin's Constitution)

Supreme Soviet of USSR:

-Elected the Sovnarkom members (Commissars), main law-making body, split into 2 houses...

Soviet of the Union:

-Representatives from whole of USSR, members were elected

Soviet of Nationalities:

-Representatives from regional groups

1)Republics could create own education systems

2)Republics could break away from Soviet Union

The issue was that the communist party still dominated these republics. Article 126 reinforced the party as the 'nucleus' of the states and their people

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