The First Duma (Duma of National Hopes)
The "First Duma" lasted from May to July of 1906, and was branded the "Duma of National Hopes". The Mensheviks had 18 seats, the Trudoviks had 136, the Kadets had 182, the Rightists had 8 and the Octobrists 17. The means that the Kadets had the most seats.
- This Duma was formed with left-wing representatives.
- Sergei Witte, the architect of the October Manifesto, resigned. He was replaced by Goremykin who was forced to resign 10 weeks later because of his disagreements with the Duma.
- At Goremykin's resignation, 200 delegates travelled to a Finnish town and apealed to the citizens to refuse to pay taxes. They were all arrested.
The Second Duma (Duma of National Anger)
The Second Duma was in power from February to June of 1907, and was branded the "Duma of National Anger", because opposition to the Duma system started brewing and blossoming. There were 91 Kadets in this Duma, 104 Trudoviks (majority), 10 Rightists and 42 Octobrists.
- Bolsheviks and the SRs decided to take part for the first time.
- Extreme left-wing views began appearing.
- Stolypin didn't find support from the chamber on his agrarian reform bill, and passed it when they were not in session under Article 87. He also, in the Duma, started a rumour that the SRs were going to assassinate the Tsar and they were arrested.
The Third Duma (Duma of Lords and Lackeys)
The Third Duma began in November 1907 and ended in June 1912. Octobrists formed a majority with 154 seats, with a close second place of the Rightists with 147 seats.
- Before this Duma, the franchise had changed: it was harder for the workers and the peasantry to be represented. Therefore, this Duma was generally accepting of legislation.
- This Duma was very accepting of legislation: 2,200 of 2,500 proposals were accepted.
- However, the Octobrists turned into the opposition in 1911.
The Fourth Duma
The Fourth Duma was in session between November 1912 and November 1917. The Octobrists lost a lot of support and were awarded 95 seats, while the Rightists now formed the majority with 154 seats.
- Stolypin was assassinated in 1911, and was replaced by Kokovstov: a minister who disregarded the Duma and everything they suggested.
- Hardly anything happened in this Duma, because people had lost hope in the system.
- Kokovstov was noted to have said "thank god that (they) still (had) no Parliament".
Stolypin's Policies (Repression)
Here are a few things that Stolypin did regarding repression and keeping order:
- He was governor of Saratov, and built up a profile of every male under his control.
- 15,000 executed and 45,000 exiled within the year of 1906.
- Field courts were introduced to deal with the growing opposition under Article 87 of the fundamental laws. Field courts were private courts where you had a harsh prosecution and a lack of a defence.
- There was a massacre after Stolypin;s death of striking gold miners in the Lena Goldfields in 1912. This implies that the Tsar didn't deal with the issues well following Stolypin's death.
- In 1907, there was a rise in victims and deaths (2542 and 683) of the field courts, but they could be seen as unsuccessful because terrorism reached a peak in this year. However, the amount of peasant disorders decreased from 3228 to 128 from the year of 1905 to 1913.
Stolypin's Policies (Duma)
These are a few example of how Stolypin dealt with the Duma.
- The Tsar resented the fact that the peasantry and the working class had a voice. Stolypin accepted this, and found it difficult to balance where his loyalties were.
- Stolypin was pro-Duma, but he preferred a Duma that worked with him and the Tsar.
- Stolypin listened to the Duma, especially when the Third Duma became conservative due to the disenfranchised voting system.
- The conservative Duma passed 2,200 out of 2,500 proposals, including acts regarding Primary Education (1908) and Health Insurance.
- From 1907-1914, the Octobrists, supporters of the Duma, had power. However, the Octobrists lost faith in the Duma system in 1911.
- Stolypin created an "ante-Duma", which was a consultative body where they would discuss policy before it was presented to the Duma. Therefore, you could construe that Stolypin wanted the Duma to work.
- However, Stolypin did want to pass a bill that gave western provinces a Zemstva. He was forced to pass it through the "emergency laws" when the Duma rejected his proposal. When he did this, the country was in uproar, because it seems wasteful, abitrary and without reason. He was later assassinated on September 1st 1911.
Stolypin's Policies (Agricultural)
These are a few examples of argrarian reforms under Stolypin:
- Stolypin wanted reform of agriculture to persuade peasants to stop unrest and to invest their time in producing wheat.
- Stolypin ended "mir control" and redemption payments were suspended in 1907. He believed that the peasants, seen as the "natural" conservative supporters of the Tsar, would break down social unrest, find solitude and find hope in becoming kulaks.
- Agrarian reforms were very successful. The production of wheat increased by 47% by 1911 from 1901-05.
- Peasants were now hereditary land owners set in place by the "Law of 1906". This law also allowed peasants to leave the commune and buy their own private land. Stolypin formed this policy after seeing this in practice in Konvo in 1889. Peasant land banks helped with flourishment of the economy.
- However, only 1/6 became kulaks and there was a huge class struggle because nobody saw the advantage of expanding land.
- 3,500,000 people migrated to Siberia altogether as a result of the new found freedom. In 1909, 707,000 migrated to Siberia, but 140,000 returned because the conditions were terrible.
- Stolypin claimed that his policy would take 20 years to be fully successful.