The Dumas 1906-1914

An outline of the four Dumas between 1906-1914.

At the time, the Tsar's chief minister, Stolypin, had to re-establish political control after the failed 1905 Revolution.

For the first time, the country had an elected parliament, the Duma.

1906-1914 was a battle between those wanting a parliament, and those wanting the Tsar to remain in control.

The October Manifesto (1905) had helped both sides - royalists saw it as the final change to the parliamentary system whereas parliamentaries saw it as the beginning of more change.

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  • Created on: 19-04-14 16:55

Duma Dates

First Duma: April-June 1906

Second Duma: February-June 1907

Third Duma: November 1907-June 1912

Fourth Duma: November 1912 - August 1914

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The First Duma

The largest groups elected were the Trudoviks (a collection of radicals who supported the workers and the peasants), the Kadets and the Progressivists (a collection of liberal middle-class businessmen)

All groups wanted to introduce further reforms - land reform + release of political prisoners

These requests were refused.

The Duma was dissolved after 72 days by the Tsar.

It had made 391 requests against what it saw as illegal government action, but only 2 resolutions were passed. (one against capital punishment and the other about famine relief)

This Duma became known as the 'Duma of Public Anger'

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The Vyborg Manifesto

Annoyed by the dissolution of the First Duma, a group of Duma deputies went to Vybord, near St Petersburg, and issued the 'Vyborg Manifesto', asking people to stop paying taxes to resist the Tsar's action.

The plan backfired - the 200 deputies who made the manifesto were banned from standing for the next Duma.

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The Second Duma

The number of Kadets was halved, partly due to the Vyborg Manifesto.

Both the Social Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats gained seats.

Under Stolypin's guidance, the Duma passed land reform.

However, the Duma only lasted 3 months, as it sharply criticised the administration of the army, which angered the Tsar and his supporters.

After this, the police framed radical members of the Duma for trying to organise rebellions, providing a great excuse for the Tsar to dissolve the Duma.

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The Third Duma

To make sure the government had greater support, only the wealthy - the richest 30% of the male population - could vote.

This excluded most of the reformers' supporters.

As a result, pro-government parties did well, winning 287 out of 443 seats.

Stolypin pushed further land reform in the Duma.

The pro-government views of the Duma meant the radical opposition labelled it the 'Duma of Lords and Lackeys'

This Duma served its full term.

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The Fourth Duma

In 1911 Stolypin was assassinated, and Finance Minister Kokovtsov took his place.

Kokovtsov was very able and a supporter of the Tsar.

The Fourth Duma was just as conservative as the Third.

It lasted right up until the outbreak of the First World War.

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  • Land Captains introduced in 1892 were replaced by justices of the peace
  • The government introduced a plan to have universal primary education within 10 years
  • Health and accident insurance programmes were available for industrial workers
  • Improvements made to the army and navy
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