The Tsarist Regime 1906-1914

The Dumas and the work of Stolypin

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Nicholas II survival of revolution

Three-Pronged Strategy

  • Made concessions to Liberals - October Manifesto: Basic civil rights, Duma, Allowed political parties (accommodates those with moderate demands)
  • Made concessions to Peasants - Manifesto to better their conditions
  • Crushed The Workers- Striking workers in Moscow back to work, Black Hundreds used to flog peasants, attack revolutionaries, students and nationalists, Pogroms, December 3rd St Petersburg Soviet crushed, Moscow Soviet crushed after heavy fighting 1,000 workers killed

Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire - April 23 1906

  • The tsar was granted supreme power; administrative, foreign policy, armed forces, appointment and dismissal of ministers, overturn verdicts from law courts, Russian Orthodox church, dissolve Duma, veto legislation
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Dumas, a real constitutional advance?


  • Two legislative houses: Lower Chamber (State Duma) and Upper Chamber (The State Council)
  • Every man over 25 could vote
  • Lower Chamber- elected 5 year terms
  • Wide spectrum of parties able to sit in Duma


  • Nicholas II, "Curse the Duma, it is all Witte's doing" (1906)
  • No detail of Dumas powers in October Manifesto
  • Fundamental Laws
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Stolypin's Policies

  • Replaced Goremykin as prime minister in July 1906
  • Planned to restore stability to Russia by getting rid of government opposition, help peasants farm more efficiently, stimulate industry and to protect autocracy by showing its benefits
  • Used repression to restore stability- August 1906, set up new court-martial system: anti-government activities, trial could last two days, sentence had to be carried out within 24 hours. Noose became known as 'Stolypin's Necktie'
  • Agricultural reforms- Peasants had right to buy land they worked on, the Kulaks (wealthier peasant) bought land and profitted. Proposed reform plans lasted 20 years to be completed fully.
  • Poorer peasants were left with nothing and had to rent land or join millions who flocked to cities to find work.
  • Agreed with Dumas but only to keep up appearance of stability and maintain promises made in October revolution. First two Dumas weren't as co-operative as he and the tsar would have liked so the third Duma was restricted to the propertied classes and were almost entirely right-wing.
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Revolution Inevitable?


  • Stolypin wanted to put a stop to his own court martial system, Dumas knew something was wrong
  • Lena Goldfields- Troops fired upon strikers, similar to Bloody Sunday
  • Strikes- people willing to risk their lives, rising no. of strike from 1911-1914
  • Economic problems- inflation affected workers, overcrowding & barracks- even easier to mobalize revolution, incresing no. of workers = more people investing in socialism?
  • Scale of executions- make martyrs of the victims, dangerous criticism of the government


  • Court-martial system personally approved by Nicholas, got rid of anti-government criminals, thousands killed
  • Tsar still had loyalty of army, willing to shoot on unarmed civillians as late as 1912
  • Decline in strikes 1905-1910 & peasant disturbances down - power of church? loyalty to tsar intact?
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