The First Duma

dumaListen to Mr Allsop’s podcast on the First Duma and answer the questions attached.

Podcast

Questions on First Duma

Changes in local govt notes

comparison table tsar to comm govt

Key question: How far did the structure of Russian government remain the same throughout the period from 1855 to 1917?

To consider – The changes made to government structure in 1905 (write your answer in the comments section below)

7 comments

  1. How far did the structure of Russian government remain the same throughout the period from 1855 to 1917?

    In my opinion, the structure of government between 1855-1917 wasn’t as different as people make it out to be. Whilst under Alexander II and III it was always centred around the tsar, with all laws needing to be approved by the leader, it wasn’t that much different with Nicholas II and his hierarchical government structure. A few of the factions now had a better role and their opinions mattered but the tsar was still the main power. This style of government was ditched by Stalin as he brings back the autocratic government that revolves back towards the leader.

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    • Great summary Ines, can you give a little more detail about how Nicholas II moved to a hierarchical structure? And what were the central government institutions that made Stalin’s government autocratic and centred around his leadership.

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      • How far did the structure of Russian government remain the same throughout the period from 1855 to 1917?

        In my opinion, the structure of government between 1855-1917 wasn’t as different as people make it out to be. Whilst under Alexander II and III it was always centred around the tsar, with all laws needing to be approved by the leader, it wasn’t that much different with Nicholas II and his hierarchical government structure. Obviously the tsar is at the top of the hierarchy followed by the council of ministers who were in charge of law making. The state council checked the activity of the dumas and the duma could block proposal legislations. At the bottom would be the Senate who are the final court of appeal, promote manifestos and confirm tithes and nobility. A few of the factions now had a better role and their opinions mattered but the tsar was still the main power. This style of government was ditched by Stalin as he brings back the autocratic government that revolves back towards the leader. This included the Senate, council of ministers, committee of ministers, the imperial court of state and the personal chancellery of his imperial majesty.

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  2. All of the tsars and communist leaders from 1855 to 1917 had some very similar natures of government to each other in that they both overall include elements of reform in order to try to appease opposition and it being a hierarchical system. However, for each period of rule this was done slightly differently it the exact method of structuring the government.

    The tsars had a slightly different structure of government to the communist leaders, having the main organs of the Council of Ministers, Imperial Council State, Committee of Ministers and the senate, the lowest ranking part, who got manifestos published and the like, later moving to introduce the Dumas (and an even more hierarchical structure under Nicholas II) which could block laws from being passed only but was a more democratic way to govern the country and more electable, while still being mainly headed by the tsar as all parts were answerable to him. The Communist leaders also had some kind of reform similar to the tsarist introduction of the dumas with democracy again in the supreme soviet parts, the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities, but were soon abandoned, as with the dumas. They had a completely different structure of government to those before all in all, having many new organs to control the population, including the Central Executive committee, Council of Peoples Commissars and Russian Congress of Soviets, responsible for different sectors of society to those organs under the tsars overall, which in Romanov rule anyway changed significantly from Alex III to Nich II, as seen above. The communist leaders also introduced revolutionary justice in the judiciary system which also appeased opposition that they had at the time, especially the Bolsheviks. The provisional government in between unelected the old guard ready for the communist leaders, including nobility and upper classes, providing more democracy and liberalism for the people. This was much more democratic than before or since and was a significantly different method of government than under the tsars and communists and reformed on a more significant basis. The communists were more dictatorial than both tsars and provisional government in addition but they all had the same aims to change the government in order to stay in power.

    The local governments were also changed slightly from tsars to communists. The tsars has 2 main groups of local government: Zemstva and Duma, regional councils and urban councils respectively. However, the communists completely changed this up, with no dumas and the soviet systems being set up as mentioned above as Petrograd orders along with control of the army for more oppressive measures with Petrograd Soviet order 1 to give control over the army, something the tsars didn’t introduce.

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  3. Answer
    there where many differences between the Tsar government and the communist government because they they Tsars had a chain of governments which answered to the the Tsar. Which is into an order: Tsar, council of ministers, committy of ministers, Duma and finial the Senet. Where as before 1961 the local government was run by the Landowners Until Alex 2 emancipated the serfs where the responsibility was given to the police constables. Until Nick 2 announced the Duma in the October manifesto passing the power from the police to the Duma

    However, with the communist government it was 2 parties to form the Supreme Soviet. The Soviet of the Union which had 1 of 30,000 people were elected every 4 years. Where as the Soviet of Nationalities was designed to be have elections on the basis of universal, equal by a secret ballot.

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  4. There is great similarities of the structure between the Government of the Tsars and that of the Communist Leaders. They all introduced reform in some aspects, whether it was the introduction of the Dumas or the Supreme Soviet. All of the Leaders had a hierarchical structure to their governments, the Tsar’s Governments had many organs including the Council of Ministers, the Imperial Council of State and the Senate. All of these Organs would report to the Tsar, after 1905 Nicholas the Second took more of a direct control on the leadership, meaning the government would be more hierarchical than before.

    The Communists governments contained very similar organs to that of the Tsars, same jobs but different names. On a local scale however the Communists removed the soviets and the localities were governed by party cells instead therefore limiting the democratic decision making provided by the Duma. The Communist further removed the democratic value of local government by introducing revolutionary justice, which required no law courts.

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