Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Sovereign! We, the workers and the inhabitants of various social strata of the city of St. Petersburg, our wives, children and helpless old peasants, have.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Sovereign! We, the workers and the inhabitants of various social strata of the city of St. Petersburg, our wives, children and helpless old peasants, have."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sovereign! We, the workers and the inhabitants of various social strata of the city of St. Petersburg, our wives, children and helpless old peasants, have come to you, Sovereign, to seek justice and protection. We are impoverished; our employers oppress us, overburden us with work, insult us, consider us inhuman, and treat us as slaves who must suffer a bitter fate in silence. Though we have suffered, they push us deeper and deeper into a gulf of misery, disenfranchisement, and ignorance, Despotism strangle us and we are gasping for breath. Sovereign, we have no strength left. We have reached the limit of endurance. We have reached that terrible moment when death is preferable to the continuance of unbearable sufferings.

2 It looked like the tsar was losing control. Troops were refusing to fire on the crowds. Nicholas II was being advised to make some concessions. Military defeatSocial unrestPolitical unrest In May 1905 the Russian Baltic fleet was sunk in one afternoon by the Japanese, after it had taken three months to sail to the battle. Sailors on the battleship Potemkin mutinied and killed their leaders. There were riots in the streets of Petrograd. Trade unions were illegally formed and the police could do nothing. Students at the university boycotted classes and went on demonstrations. The Union of Unions demanded an elected parliament. A Soviet of workers and soldiers was set up in Petrograd, refusing to obey the authorities. There was a general strike coordinated by the Soviet.

3 It looked like Russia was getting out of control. Nicholas II had to make some decisions. The middle-classes demanded that they should be able to vote for an elected parliament. Peasants demanded that something should be done to relieve their poverty and starvation. Workers demanded to be allowed to set up trade unions and to have freedom of speech. He didn’t want to lose the autocratic power he had. What do you think he did in response to each of the following demands? What did Tsar Nicholas II do? © David King Collection

4 Constitutional Monarchy A monarchy in which the power of the monarch is defined by a series of laws. It makes the rule of law supreme rather than the head of state.

5 The middle-classes demanded that they should be able to vote for an elected parliament. Peasants demanded land and that something be done to relieve their poverty and starvation. Workers demanded to be allowed to set up trade unions and to have freedom of speech. Nicholas said that a new parliament called the Duma would be set up and its members would be elected. Nicholas abolished the payments peasants were having to make for the land they had been ‘given’ in Nicholas promised civil rights such as freedom of speech and association. This October Manifesto seemed to give people everything they were asking for. But would Nicholas keep his promises? The October Manifesto © David King Collection

6 Supreme autocratic power belongs to the Tsar. The Fundamental Laws, May 1906 I never really wanted democracy anyway, it was forced on me by the October Manifesto In May 1906, Nicholas II passed the Fundamental Laws. They said: the tsar’s ministers (the State Council) would be chosen by him and not appointed by the Duma the State Council could veto any laws sent to it by the Duma the tsar could declare a state of emergency and rule by himself without the Duma no laws could be passed without the approval of the tsar. © David King Collection

7 Did Nicholas II intend to keep to the October Manifesto? This was happening anyway as trade unions were being formed. It was not a big concession. There is no indication of how far in the future, and only the principle is being promised, not the actual thing. There is no mention of the word democracy and the authorities would still be appointed by “we”, meaning Nicholas. Quotes from the October Manifesto… “To grant the population freedom of speech, conscience assembly and association” “to extend, in the future, through the new legislation, the principle of universal franchise” “representatives of the people shall have an opportunity to participate in supervising the authorities who we have appointed.” and what they really meant…

8 The Duma Overseen by an elected upper house – this was half nominated by the Tsar. Overseen by an elected upper house – this was half nominated by the Tsar. The Tsar had the power to dissolve the Duma. The Tsar had the power to dissolve the Duma. Rule by decree in a period of emergency. Rule by decree in a period of emergency.

9 Despite this... Represented a fundamental breakthough in Russia’s political development. Represented a fundamental breakthough in Russia’s political development.

10 The Dumas 1 st Duma Little real power. Government ministers are still only responsible to the Tsar. The Tsar had the sole right to declare war and to appoint ½ of all members of the Upper House of the Duma (State Council). The Tsar could dissolve the Duma when he wanted. He did this after Duma demanded major reforms. Little real power. Government ministers are still only responsible to the Tsar. The Tsar had the sole right to declare war and to appoint ½ of all members of the Upper House of the Duma (State Council). The Tsar could dissolve the Duma when he wanted. He did this after Duma demanded major reforms.

11 The Dumas 2 nd Duma 1907 Dissolved by the Tsar within three months. Dissolved by the Tsar within three months. 3 rd Duma Electoral law changed – only the wealthy could vote. Electoral law changed – only the wealthy could vote. 4 th Duma Little real influence. Little real influence.

12 The First Duma: May to July 1906 It asked for the changes that had been promised in the October Manifesto. Nicholas said “Curse the Duma” and then closed it down. The Second Duma: February to June 1907 Nicholas closed the Second Duma, accusing it of trying to undermine his authority. The Dumas The Dumas were the parliaments set up by Nicholas in the October Manifesto.

13 The Third Duma November 1907 to June 1912 The tsar’s chief minister, Peter Stolypin, changed the electoral laws, so that only one in six men could vote. Supporters of the tsar were therefore appointed and the Duma did virtually nothing that Nicholas would object to. The Fourth Duma November 1912 to March 1917 Stolypin was assassinated in 1911 and ministers then imposed very severe controls. The number of strikes rose dramatically. Even former supporters of the tsar began to protest. Nicholas closed it in 1917.

14  1905 did not end the tsarist tradition of an extremely powerful monarchy but it did mark a huge change in Russia’s political culture.  Nicholas no longer had unlimited power.  The changes could be argued to show that Russia was moving on a path of evolution rather than revolution.

15 Was Nicholas II the right sort of person to deal with all the social, economic and political problems in Russia? This shows he was the right sort of person to deal with the problems This shows he wasn’t the right sort of person to deal with the problems He wasn’t interested in politics. He was determined to remain an autocrat. He tended to take advice from the last person he spoke to. He wanted to spend all his time with his family. Could a different tsar have done better than Nicholas?


Download ppt "Sovereign! We, the workers and the inhabitants of various social strata of the city of St. Petersburg, our wives, children and helpless old peasants, have."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google