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Russian Duma

The Russian Duma: priest deputies and officers. From %i1%White Nights and Other Russian Impressions%i0% by Arthur Ruhl. Ruhl reported from Russia in 1917 after the February Revolution.
Text:
Priest deputies to the Duma strolling beside the lake adjoining Taurida Palace.
A group of 'Pristavs,' who acted as ushers, vote collectors, etc. in the national Duma.

The Russian Duma: priest deputies and officers. From White Nights and Other Russian Impressions by Arthur Ruhl. Ruhl reported from Russia in 1917 after the February Revolution.

Image text

Priest deputies to the Duma strolling beside the lake adjoining Taurida Palace.



A group of 'Pristavs,' who acted as ushers, vote collectors, etc. in the national Duma.

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On October 30 (October 17 Old Style) 1905, Russian Tsar Nicholas II reluctantly agreed to reforms including the establishment of the Duma, a representative legislature. An autocrat, in fact and by his own embracing of the title, he dissolved it when he could, and reconstituted it when he had to in the years before the war. The first Duma lasted from May to July, 1906. Despite the patchy record, called into being when the government needed their support, sent home when their members pushed too far for the autocracy, the Duma's members gained some political experience in debating and legislating in the years it survived.

The Duma held its sessions in the Tauride Palace in Petrograd, the capital.

In July, 1915, Tsar Nicholas took command of the Army, dismissing Grand Duke Nicholas. The Tsar became increasingly autocratic, dismissing more liberal ministers, replacing them with reactionaries. On September 16, he prorogued the Duma.

The Duma reconvened November and December, 1916.

On Monday, March 12, 1917 (February 27, O.S.), Tsar Nicholas suspended the Duma, even as the the revolution. Alexander Kerensky, a leader of the left-wing opposition, argued for ignoring the Tsar's order and for holding an official session, but he and his colleagues were voted down. In the early afternoon, soldiers and civilian protesters arrived at the Duma looking for its leadership. Kerensky led them into the building where the Soviet of Workers' Deputies also established itself by the end of the day. A youthful, compelling orator, Kerensky served in the Duma and was elected to the Soviet, the only member of both. Mikhail Rodzyanko was President of the State Duma. By the end of the day, the Revolution was a fact.