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Russian Duma

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    Did they really have any real power or institute any change in Russia?
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    They had the potential to, but the Tsar didn't let it achieve much.

    He rigged elections etc, appointed whoever suited him, dissolved it when the parties he wanted to be victorious weren't. Voting system was corrupt; gave different weighting to your vote depending on your class.
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    No - every bill passed in the Duma would have to be passed by Tsar to become law.
    He dissolved the Duma a few times - shows how it had no power whatsoever really. It wasn't in charge of itself so how could it ever have any real power in Russian politics?

    After the Duma has been dissolved few times the Tsar introduced a new voting system : 50% peasants 50% middle-class (not fair because of course the working class made up far more of society) - it didn't represent Russia as a whole - so any change wouldn't really be of benefit of the Russian people?

    But back to the question at hand - no, not at all really - but it was a small but significant step. The liberals now had what they wanted and so no further change was demanded by them - it was stuck, wasn't representative corrupt and has no say
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    (Original post by MDPR)
    Did they really have any real power or institute any change in Russia?
    The first question, did they have any power? I would say on the whole the Duma had very little power. Financially, it couldn't exert any influence because the Tsar received loans from France. Politically, any laws could be refused by the Tsar. Moreover, the Duma was split up into two chamber; the Upper Chamber and the Lower Chamber; laws had to be passed by the Upper Chamber and this body was hand picked by the Tsar. You also have to consider that the Tsar set up the Duma only to make Russia appear as a nation that was politically modernising.

    The second question, did the Duma institute change? I think they definitely did. The third Duma especially. You only have to look at the social reforms of the period, especially in National Insurance and education.

    Also, you can argue that the Duma didn't have the means to overthrow Tsardom but they had a significant influence on Russian politics and society. The Duma not only introduced social reforms but they provided a medium where one could express their opposition to the Tsarist elite, although this fell on deaf ears many times, people gradually saw that opposition couldn't be suppressed and that you could protest for change. There's debate as to whether the Duma was a mere 'talking shop' or whether it was important in Russian politics and society.

    Here's a link to a thread about Russian history of the same period:

    Hope this helps.


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Updated: October 11, 2008
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