Reaction and War, 1907-1917

Reaction and War, 1907-1914
3 June 1907 “coup”
• Not really a coup
• Dissolved second calling of Duma.
• Election law changed without Duma’s
• Misuse of Article 87
• Favored Tsar’s supporters
• Deputy change from 2nd to 3rd Duma:
– Nobility from 28% to 44%
– peasants from 36% to 19% (1:800000
to 1:1,700,000)
– Workers from 33 to 5 members
– Number of clergy increased 4 times
– 98% of 3rd Duma property owners
– 77% Great Russian
3 June 1907 ‘coup’
Nicholas II’s diary:
3 June 1907, Sunday
“The weather has turned wonderful.
My mood has also become bright
on the occasion of the dissolution
of the Duma.”
4 June 1907, Monday
“Another wonderful day... Spent the
morning with Aliks... Glory to
God! Already the second day after
the dissolution of the Duma,
[and] everywhere there is
complete peace and quiet.”
3 June 1907 “coup”
Third Duma party deputies:
• Extreme right: 50
• Moderate right and
nationalists: 97
• Octoberists: 154
• Progressivists: 28
• Kadets: 54
• Trudoviki: 13
• Social-Democrats: 19
• Muslim group: 8
• Lithuanian-Belarus: 7
• Polish group: 11
Mikhail Rodzyanko, Octoberist leader, 1859-1924
Stolypin reforms, 1906-1911
• Land reform: attack on commune
(Grodno, not Saratov)
• Goal: create small-holding
farmers (conservative/patriotic)
through consolidation
• “wager on the strong and sober”
• Encouraged agricultural
• Peasant cooperatives
• Resettlement to Siberia
• Some success for a few:
• By 1915: 30% of peasants had
applied, 22% owned land
• But widespread resistance
Stolypin’s fall, 1911
• “Give the state 20 years of peace…,
and you will not recognize Russia.”
• “They [revolutionaries] need a
great upheaval, we need a great
• Spring 1911: zemstvo reform bill to
SW provinces
• 1 Sept. 1911: shot at Kiev Opera
house: “Happy to die for the tsar.”
• Assassin: Dmitry Bogrov:
anarchist/okhrana agent
Lena Goldfield Massacre,
4/17 April 1912
• Pay started well, offered 100
rubles to start
• Working conditions terrible
• Food supply poor quality
• 6000 struck
• Police chief: “Certainly liquidate
the strike committee!”
• Committee arrested.
• Workers marched.
• Soldiers shot to kill: 150 killed,
250 injured.
• 300,000 workers struck across
• Many lost all hope that the
tsarist regime could be
Then, war
1908: Austria-Hungary formally
annexed Bosnia and
1912: First Balkan War, the Balkan
League (Serbia, Greece,
Montenegro and Bulgaria)
took Macedonia from
Ottoman Empire
1913: Second Balkan war, Bulgaria
attacked Serbia, leading A-H to
Immediate catalysts
28 June 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Sophie assassinated
Black Hand
Gavrilo Princip
Immediate catalysts (cont.)
A-H decided to teach
Serbia a lesson
Franz Joseph asked
Germany for support
William II sent “Blank
Check” (Austria could
“rely on Germany’s full
23 July 1914: A-H presents
ultimatum to Serbia
Immediate catalysts (cont.)
Nicholas: “As long as there
remains the slightest hope
of avoiding blood-letting,
all my efforts will be
directed to this goal. If,
despite our most sincere
desire, we do not obtain
this, your majesty can be
certain that Russia in no
case will remain indifferent
to the fate of Serbia.”
1914: Immediate catalysts (cont.)
28 July: A-H declared war on Serbia.
29 July: Tsar Nicholas II ordered partial
mobilization against A-H
Sergei Sazonov intervened.
30 July: Russia ordered full
mobilization against A-H and
1 August: Germany declared war on
2 August: German General von Moltke
demanded that Belgium permit
German armies to march through it;
Belgium refused.
4 August: Britain and France declared
war on Germany.
2 August (20 July) 1914