20 years under Putin: a timeline

M.A. (Cantab.) in History; senior advisor, Institute of Modern Russia

The article recounts the attempt by the Constitutional Democratic (Kadet) Party to form a government during the short existence of the first Russian Parliament from April to July 1906. The Kadets, who won the election and formed a majority in the State Duma, maintained that only a full-fledged parliamentary system and far-reaching political, economic, and social reforms could forestall a revolution. In its quest, the party found allies at the top levels of the Czarist regime, but their plan was disrupted by Interior Minister Pyotr Stolypin, who convinced Nicholas II to dissolve the Duma. The article, devoted to a topic rarely studied by historians, raises important questions about the political choice facing Russia in 1906 and the consequences of the monarch’s refusal to seek compromise with Parliament.

This article appeared in Tauride Readings 2013, an edited volume published by the Center for the History of Parliamentarianism at the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (St. Petersburg, 2014). It is available in Russian.