P. A. Stolypin and the Polish question in Russian politics, 1906-1911


Gebhard, Krzystof Marian




P. A. Stolypin (1863-1911), was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Minister of the Interior in the Russian Imperial Government from 1906 until his assassination in 1911. While being generally associated with his agrarian reforms, his rule coincided with an upsurge of Russian nationalism after the Revolution of 1905. Stolypin managed to use this nationalism as a cornerstone of his political program and as a means of attaining the popular support.

He strongly apposed Polish demands for autonomy and for special status for the Kingdom of Poland. The situation for the Polish minority continually deteriorated during Stolypin's rule. Hailing the "constitutional era" with great enthusiasm, the Poles found that obstacles were placed upon them repeatedly by the Stolypin administration. Their representation in the State Duma was drastically cut in 1907 when Stolypin decided that that institution be "essentially Russian."

Significantly, Stolypin's political demise came about when he implemented legislation introducing the zemstvo institution to six of Russia's western provinces under Article 87. The legislation divided the voters into national curiae and was designed to prevent Poles from playing a significant role in the zemstvos. Largely through the efforts of the Right, a conspiracy was organized and the legislation was defeated by the State Council.

In September 1911, Stolypin was assassinated by a young Jewish lawyer who doubled as a Social-Revolutionary and a police agent.


Stolypin, Petr Arkad'evich, 1862-1911
Russia -- Politics and government 1904-1914




Carleton University

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