Fine example of document establishing the first State Duma, from the library of Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich.
The events of Bloody Sunday (9 January 1905), when Cossacks stationed outside the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg panicked and fired on peaceful demonstrators, led to what is now referred to as the First Russian Revolution. Under pressure from foreign governments and his own rioting people, Nicholas II was forced to compromise his autocratic principles and, in theory at least, institute a democratically-elected state parliament, or Duma. He did so by issuing the present manifesto, which is based on a draft compiled by his Minister of Domestic Affairs, Aleksandr Bulygin. However, the manifesto makes it clear that the Duma was conceived solely as an advisory body to the State Council and the Tsar. Subsequently, the elections were boycotted and in the wake of continuing strikes Nicholas had to make further concessions and issue the more famous October Manifesto, recognising the Duma as a legislative organ.
The present manifesto is included in Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii [Complete Laws of the Russian Empire], volume XXV, section I, St. Petersburg, 1908, along with provisions on the establishment of the State Duma.
Rare: we could trace only four examples in public institutions outside Russia (Stanford, Wisconsin, and two in London: UCL and BL), and apparently none in the Library of Congress, Yale or NYPL.
Small folio (34.3 x 23 cm). pp. , blank, 13, 33, uncut; light occasional spotting. Contemporary green cloth, gilt ruled boards, gilt coat of arms of the Russian Empire to upper board; slightly rubbed.
Provenance: Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich; by descent private British collection.
Stock ID: 87651