Coup Detat of June 3, 1907

Coup D’etat of June 3, 1907


a political maneuver of tsar-ism, dissolving the Second State Duma on June 3, 1907, and changing the Electoral Law of Dec. 11, 1905, although the maneuver violated the Manifesto of Oct. 17, 1905, and the Fundamental Laws of Apr. 23,1906.

The coup was instigated by the Council of the United Nobility. The Okhranka (tsarist agency of political investigation), with the consent of the chairman of the Council of Ministers, P. A. Stoly-pin, fabricated the charge that the Social Democratic faction in the State Duma was plotting a coup d’etat. The tsarist government demanded that the 55 Social Democratic deputies of the Duma be brought to trial.

Before dawn on June 3, the government arrested the deputies without waiting for the decision of the Duma commission that had been established to investigate the charge. A proclamation dissolving the Duma and changing the electoral statute was issued on June 3. The proportion of electors representing the peasants was decreased from 44 to 22 percent, and the proportion allotted to the workers was reduced from 4 to 2 percent. Many national provinces were deprived of representation; the Caucasus was allocated only ten seats instead of 29, and the Kingdom of Poland 14 instead of 37. The new electoral law gave a majority in the Duma to the landowners and the big bourgeoisie, who together had 65 percent of the electors.

V. I. Lenin pointed out that the coup d’etat of June 3,1907, initiated the June Third system, which granted “unlimited power to the feudal landowners and privileges to the bourgeoisie” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 23, p. 78). The main feature of the system was the division of the counterrevolutionary bloc of landowners and bourgeois in the Third State Duma into two alternating majorities: the Rightist-Octobrist coalition and the Octobrist-Cadet coalition. This division allowed tsarism, following a Bonapartist policy, to maneuver between the landowners and the bourgeoisie and thus to remain master of the situation.

The coup d’etat of June 3,1907, marked the defeat of the Revolution of 1905–07 and the temporary victory of counterrevolutionary forces. It ushered in a reactionary period that was dominated by Stolypin; during this period the Black Hundred terror raged, and the government carried on massive and cruel repression of the working class and the peasants.


Lenin, V. I. “Na Priamuiu dorogu.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 17.
Lenin, V. I. “Piataia Obshcherossiiskaia konferentsiia RSDRP: Proekt rezoliutsii o sovremennom momente i zadachakh partii.” ibid.
Lenin, V. I. “Stolypin i revoliutsiia.” Ibid., vol. 20.
Lenin, V. I. “Spornye voprosy.” Ibid., vol. 23.
Avrekh, A. Ia. Tsarizm i tret eiiun’skaia sistema. Moscow, 1966.