Privy Duma

Privy Duma

 

(also Secret or Chamber Duma), a council of persons closest to the grand prince (later to the tsar). It operated in the Russian state from the 15th to the early 18th centuries along with the Boyar Duma. In the middle of the 16th century the Privy Duma was actually the government of Tsar Ivan IV. The Privy Duma had no constant membership and began to take the form of an institution in the second half of the 17th century when specially trusted persons were summoned “to the chamber.” At that time the Privy Duma consisted of a few persons trusted by the tsar, some of whom had not always held duma rank. It was the basis for the emerging absolutism in Russia.

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