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Plan of Government Reform

M. Speransky 

Speransky’s analysis showed, in a clearest way possible, the urgent need to lay down firm fundamental laws and establish institutions which would put an end to arbitrary rule and set limits to autocratic government. A convinced monarchist himself, Speransky sought to transform the Russian autocracy into a powerful constitutional monarchy, in which there would be place for separation of powers, local self-government, civil rights for all sections of the population, and a national legislative assembly.  

Speransky’s reform plans envisaged the setting-up of a State Council which would act, effectively, as an upper house of a Russian parliament; the reorganization of ministries with the intention of making them genuinely responsible for their spheres of competence; the restructuring of the judiciary. The first phase of government reform was to be followed up by elections of deputies to a State Duma (a lower house of parliament), after which Russia’s transformation into a parliamentary monarchy would be complete.

Speransky’s plan of government reform 


Sovereign authority of the Emperor


State Council


Executive branch

Legislative branch

Judicial branch


Ministries and the governing Senate

State Duma

Judicial Senate


Provincial administration

Provincial Duma

Provincial court


District administration

District Duma

District court


Rural (‘Volost’)administration

Rural Duma

Rural court

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Alexander I


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