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Entries / Highest Organs of State Power (entry)

Highest Organs of State Power (entry)

Categories / Capital/Superior and Central State Institutions

HIGHEST ORGANS OF STATE POWER. The first higher organ of state power to function in St. Petersburg was the Senate founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1711. The Supreme Privy Council was founded under Empress Catherine I (1725-30). It consisted of the higher officers, who prepared drafts of Imperial decrees, which were to be confirmed by the Senate. Empress Anna Ioannovna annulled the Supreme Privy Council, but soon a similar organ appeared, the Cabinet of Ministers (1732-42). Empress Elizaveta Petrovna restored the significance of the Senate, though during the Seven Years War of 1756-63 she created an organ similar to the Cabinet, called the Conference of the Imperial Court (1756-61). The Conference was abolished under Empress Catherine II, and the Senate was functioned more as a high court of appeals. The Private Committee (from 1810, called the State Assembly), the highest law advisory organ, and the Cabinet of Ministries, which was formally the highest administrative body, were established in 1802. The Council of Ministers, an advisory organ (headed by the Emperor as of 1861), was formed in 1857. A Parliament of two houses - the State Duma and the State Assembly - as well as the Council of Ministers (which was situated in the Mariinsky Palace), were created in 1905-07. The Provisional Government was formed during the February Revolution of 1917 on the night of 2 (15) March 1917. Its first meetings were held in the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; from March 7 (20), they were moved to the Mariinsky Palace; from mid July, they were at the Malachite Hall of the Winter Palace. After October 1917, the Congresses of the Soviets became the highest organ of power, along with the All-Russian General Executive Committee (their executive body), and the Soviet of Peoples' Commissars conducted functions of Government. In March 1918, they relocated to Moscow.

References: Высшие и центральные государственные учреждения России, 1801-1917 гг. СПб., 1998. Т. 1; Шилов Д. Н. Государственные деятели Российской империи: Главы высш. и центр. учреждений, 1802-1917: Биобиблиогр. справ. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. СПб., 2002.

G. V. Kalashnikov.

Anna Ioannovna, Empress
Catherine I, Empress
Catherine II, Empress
Elizaveta Petrovna, Empress
Peter I, Emperor

Ерошкин Н. П. История государственных учреждений дореволюционной России. 3-е изд., перераб. и доп. М., 1983
Высшие и центральные государственные учреждения России, 1801-1917 гг. СПб., 1998

The subject Index
State Assembly
State Duma
Mariinsky Palace
February Revolution of 1917
Provisional Government of 1917
Winter Palace