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The subject index / State Assembly

State Assembly

Categories / Capital/Superior and Central State Institutions

STATE ASSEMBLY was the highest advisory (from 1906, legislative) body in the Russian Empire. It was established by a Decree on 30 March 1801, and transformed on 1 January 1810. It was made up of the most meritorious officials, who received their positions by personal appointment of the Emperor, and conducted preliminary consideration of bills, which then went to the monarch for approval. The Emperor could approve the opinion of the majority or the minority of the State Assembly, or Decree his own decision. The State Assembly consisted of several Departments, including Laws, 1810-1906; Civil and Religious Affairs, 1810-1906; State Economy, 1810-1906; Military Affairs, 1810-54; Affairs for the Kingdom of Poland, 1832-62; Industry, Science and Commerce, 1900-06; and the General Assembly. The State Assembly was assisted by the Commission of Laws (1810-26), the Commission for Receiving Petitions Addressed to the Imperial Government (1810-35), the Codification Department (1882-93), as well as by special temporary meetings, commissions and tribunals. The State Assembly was turned into the highest legislative house of the Russian Parliament after the reforms of 1906, and discussed bills accepted by the State Duma. The President of the State Assembly and half of its members were appointed on an annual basis by the Emperor, and the other half were elected by the clergy (six people), nobility (eighteen), country councils (one per Province; the State Assembly member elected by the St. Petersburg Province was Baron P.L. Korf, followed by former Petersburg mayor V.V. Meller-Zakomelsky), the Academy of Sciences and Universities (six), representatives of commerce and industry (twelve), the Finland Seym (two); members served for nine years, a third of its staff being renewed each year. The paperwork of the State Assembly was executed by the State Chancery. Originally, State Assembly meetings took place in the so-called Old Chancery House at the Palace Square; from 1821, they met at the Winter Palace, in a hall in front of the Smaller Palace Church; from the late 1820s, they met in the building of the Old Hermitage. In 1884, the Mariinsky Palace was acquired for the State Assembly and the Cabinet. The archives of the State Assembly were located in the Winter Palace until 1837, when they were moved to the Senate House and in 1887 again to a specially constructed building at 36 Millionnaya Street (1883-87, architect M.E. Messmacher, military engineer V.M. Karlovich; today the Russian State Archive of Naval Forces). The State Assembly was abolished in late 1917 by a Decree of the Soviet of People's Commissars.

References: Государственный совет, 1801-1901. СПб., 1901; Щеглов В. Г. Государственный совет в России. М., 1904; Высшие и центральные государственные учреждения России, 1801-1917 гг. СПб., 1998. Т. 1.

D. N. Shilov.

Karlovich Vladislav Mikhailovich
Korf Pavel Leopoldovich
Meller-Zakomelsky Vladimir Vladimirovich, Baron
Messmacher Maximilian Egorovich

Dvortsovaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 36

Государственный совет, 1801-1901. СПб., 1901
Щеглов В. Г. Государственный совет в России. М., 1904
Высшие и центральные государственные учреждения России, 1801-1917 гг. СПб., 1998

The subject Index
State Duma
Russian Academy of Sciences
State Chancellery
Winter Palace
Mariinsky Palace
Senate and Synod Buildings