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Petr Stolypin

Petr Stolypin (1862-1911) served as Nicholas II's leading minister from 1906 to 1911. He became known for his heavy-handed attempts to battle revolutionary groups.

Stolypin was a high born member of the Russian aristocracy who had a good education and served in the government bureaucracy. His successes lead to him first being appointed interior minister under Ivan Goremykin. A few months later Nicholas appointed Stolypin to replace Goremykin as Prime Minister.

Russia in 1906 was plagued by revolutionary unrest and wide discontent amongst the population. Leftist terrorist groups were waging terrorist campaigns against the autocracy, and had wide support. Throughout Russia police officials and bureacrats were being assassinated by these groups. To respond to these attacks Stolypin introduced a system of military tribunals, that held quick trials of any accused rebels. If the accused was sentenced to death, as often happened, the sentence would be carried out within a day. Thousands of Russian radicals were killed under Stolypin's system.

To help quell dissent Stolypin also hoped to remove some of the causes of grievance amongst the peasantry. Thus he introduced important land reforms. Stolypin also tried to improve the lives of the urban workers and worked to increase the power of local govenrments.

In 1911 Stolypin was assassinated by a leftist radical while attending a performance at the Kiev Opera House