Nicholas II imposes Russian autocracy in Finland (1903)


This decree, dated March 20th 1903, imposed tsarist autocracy in Finland, where there was growing opposition to the Russian governor-general, General Bobrikov.


“1. The governor general is authorised:

a. To order the temporary closure of hotels, wholesale and retail bookstores, and any commercial and industrial establishments whatsoever.

b. To forbid any kind of public or private gatherings.

c. To dissolve private associations and their branches.

d. To forbid persons regarded by him as detrimental to political order and public tranquillity from residing in Finland…

5. Municipal magistracies, as well as municipal and rural communal administrations, are subject to the supreme authority of the governor general and to the direct authority of the governors, on the following basis:

a. The names of persons elected as mayors and aldermen, as chairmen and vicechairmen of municipal councils, and to other offices in the municipal and rural communal administrations shall be submitted to the local governor for confirmation…

b. Mayors and municipal aldermen, chairmen and vice-chairmen of municipal councils, and other persons holding office in municipal and rural communal administrations can, by administrative process, be removed from office…

c. The governors are authorised to suspend the execution of decisions adopted by communal authorities subordinate to them, if such decisions do not conform to the general national interests or the needs of the local population, or if they violate the requirements of the law.”