The Kadet position in the Second State Duma of Imperial Russia was a far cry from that which they had enjoyed in the First Duma. Their caucus was almost halved and they faced strong left- and right-wing extremist groups. These groups quite often co-operated, with the aim of defeating the Kadets and discrediting the Duma, thus providing a foretaste of events later in the century in other countries, in particular Germany. Also hampering Kadet activity to some extent was the weakness of the Speaker, considered by friend and foe alike to be a mediocrity. Despite these difficulties, the Kadets managed to influence the proceedings and prevent the Duma from acting irresponsibly for most of its existence. However, contrary to V.A. Maklakov's view, their position became increasingly precarious and by the eve of dissolution the Kadets had almost no influence in the chamber. The fault lay mainly with the authorities, who had dissolved the First Duma (which had a strong centre and could perhaps have acted effectively) and created the ineffective Second Duma. Its dissolution on 3 June 1907 was, therefore, inevitable. The amendment of the electoral law, which accompanied dissolution, gave the government some respite, though not for long.
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