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Ivan Goremykin

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Ivan Goremykin

Ivan Goremykin
Ivan Goremykin
2nd/5th Chairmen of Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire
In office
5 May 1906 – 21 July 1906
Monarch Nicholas II
Preceded by Sergei Witte
Succeeded by Pyotr Stolypin
In office
12 February 1914 – 2 February 1916
Monarch Nicholas II
Preceded by Vladimir Kokovtsov
Succeeded by Boris Stürmer
21st Minister of the Interior of Imperial Russia
In office
15 October 1895 – 20 October 1899
Preceded by Ivan Durnovo
Succeeded by Dmitry Sergeyevich Sipyagin
Personal details
Born (1839-11-08)8 November 1839
Veliky Novgorod
Died 24 December 1917(1917-12-24) (aged 78)
Sochi
Nationality Russian

Ivan Logginovitch Goremykin (Russian: Ива́н Лóггинович Горемы́кин, Ivan Logginovič Goremykin) (8 November 1839 – 24 December 1917) was a Russian prime minister during World War I and politician with archconservative political views.

Biography

He was born on 8 November 1839.

After serving in the Ministry of Justice until 1891 he moved to the Ministry of the Interior, becoming Minister from 1895-1899. A self-described "man of the old school" who viewed the Tsar as the "anointed one, the rightful sovereign", Goremykin was a loyal supporter of Nicholas II as autocrat and accordingly pursued conservative policy. He was apparently well liked by the Empress Alexandra.

While heading the Interior Ministry he submitted a proposal to the Tsar advocating administrative reform and the expansion of the zemstvo program and representation within the existing Zemstvos. Faced with opposition to the program, he left the position. He succeeded Sergei Witte as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) in May, 1906. His unwavering opposition to the political reform demanded by the First Duma left him unable to work with that body and he resigned in July 1906. He was replaced by his Minister of Interior, the younger and more forceful Peter Stolypin.

Ivan Goremykin (on the right) and Nikolai Gerard.

Called back to service by the Tsar, he again served as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) from 1914 to 1916. The hostility expressed toward him by members of both the State Duma and the Council of Ministers greatly impaired the effectiveness of his government. When Nicholas II decided to take direct command of the army, Goremykin urged the Council to endorse the decision. When they refused, he told the Tsar that he (Goremykin) was "not fitted for my position" and asked to be replaced with "a man of more modern views". His wish for retirement was granted at the beginning of February 1916, when he was replaced by another conservative, Boris Stürmer.

In the aftermath of the October Revolution, Goremykin was recognized as a member of the Tsarist government and was killed by a street mob on 24 December 1917.

Legacy

Goremykin's conservatism and inability to function in a semi-parliamentary system made him largely unsuitable for the position of head of government during the last years of Imperial Russia. Despised by parliamentarians and revolutionaries, and personally desiring only to retire, the ineffectiveness of his last government contributed to the instability and ultimate downfall of the Romanov dynasty.

Quotations

Ivan Goremykin
  • "The Emperor can't see that the candles have already been lit around my coffin and that the only thing required to complete the ceremony is myself." (Commenting on his advanced age and unsuitability for office.)
  • "To me, His Majesty is the anointed one, the rightful sovereign. He personifies the whole of Russia. He is forty-seven and it is not just since yesterday that he has been reigning and deciding the fate of the Russian people. When the decision of such a man is made and his course of action is determined, his faithful subjects must accept it whatever may be the consequences. And then let God's will be fulfilled. These views I have held all my life and with them I shall die."

References

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  • Massie, Robert K. Nicholas and Alexandra. New York: Ballantine, 1967, 2000. ISBN
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