By the manifesto of the 17/30th of October 1905 the emperor voluntarily limited his legislative power by decreeing that no measure was to become law without the consent of the Imperial Duma, a freely elected national assembly.
In 1825 the reactionary parlement once more brought back the middle ages, by decreeing the death penalty for public profanation, the execution to be preceded by the amende honorable before the church doors.
They strengthened the revolutionary Commune by decreeing its abolition, and then withdrawing the decree at the first sign of popular opposition; they increased the prestige of Marat by prosecuting him before the Revolutionary Tribunal, where his acquittal was a foregone conclusion.
Among these was a law providing for compulsory education, and decreeing that no illiterate born after the beginning of Liholiho's reign should hold office, and that no illiterate man or woman, born after the same date, could marry.
An ordinance passed in 1827, abolishing the old Dutch courts of landroost and heemraden (resident magistrates being substituted) and decreeing that henceforth all legal proceedings should be conducted in English; the granting in 1828, as a result of the representations of the missionaries, of equal rights with whites to the Hottentots and other free coloured people; the imposition (1830) of heavy penalties for harsh treatment of slaves, and finally the emancipation of the slaves in 1834,3 - all these things increased the dislike of the farmers to the government.