Besides the premiership, Depretis assumed the portfolio of finance; Nicot~a, an ex-Garibaldian of somewhat tarnished reputation, but a man of energetic ~~t~ and conservative temperament, was placed at the ministry of the interior; public works were entrusted to Zanardelli, a Radical doctrinaire of considerable juridical attainments; General Mezzacapo and Signor Brin replaced General Ricotti Magnani and Admiral Saint-B on at the war office and ministry of marine; while to Mancini and Coppino, prominent members of the Left, were allotted the portfolios of justice and public instruction.
In parliamentary politics the most notable event in 1902 was the presentation of a divorce bill by Signor Zanardellis government; this was done not because there was any real demand for it, but to please the doctrinaire 1902.
In this capacity he exercised a wide influence on local opinion, and the revolt of the Newcastle electorate in later years against doctrinaire Radicalism was largely due to his constant preaching of a broader outlook on national affairs.
Though the young emperor was of too phlegmatic a temperament to be carried away by the prevailing excitement and of too practical a turn of mind to adopt wholesale the doctrinaire theories of his selfconstituted, irresponsible advisers, he recognized that great administrative and economic changes were required, and after a short period of hesitation he entered on a series of drastic reforms, of which the most important were the emancipation of the serfs, the thorough reorganization of the judicial administration and the development of local self-government.
When the first Russian revolutionary movement developed in 1905 he took part in the meetings of Zemstvo representatives, but did not join the Cadets, whom he considered to be too doctrinaire and cosmopolitan.