In 1875 there took place the first Municipal Duma (town council) elections.
Inconsequence and incompleteness of the reforms caused social dissatisfaction that resulted in spreading of narodnik movement ideas on the territory of the land. Besides Kazan was one of the centers of students’ unrest. As it is well-known, Vladimir Ulyanov participated in one of such students’ meeting at the Kazan University on December, 4, 1887. Because of this he was excluded from the University and banished from Kazan. By the autumn of 1888 there were about 10 marxian societies in Kazan. The narodnik movement was replaced by liberal one. The first social-democratic group was organized in Kazan in 1897. In 1903 there was formed the Kazan committee of Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). Workers of various Kazan enterprises participated in the strikes.
Besides, in the city there were working S.Rs (members of Socialist Revolutionary Party), cadets (Constitutional Democrats), monarchic parties and Tatar youth organization “Tanshilar”. On October, 17, 1905 armed Cossacks attacked students and workers who gathered to hold a mass meeting at the Kazan University. About 40 people were killed and injured. In response on October, 19 common people disarmed the police and seized the building of Kazan State Duma. The administration announced the martial law in the city and opened fire on revolutionists who barricaded themselves in the building. In March 1906 shakirds of the medrese “Muhammadiya” went on strike; students of other Tatar high schools joined them, so that the number of strikers reached 1.5 thousand.
Tatar national movement came to life in the second half of the XIX century. One of its currents was Dzhadidism. At the beginning of the XX century in addition to I.Gasprinsky, R.Fakhretdin, G.Barudy the most noticeable figures among dzhadidists were theologians, publicists Musa Bigiev, Rashit Ibragimov, Kashaf Tardzhemany, writer and editor Fatikh Karimy, teachers Gabdulla and Gubaduilla Buby and their sister Mukhlisa Buby, and Khady Atlasov, one of the medrese teachers from Buinsk. They were supported by the patrons-businessmen Brothers Ramievs, the Akchurins family, merchants Khusainovs from Orenburg and others. An important role in propaganda of Dhadidism ideas belonged to the newspaper “Tardzheman”, and since February 1906 - to the newspaper “Vakit” (“Time”). The magazine “Shura”
(“Advice”) joined their rows in 1908; it was published as an appendix to the newspaper “Vakit”. Both editions were published in Orenburg with financial support of Brothers Ramievs. These editions were read in most Moslem regions of Russia.
Kadimists were struggling against Dzhadidism. The best-known representatives of this conservative movement in the Tatar society were ishan I.Dinmuhammedov from the village Tunter (Vyatskaya province), merchant and editor Saidashev from Kazan, and others.
The first Russian revolution aroused political activity of Tatar society. All its strata were seized by aspiration to achieve national equality of rights, freedom in performing national and religious traditions, and the right to participate in political life of the country. Against this background there was recommenced Vaisov movement; Dzhadidism gained political complexion.
Dzhadidism was used as foundation for Liberal-Democratic Party of Russian Moslems “Ittifack al-muslimin” (“Union of Moslems”). Before this, in Kazan there took place a meeting of Tatar Liberals (January, 1905) and in Chistopol there was a conference of representatives of National Bourgeoisie (May, 1905).
In August 1905 in Nizhny Novgorod there took place the First (illegal) All-Russia Moslem Congress. About 120 people including F.Tuktarov and G.Iskhaky participated in it. The organizers of the congress rented a passenger steamer “Gustav Struve” and on its board they hold a 6-hours session. There they decided to organize All-Russia political party of Moslems. The resolution concerned the questions of providing equal political, material and religious rights for Moslems and christened population of the country.
During the next two congresses (January and August of 1906) the party finally legalized its position. There were formulated regulations, program, and was chosen the central committee. The governing body of the “Union of Moslems” consisted of well-known Dzhadidism leaders, such as R.Ibragimov, U.Akchura, I.Gasprinsky, S.Alkin, M.Bigiev, G.Barudy, G.Buby and 8 more people. In Kazan the party was supported by the newspapers “Kazan Mukhbire” (“Kazan Herald”) and “Akhbar” (“Transactions”).
The requirements of Tatar Liberals almost coincided with the program of Cadets (Constitutional Democrats). At the same time, the “Union of Moslems” demanded equal protection of the law as far as religion was concerned; what’s more, they wanted to form national-cultural autonomy.
During the three All-Russia conferences there were laid down some organizational measures for consolidation of Moslem population around the party.
By the beginning of the First World War the Tatar Liberal Party had left political stage. The government headed by P.A.Stolypin started the “politics of Russian nationalism”. So, in 1910 he summoned “Special conference concerning the Volga region” where he suggested gradual “Russifying of foreigners”. Moslems were persecuted more than before, arrests and searches of Moslem figures became common. In 1911 the government closed medrese “Izh-Buby” that used new methods of teaching; 14 mullahs and teachers were arrested. Under conditions of strengthened Black-Hundred movement some leaders of the “Union of Moslems” had to move abroad. And they couldn’t unite their forces with the Cadets, as some of Cadets supported the Government as far as national question was concerned.