After 1718, Peter established colleges in place of the old central agencies of government. The new agencies were originally nine in number: Foreign affairs, war, navy, expense, income, justice, inspection. Later others were added. Each college consisted of a president, a vice-president and a number of councilors, assessors in addition to one procurator. Some foreigners were included in various colleges but not as president. Peter believed he did not have enough loyal and talented persons to put them in full charge of the different departments. Peter preferred to rely on groups of individuals who would keep check on one another.  Decisions depended on the majority vote.
On 2 December,  Trepov ascended the tribune in the Duma to read the government programme. The deputies shouted "down with the Ministers! Down with Protopopov!" The Prime-Minister wasn't allowed to speak and had to leave the rostrum three times. Trepov threatened to shut the troublesome Duma completely in her attempt to control the Tsar.  The Tsar, his cabinet, Alexandra, and Rasputin discussed when to open the Duma, on the 12th or 19th of January, on the 1st of February, the 14th, if it all. Rasputin suggested to keep the Duma closed until February; Alexandra and Protopopov supported him.  On Friday, 16 December Milyukov stated in the Duma: "... maybe [we will be] dismissed to 9 January, maybe until February", but in the evening the Duma was closed until 12 January, by a decree prepared on the day before.  A military guard has been on duty at the building.