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In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, it was mentioned that Rufus Scrimgeour succeeded Fudge to be the new Minister for Magic. Is Scrimgeour a more proactive Minister when fighting Voldemort and his Death Eaters, when compared to Fudge? If Scrimgeour is doing more to protect the Wizarding world, then how come the Ministry for Magic falls so quickly to the Death Eaters at the start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

  • Is this question different from the other question you asked about this? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/195681/… – Alex Oct 11 '18 at 0:59
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    Scrimgeor at least accepted that Voldemort has returned. – Captain Cold Oct 11 '18 at 2:17
  • @CaptainMarvel So did Fudge (eventually). Kind of hard to continue denying that he's back when you've seen him with your own eyes. We don't know whether Scrimgeour was more receptive to Harry's claims about Voldemort's return during Order of the Phoenix than Fudge was. – Anthony Grist Oct 11 '18 at 14:40
  • @AnthonyGrist Fudge didn't resign. He was forced to step down. He continued to deny Voldemort's return because there are transfiguration spells in existence. – Captain Cold Oct 11 '18 at 15:31
  • @CaptainMarvel Do you have any evidence from a reliable source (this does not include the movies) to back up the claim that Fudge continued to deny Voldemort's return after the events of Order of the Phoenix? – Anthony Grist Oct 11 '18 at 15:39
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Scrimgeour did do certain things in attempt to stop the Dark Lord.

Though the Ministry fell while Scrimgeour was in power, he still attempted to stop the Dark Lord more than Fudge did. Fudge denied that the Dark Lord had returned until the Dark Lord himself showed up in the Ministry building himself, and after that was removed from office. Though the Ministry did fall to the Dark Lord, Scrimgeour did seem to take action, at least when he first became Minister. For example, he set up several new offices related to the Dark Lord rising to power, which is known to be true since Arthur Weasley was the head of one of them.

“Yes, Rufus Scrimgeour has set up several new offices in response to the present situation, and Arthur’s heading the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5 (An Excess of Phlegm)

Dumbledore also thinks more highly of Scrimgeour’s ability to handle the situation than Fudge’s, though he disagreed with the Ministry trying to get Harry to speak on their behalf.

“Is he … do you think he’s good?’ asked Harry.

‘An interesting question,’ said Dumbledore. ‘He is able, certainly. A more decisive and forceful personality than Cornelius.’

‘Yes, but I meant –’

‘I know what you meant. Rufus is a man of action and, having fought Dark wizards for most of his working life, does not underestimate Lord Voldemort.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)

In addition, Scrimgeour had the Ministry help contribute to the protection of Hogwarts.

“Newly appointed Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, spoke today of the tough new measures taken by his Ministry to ensure the safety of students returning to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this autumn.

‘For obvious reasons, the Ministry will not be going into detail about its stringent new security plans,’ said the Minister, although an insider confirmed that measures include defensive spells and charms, a complex array of counter-curses and a small task force of Aurors dedicated solely to the protection of Hogwarts School.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 3 (Will and Won’t)

This is different from Fudge, since Fudge spent his time as Minister that’s shown in the books denying that the Dark Lord was still alive and gaining power. Scrimgeour didn’t ignore what was happening, and took steps to prevent it, though some of them were unsuccessful.

He lost control of the Ministry as his employees were Imperiused.

Scrimgeour did seem to get somewhat less proactive as the Ministry began falling to the Dark Lord, but as there’s no known way for a wizard to reverse the Imperius Curse on someone else, he couldn’t do anything about the Ministry employees who’d already been Imperiused. The Dark Lord made sure to fill the Ministry with Imperiused people before attempting to kill Scrimgeour, and Scrimgeour was likely unable to stop the others in the Ministry from being Imperiused.

“It will, I think, be easy, now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down.’

‘As long as our friend Thicknesse is not discovered before he has converted the rest,’ said Voldemort.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)

Once the Dark Lord was able to have his Death Eaters put the Imperius Curse on some Ministry officials, it was then easy for them to have that official put the Imperius Curse on other officials in turn. Also, as a well-executed Imperius Curse is difficult to detect, Scrimgeour might not have known until it was too late and the Ministry was already out of his control.

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Scrimgeour was an experienced Auror.

In Half-Blood Prince Dumbledore and Harry talk about Scrimgeour.

"He has been replaced, as I am sure you also saw, by Rufus Scrimgeour, Who used to be Head of the Auror office."
"Is he... Do you think he's good?" asked Harry.
"An interesting question," said Dumbledore. "He is able, certainly. A more decisive and forceful personality than Cornelius."
"Yes, but I meant -"
"I know what you meant. Rufus is a man of action and, having fought Dark wizards for most of his working life, does not underestimate Lord Voldemort."
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)

Also, Cornelius Fudge didn't accept that Voldemort was back until he saw him himself, this mistrust was not helping the wizarding community.

"Cornelius, I am ready to fight your men - and win again!" said Dumbledore in a thunderous voice. "But a few minutes ago you saw proof, with your own eyes, that I have been telling you the truth for a year. Lord Voldemort has returned, you have been chasing the wrong men for twelve months, and it is time you listened to sense!"
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)

Also, Scrimgeour did take action against Lord Voldemort, he set up several new offices at the Ministry.

"Yes, Rufus Scrimgeour has set up several new offices in response to the present situation, and Arthur's heading the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects. It's a big jog, he's got ten people reporting to him now!"
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5 (An Excess of Phlegm)

The Ministry fell while under Scrimgeour's order because Voldemort was near the height of his power.

Voldemort had much more power when Scrimgeour was in control than when Fudge was, Voldemort had just been reincarnated 1 year before Fudge's sacking and wasn't really taking any offensive actions yet. When Scrimgeour was in office Voldemort Imperiused Ministry members and was thus able to take control of the Ministry.

"It is a start," said Voldemort. "But Thicknesse is only one man. Scrimgeour must be surrounded by our people before I act. One failed attempt on the Minister's life will set me back a long way."
- Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)

To me this quote implies that they had just started working on taking the Ministry down in Book 7, so thus we can see that Fudge didn't have to deal with any drastic movements by Voldemort but Scrimgeour did.

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We have no actual evidence regarding what he did

As the books are written with Harry's POV, we do not know what measures were taken by the Ministry. We only know the basic measures that even underage wizards will know about, like the leaflet mentioned in Book 6, Chapter 3- Will and Won't .We do not know the measures for wizarding families either as the only one shown is the Weasleys, and they are a special case because of Harry and the fact that they are part of the Order.

As already mentioned in @Bellatrix's answer, Rufus Scrimgeour is considered an "able" and "forceful personality" by Dumbledore, so it can be assumed that he did take some efforts to protect the wizarding population.

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He tries to figure out what Dumbledore wants Harry to do

** After Dumbledore's death, Scrimgeour seems to stop taking care of the daily workings of the Ministry (which might be why he fails to prevent the fall). But that is not because he gives up. On the other hand, he makes the (partially) correct guess that the key to defeating Voldemort concerns Dumbledore's bequests to the trio. And that's why he tries to decipher it himself, because he naturally feels this will be a task better handled by experienced Aurors and not teenagers.

Also, as an aside, the Ministry falls quickly because there is no easy way known to detect an Imperius curse and most of their efforts are directed outside the Ministry, not within. Also, when you say the ministry of magic falls to the Death Eaters "quickly" you are not taking into account the fact that Voldemort returned at the end of book 4. So he had around 2 years to lay his plans to infiltrate the ministry and during 1 year of this time, the ministry was either unaware or at best conflicted about the fact of his return. Throughout Book 5 and 6, we are not aware of the Death Eaters' movements.

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