Treat of the Causes of the 1905 Revolution in Russia The causes of the 1905 revolution in Russia can be traced back as far as 1861. The Tsars who ruled in Russia were firm autocrats in an era where the nearby Europe was transforming to liberalism and republicanism. The influence of these groups, as well as internal problems and foreign policy were all causes of the revolution. In the 19 th century, Russia was very much Medieval in its ways, and this is especially highlighted by the fact that Serfdom still existed. The Serfs were little more than slaves of the Tsars and had no rights.
Alexander II was the first to recognise this and in 1861 he granted Emancipation to the Serfs. He felt it “better to abolish Serfdom from above than to wait for the Serfs to liberate themselves from below.” ALthough with hindsight it can be said that this action caused more problems than it solved, it was a major step in dragging Russia forward from Medievalism. This granting of limited freedom to the Serfs lead to growing unrest as they called for further rights, and so it can be said it was a long term cause of the revolution. Alexander also set up limited local authorities known as Zemstvo. The main action of these groups was to draw up reports on agricultural conditions.
This lead to greater awareness and a liberal class of Intelligencia was set up. They opposed the autocracy and later became known as ‘the Kadets’. The opposition of the Kadets to the sar was also a long term cause of Revolution. During Alexander’s reign extremist opposition to the autocracy also fermented. The Narodniks attempted to rally the peasants against the Tsar, but failed because of classes differences.
The Russia Revolution was a true political revolution. By this I mean there was a fundamental change in the way leaders came into power and in the goals for the country. In theory, leadership changed from a monarchy to socialism. The goals for the country changed from ownership and control of wealth was by few to control by the proletariat (the workers). In reality the change of leadership and the ...
However, the Narodniks were to progress desi pte this initial failure and they became very influential in the 20 th centrum in the form of he Bolsheviks. Alexander III did not agree with his fathers reforms and when he came to power in 1881, he set about suppressing the peasants and all opposition to the Tsars. His Russification policy forced Russian culture on the 50 million non-Russians in the empire. The Jews also suffered greatly under his reign Pogroms were organised organised attacks on the Jews which forced many to emigrate. Censorship was also increased and the freedom of universities was reduced.
Alexander’s mistakes lay in the fact that the people had got a taste of freedom under his father, and now he was taking it away again. Revolution was impending. Opposition to the Tsars continued to grow during Alexander III’s reign. The Social Revolutionaries rallied the support of the peasants. They hoped tha tif they killed the Tsar, the whole system would topple.
The Marxists concentrated on the workers in the cities. The growth of socialism marked the arrival of leaders such as Lenin and Trotsky. The Kadets also continued to grow. All that was now needed for a revolution was a spark to light the fire and bring all opposing groups together. This occured under the reign of the last Tsar, Nicholas II. A strict autocrat, he told those who hoped for local governments in the form of Dumas that they were “carried away by senseless dreams.” His German Tsarina, Alexandra, was disliked by the people, as was their mutual devotion to the actions of the suspicions monk Rasputin.
Growing opposition and urban and rural unrest was commonplace. When war with Japan was impending, Nicholas saw it as an opportunity to rally loyalty to the empire once more. However his major error was that he under-estimated the strength of the Japanese. Describing them as “little yellow monkeys”, he believed his fleets would crush them.
However, the Japanese defeated the Russians and destroyed all her fleets, even the Baltic fleet who made a last attempt to save face for Russia. The defeat in this war and the expense it incurred were direct causes of the revolution which occured just a few weeks later. A general strike in Russia occurred in 1905, with both urban and rural owners protesting together. Father Gapon lead a group of workers to the Winter palace with a petition for reforms for the Tsar. The protest was a peaceful one and the workers car reid portraits and candles for the Tsar. However, the guards shot at the people, killing one thousand and injuring thousands more.
Bloody Sunday was the day when all the tensions that led to and began the 1905 revolution came together. By 1903 the activities of the parties that were opposing the government combined with the appalling conditions in which the working class people lived led to demonstrations, strikes and protests. The ministers of the Tsar warned him that Russia was on the verge of a revolution. The government ...
This action completely alienated the people and their loyalty to the Tsar was no more. It was “the political activation of the masses.” This massacre was the spark that started the 1905 revolution. Although the outcome of the revolution saw the settings up of the Duma, these were controlled to reign as an autocrat. However this revolution was an indication of the power of the people and it can be said that it was a dress reversal for the February and October Revolutions of 1917.