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Assess the reasons for the development of opposition groups in the reign of Nicholas II?

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Introduction

Assess the reasons for the development of opposition groups in the reign of Nicholas II? Many factors led to the development of opposition groups in the reign of Nicholas II as he didn't appear to understand the real nature of the problems his nation and his dynasty faced. He was a weak leader that many believed was incapable of being Tsar. He knew very little about the Russian people, he never visited factories or villages so had no idea the extent of poverty. I think this may be why his policies hindered rather than helped Russia. This may also be why there were so many opposition groups One of the many Nicholas II's policies that weren't favourable was Russification, during his reign discrimination against non-Russians became more open and vindictive, the state interfered in everything from education to religion. The Jews suffered most from this, in Nicholas II reign over 600 new measures were introduced that imposed heavy social, political and economic restrictions on the Jewish population. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore the redemption payments that the peasants had to pay for emancipation from serfdom, the peasants could barely grow enough to live on so for many it was impossible to pay these. Witte's policies made the peasants lives even worse as he squeezed resources out of the peasants to pay for industrialization so by 1902 they were at breaking point. Throughout this period peasant risings erupted sporadically and there was widespread violence in which the homes of the land owners were looted and burnt. The government's response wasn't to negotiate ideas to help the peasants no it was to use force to suppress the disturbances. It comes as no surprise that many opposition groups targeted the peasants as supporters for example the socialist revolutionaries; the peasants provided this group with large popular base. The working class shaped about fifty percent of the socialistic revolutionaries' opposition groups. Although this class was growing due to industrialisation the industrial workers were very passive initially as they feared for their jobs and wages. ...read more.

Conclusion

He even went as far as declaring 'Martial law' where the military were enforcing the laws this included summary trials so you could even be sentenced to death on the spot without a clear reason why. Overall the repression under which the Russian population suffered, due to the Tsar is what mainly led to the growth of opposition groups during Nicholas IIs reign. He was a weak leader which meant he stupidly gave the reigns to people like Witte which just increased the opposition. Also Nicholas wasn't the type of leader who was willing to listen to his people, he believed that he was appointed by God and his wife believed he should not share his power with the people. This combination of views was the downfall for Nicholas II as it meant the Russian people could show their views only through force, through revolutions which the opposition groups helped organise. ...read more.

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