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Do you agree with the view that it was primarily the lack of co-ordination of his opponents that enabled the Tsar to survive the 1905 revolution?

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Introduction

Do you agree with the view that it was primarily the lack of co-ordination of his opponents that enabled the Tsar to survive the 1905 revolution? In 1905 tsarism suffered a dreadful battering, Tsar Nicolas III had to cope with opposition from all sides. The workers and the army were unhappy with their working conditions; they wanted minimum wage and more rights. The peasants wanted more land and the liberals wanted a better political system that was more democratic and gave them more say in how the country was run. He had to contend with numerous strikes, uprisings, assassinations and mutinies. It is surprising, therefore than the Tsar managed to remain in his throne throughout 1905. Lack of co-ordination of his opponents played a large part in ensuring the survival of Tsar during the 1905 revolution. Throughout 1905 there were numerous strikes and uprisings; in January there was a general strike in St Petersburg, paralysing the city. Moscow suffered a damaging national general strike in October and another uprising in December. Many similar events took place throughout 1905, including naval mutinies - such as in Kronstadt or the famous Pokemkin mutiny at Odessa, and the assassination of Grand Duke Sergi, the Tsars uncle. ...read more.

Middle

Witte realised that the liberals were a potential danger to the tsarist regime, so he proposed the October Manifesto as a way of 'buying them off.' If they were satisfied then the Tsar could easily control the peasants and workers. Source 1 states the points of the Manifesto, including; 'fundamental civil freedoms will be granted', 'participation in the Duma will be granted', and 'no law can come into pass without its approval by the State Duma'. This was met with great joy from the people of Russia, workers went back to work and the liberals and middle class were placated. Despite this outward display towards democracy Nicolas III had little intention of letting Russia head towards a democratic system. Key quotes in the Manifesto show that the Tsar still intends to place limitations on it; 'Participation in the Duma will be granted to those classes of the population which are at present deprived of voting powers' The phrasing of this quote is very vague, it does not state specifically who will be allowed to participate, but instead leaves it more open to debate. Later the Manifesto states 'We call on all true sons of Russia' this immediately shows that despite Nicolas's new 'democratic' ways he will still inforce racial restrictions. ...read more.

Conclusion

They played no part in orchestrating the revolution so as Source 3 says 'revolution occurred in spite, rather than because of them' and the Tsar was saved from having to control them too. Had Nicolas's opponents united together and co-ordinated their agitation on the regime then Nicolas III would not have survived the 1905 revolution. He would not have been able to control organised, timed uprisings across Russia and indubitably the regime would have fallen. However, lack of organisation on their part was not the only factor that allowed him to remain in control. His advisors were crucial to his survival, Witte presented him with the October Manifesto - another key part in saving his regime. Without the October Manifesto the liberals may have organised the resistance against the Tsar and found a way of removing him from his throne. Stolypin's policy of repression was also vital, it frightened many people out of protesting and the loyalty of the army ensured the Tsar remained in control. Finally the determination of the government to survive helped it to remain in charge, had the government been weak it would have likely collapsed in the first wave of strikes. The lack of co-ordination of the workers, peasants, liberals etc. did primarily save the Tsar, but these other factors contributed. Lorna Harris 12OW ...read more.

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