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'Given time Stolypin's work might have saved Tsarism'. How far do you agree?

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Introduction

'Given time Stolypin's work might have saved Tsarism'. How far do you agree? Nicola McGovern The 1905 revolution showed that the social and economic structure of Russia was changing; this would necessitate a change in the political structure and if it wasn't addressed could destroy Tsarism. The Tsar took this as a warning and began to build on the relationships he had with his people. The October Manifesto of 1905 formalised the change in the relationship between the Tsar and his people. This meant that there was now a Duma in place. After the fall of the first Duma Stolypin was made Prime Minister. His key strategy was no return to absolutism and he used the motto 'pacification then reform', meaning if he could bring about social stability then social and political reform would soon follow. This would reduce the appeal of Revolutionaries and Tsarism would be saved. The first Duma was introduced by Count Sergei Witte in April 1906. The Duma expected the October manifesto to have changed the way Russian politics were run, however they were disappointed. ...read more.

Middle

However their 154 seats feel short of the 222 which were required do they had to combine with the Kadets and create a working majority. This was the first successful Duma to have been created in Russia and this meant a peaceful period in Russian History. Having secured a working majority, Stolypin set about 'Reforming' Russia. Stolypin's overall aim was to establish a modern constitutional Russian state and rural reforms were necessary to achieve this goal. Stolypin introduced the land law in November 1906 which was passed by decree but not approved by the Duma until June 1910. Redemption payments were abolished in January 1907 and there was an extension of credit through Peasant land Bank- this issued loans to allow peasants to purchase more land. Crowned state lands were to be made available for this purpose and as a result peasant holdings increased. Stolypin also encouraged peasants to leave commune and become private landowners. This would create a group of private proprietors with a vested interest in maintaining a regime who would hold their revolutionary neighbours in check. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Russian Nationalists supported Stolypin's policy of Russification and to implement it he introduced allegedly democratic reforms which were really anti-nationalist policies, this showed how shrewd that Stolypin really was. He dealt with the National minorities in a reasonably fair way however there was still discontent amongst the people so he could probably have done more. He only found a temporary solution soon everything would fall to pieces once more. Stolypin was keen to eradicate ignorance, which he believed was at the root of Russia's social and political distress. He believed that an educated population could supply Russia with the desired workforce. This in turn would improve the Russian economy. In the Duma year's pre 1914, expenditure on education quadrupled and literacy increased from 30% in 1900 to 40% in 1914. Given time Stolypin's work probably would have "saved Tsarism". He successfully stopped all who presented a threat to the Tsar, by introducing Urban and rural reforms. These were also very important in preventing the downfall of Tsarism. However his assassination ended a peaceful transition to a modern constitutional regime. If his assassination had not happened Tsarist authority may have lasted for longer in Russia. ...read more.

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