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How effectively did governments in pre-revolutionary societies deal with social and political unrest?

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Introduction

Year 12 History How effectively did governments in pre-revolutionary societies deal with social and political unrest? Governments in pre-revolutionary societies, such as the Autocratic governments of Russia and China obviously did not deal with social and political unrest very effectively if they were unable to stop the impending revolutions in their respective countries. In each case the majority of the population were looking for changes in the way their governments were ruling their country, but in each case their ideas for a better country were not heard by their governments which subsequently resulted in vast social and political unrest. Such unrest eventually led to the downfall of each government system due to their inability to subdue the situation. In Russia as with China under an autocratic rule, the vast majority of the population, the peasants and proletariat, were unhappy with the way their governments were treating them. The peasantry in both countries were severely poor and often starved. This was not helped by the fact that both countries had very poor weather conditions in the winter months that brought food production to a virtual stand still. ...read more.

Middle

What he didn't realise was that by not concerning himself with the affairs of state, he was in effect sealing the fate of autocracy in Russia by causing great discontent in the failing incompetent government system. Similarly in China, the Empress resisted western ideas and wished to keep the current system of government. By letting western ideas influence the people, they might have realised how ineffective their current government was and wish to change it. This would mean a complete lifestyle change for the Empress which of course she was not interested in. So in both cases the government's inability to accept change brought about great unrest as the people wanted to modernise, as conditions in other modernised countries were a lot better than their own. The effects of war played a major role in creating unrest in both Russia and China. In Russia, the Tsar had a choice whether or not to continue the wars in which Russia participated but in each case he chose to continue the wars, even though it was obvious that Russia lacked the capability to maintain and supply an army away from home. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Tsar let the people have a Duma, so that they could have a say in how the country would be run, but he disbanded two Dumas in the first two weeks of their operation simply because they opposed him. Obviously the people did not truly have a say on anything because as soon as they wanted something that the Tsar did not like he simply disregarded it. Going back on his word was perhaps the most stupid thing the Tsar ever did, because now the people realised more than ever that the Tsar did not care about anything they had to say, so movements to oust the Tsar grew in popularity. In both Russia and China, the governments trying to come to terms with political and social unrest did not do a very good job. In most cases they actually contributed to the creation of even more unrest than what was originally being tried to subdue. By trying to control unrest in their respective countries, the Tsar and Empress helped bring about their own demise, so effectively they did not deal with unrest at all. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kingsley Denton 12THOJ 1/05/07 ...read more.

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