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How important was social suffering in causing the Revolution of 1905?

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Introduction

How important was social suffering in causing the Revolution of 1905? In the years leading up to 1905 there was great discontent amongst the Russian people; this discontent was made clear by the revolution of the people in 1905. The discontent began when Alexander III introduced a series of repressive policies. These policies caused major uproar amongst the Russian people and also caused the Tsar to lose a lot of support. His industrialisation policy did nothing for the needs of the people and just left them as they were before, living in dreadful poverty. Consequently a number of illegal political groups formed in order to oppose the Tsar. The situation in Russia got worse when she suffered a severe stage of depression. Tsar Nicholas II did not bother to help matters. To take the peoples attention away from the problems facing Russia, she began a war with Japan, not expecting to be defeated. Instead of the war taking peoples attention from problems in Russia it added to them. There are mixed views regarding what was responsible for the revolution of 1905, some say the war was to blame, others say the events of bloody Sunday was perhaps 'the final straw' and people also believe that social suffering was the cause of the 1905 revolution. The Russian Tsar was a firm believer in the Tsarist ideology of Autocracy, Orthodoxy and nationality which had been securely established in Russia. ...read more.

Middle

Nevertheless Alexander III was a progressive Tsar, introducing the policy of industrialisation. This was established to increase Russia's economic output. This policy however did not help anyone in the urban population of Russia, many of them continued to live in deprivation and poverty. As a result the relationship between the people and the Tsar deteriorated. They blamed the Tsar for their poor working and living conditions. Subsequently they were amenable to the idea of revolution. Therefore the discontent caused by industrialisation was a contributory factor to the 1905 revolution. In a state where Tsarist ideology was in place politics were not really present. In the 19th century where there was much suffering and discontent, various groups opposed to Tsarist ideology came into being. The Social Democrats were established in 1898. Their emphasis was placed on the proletariat as the agents of revolution. However in 1903 they split into two different groups, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. The Mensheviks were prepared for an evolutionary type of revolution whereas the Bolsheviks felt an educated group of revolutionaries could speed up the process. The Social Revolutionaries were another revolutionary group, formed in 1901. They aimed their ideology at peasants. They believed in a socialist society based on the collective ownership of land, and wanted to work to get benefits for the peasants and the industrial workers. They often used terrorist methods and assassinated key political figures. ...read more.

Conclusion

January the 9th 1805 saw 200,000 people taking part in a demonstration at St Petersburg to present a petition, put together by the Liberals, to the Tsar. The people expected their 'Little Father' to help them during this desperate time. The people were turned away but refused to go resulting in complete and total anarchy in Russia. The strikers were fired at and the death toll was 200. A further 800 were seriously wounded and this day became known as 'Bloody Sunday'. The state of Russia from then onwards was absolute chaos. The revolution of 1905 was brought about by many different reasons. Alexander III took away any freedom the people had following the death of his father. Also the policy of industrialisation did nothing to help the people and made social suffering worse for the people. The economic slump at the beginning of the twentieth century saw the Russian people suffer more. Then Nicholas II ruled Russia. He had no interest in politics whatsoever but believed in autocracy, which no doubt would further add to social suffering of the people. To divert the people's attention away from the problems war was declared on Japan which only made the situation worse as the war was not won. 'Bloody Sunday' was the worst thing the Russian people had to endure as so many people lost their lives due to the careless antics of the ruling Tsar and the Russian military. Therefore social suffering was an important factor in causing the 1905 revolution but other factors also contributed. ...read more.

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