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To what extent were economic problems the main cause of the 1905 revolution?

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Introduction

To what extent were economic problems the main cause of the 1905 revolution? The 1905 revolution was the biggest political change in Russian history for hundreds of years. It occurred when Tsar Nicolas the 2nd was forced to break his autocratic regime and publish the October manifesto. There were 3 main causes to why the revolution happened. They were bloody Sunday, a massacre of hundreds of peaceful protesters, The Russio-Japenese war, a war in which brought humiliation towards the army, and finally the economic problems which crippled the government for many years. The economic state of Russia around 1905 was very poor. It was a high priority for the Tsar to develop Russia's economy and industrialise the country to try and compete with the western countries. Around this time the living and working conditions of the country in general was at a poor standard, this was about to be made worse as the government decided to heavily raise taxes on everyday items like grain and alcohol. They used this extra money to invest in the industrialisation of the country as they thought that it would bring prosperity to Russia in the long term. The people did not like this idea and began to question the tsar's policies. ...read more.

Middle

This angered the public even more and they began to protest to stop the war. This could not have gone any worse for the tsar at the moment, his extremely poor judgement was beginning to cost people lives due to starvation. This is also an important factor to the 1905 revolution starting as it backed up why they wanted a government in the first place, to stop poor decisions being made by one man. Bloody Sunday was seen as the main spark to the 1905 revolution, it began in January 1905 when tensions in st. Petersburg were very high. A priest, Father Gapon posted a petition to ask the Tsar for help with the poor conditions in St. Petersburg. In the petition his main point was to ask for freedom of speech, an 8 hour working day and an elected assembly. Many working class people signed the petition and offered to protest outside the Tsars palace in St. Petersburg. On Sunday the 22nd of January 150,000 people marched towards the Ice Palace in St Petersburg to protest peacefully. As they arrived the people were met by many Cossack soldiers, rifles began to start firing and many people died including women and children, the Cossacks thought they were a revolutionary group out of control. ...read more.

Conclusion

This promised mass change for the Russians, it promised a parliament (Duma) to be elected by the people, he also promised civil rights, uncensored newspapers and freedom of speech. The liberals and middle classes thought they had won the 10 month battle against the Tsar for change. Out of the three main causes, economical was a very important one as it was the first and the starter to a possible revolution. Despite this, I do not think it is the main cause of the revolution, I think this because even though it was not important it did not start the revolution. I think that the problems that were a result of trying to industrialise a nation too quickly and inefficiently were not big enough to start a revolution on its own, I think with out the other two causes there wouldn't have been a revolution. Without economic problems you wouldn't have given the public the idea of needing a change of government structure. Without the problems from the Russio-Japenese war there wouldn't have been the beginning of protests and violence from the people and a common programme within the people set up. Finally without the Bloody Sunday affair there would be no spark to set off the revolution and therefore be no revolution. So judging from that I do not think there is one main point I think there are 3 points that combine to cause the Russian revolution in 1905. ...read more.

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