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"Tsarism in Russia had been made secure by 1914." How far do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

Ong Dai Lin 02A03 11-5-03 Q: "Tsarism in Russia had been made secure by 1914." How far do you agree with this statement? Although the 1905 Revolution did not bring Tsarism to its demise, it had important consequences on Tsarism. It illuminates the problems of Russian society and exposed the government's weaknesses. Nevertheless, the Tsar managed to suppress his opponents and appeased the masses, saving his regimes from collapse. However, this security was only temporarily as the root of Russia's problems were not solved and WWI in 1914 was the last straw for the decaying regime. Hence, I agree with the statement to a large extent. The inherent problems in Russian society were never dealt with properly by the Tsar. The peasants suffered from the problem of land hunger, the workers had poor working conditions and almost everyone wanted reforms, leading to the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution. Although this revolution posed a threat to Tsarism at its outbreak, it was a threat that the Tsar quickly overcomes. Concessions were granted to gain support for the Tsar and the policy of repression was used to get rid of those who still challenged the government. More importantly, the army did not go over to the side of the rebels. ...read more.

Middle

This helped to appease the peasants and their anger towards the Tsar slowly died down. By 1915, nearly 50% of the peasantry enjoyed hereditary ownership of their land, as compared to lower than 20% in the past. The drop in the number of land seizures by the peasants and the decline in the general lawlessness in the countryside are proof that the peasants were generally more satisfied with the Tsar now. The rest of the Tsar's opponents that were still not won over were suppressed I the Tsar's efforts to further consolidate his position. Having won over the peasants and the liberals, the government was left with the opposition of the workers. The army was used to crush the soviets. In December 1906, an insurrection in Moscow was crushed by the army, taking about 1200 rebel lifes. Mutinous veterans were suppressed along the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Field court-martial was used to deal with terrorists and rural troublemakers. Pressure was added upon the press and the unions to attack the bases of radical politics. In 1908, the number of political assassinations had dropped to 365, showing the Tsar had effectively curbed his opponents and in doing so, securing his power. Hence, despite its unpopularity, the Tsar had managed to survive the 1905 Revolution. ...read more.

Conclusion

His personal image was greatly tainted by the Bloody Sunday incident. Through the incident, the masses lost their faith and respect for the Tsar, seeing that he was not the 'Little Father' they could depend on to alleviate their sufferings. Hence, his legitimacy to rule was greatly shaken. It was only with the reforms he grudgingly gave after the incident that helped to appease the people and allow him to stay in power. Now that his incompetence was getting increasingly obvious with the sufferings of his people, he was in a very vulnerable position. Hence, by 1914, Tsarism was not secured to a great extent. Social strife was continual. Political opposition remained strident and determined. The monarchy was ever more regarded as an oppressive and obsolescent institution that failed to cater to the people's needs. Although having recovered from the 1905 Revolution, the basic tensions in Russia had not been alleviated. Time had been bought for Tsarism but the Tsar failed to make use of this window of opportunity tro change his ways. Hence, this was a time of lost opportunity for Tsarism to redeem itself. All it needed was a trigger to set off the masses on Tsarism and this trigger came in the form of WWI in 1914. The fact that Tsarism was destroyed so fast when WWI came also gave a strong indication that it had been standing on shaky ground and was hence not secured. ...read more.

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