• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was 1905 a Revolution?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Was 1905 a Revolution? "These days we call anything a revolution..."1 To decide whether or not any event is a revolution I must first set some parameters to define my personal idea of what a revolution is. I believe a revolution to be a radical change of anything, not just political. I believe this as from history labelling the Renaissance as a revolution, yet it lacked political change. In my opinion hindsight is very important to whether or not something is a revolution. I think you can only decide if something was revolutionary if you can see its consequences. I do not think revolutionary thought is essential to whether or not an event is a revolution. To discover whether or not 1905 was a revolution I will have to study what happened, what people wanted to happen and the outcome. Any revolution has to be precipitated by political, social or economic problems. All of these were present in 1905. General unrest had been felt throughout Russia for years socially, politically and economically. 1904 saw workers working eleven-hour days and the rise in prices of essential goods forced a twenty- percent drop in wages creating strong social unrest in the proletariat working classes. Consequently, men were laid off sparking Father Gapon, a priest who predominately preached in the workers areas of St. Petersburg, to march on the Winter Palace. This peaceful protest ended in bloody massacre when the Tsar did not prevent the guards from firing on the crowd. ...read more.

Middle

They did also achieve a Duma allowing more control to the people and significant to the people as it looked as if everything was slowly changing. It is debatable whether or not they achieved enough through the manifesto and Working Class activists through the Mensheviks believed the Tsar was hoodwinking the working class. Others believed it was definitely the way forward such as the liberal Octobrists, taking their name from the manifesto. The middle class and the students represented the intelligentsia of Russia. They generally wanted more political freedoms, to voice liberal ideas and the students wanted university autonomy. They struck out by the use of Zemtvos and achieved even more voice when the radical union of union's was formed and their liberal views could be heard in the public eye. The students achieved university autonomy in August 1905 and the universities became very important centres of revolutionary thought. Lenin believed the bourgeois liberals to have "political naivety"5 and incapable of revolution but I believe that the group probably harboured the most realist and democratic solution of a constituent assembly. Maybe if they had of had the leadership of someone such as Lenin, a powerful and driving force, they may of achieved a carefully planned political revolution through gradual reform. They wanted to be like the international middle classes, they were "increasingly assimilating the culture of the rest of the world"6; unrest at the fact industry was modernising at a rate that did not allow for the social evolution of the country to keep up. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion I believe 1905 was not a revolution. There was definite revolutionary thought present, yet the revolutionary acts of strikes and protests were fragmented and without co-ordination between classes. A revolution had to consequent in something solid and this was definitely not true in Russia where the Tsar gave false power to a people who all took the bait, but for the Menshevik Social Democrats, and fell into the Tsars trap until 1917. I will concede that in hindsight we can see 1905 was important in what has been called part of a 'perpetual revolution' and I believe that Lenin was right when he said 1905 was "the great dress rehearsal"8. 1905 allowed the revolutionary groups such as the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks to learn what to do in 1917 and what to avoid, people could gain experience from their parts played in 1905.1905 was just a preliminary for the real thing. In the future there had to be less fragmentation through the classes, as the liberal bourgeoisie were the key class that seemed to shy away from revolution and aiding the working class with their higher education. A throne would topple a with a lot more ease when pushed from one point rather than everyone pushing from different directions as people would counteract each other; this was what happened in 1905. 1 A PEOPLE'S TRADGEDY - Orlando Figes 2 LATE IMPERIAL RUSSIA 1890-1917 - John F. Hutchinson 3 LATE IMPERIAL RUSSIA 1890-1917 - John F. Hutchinson 4 THE PEASENT RIOTS essay - Leon Trotsky 5 REACTION AND REVOLUTIONS: RUSSIA 1881- 1924 - Michael Lynch 6 OPEN ADDRESS TO THE TSAR - Leo Tolstoy 7 Peter Struve, Marxist 8 QUOTE - Lenin Dave Bawden ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Russia, USSR 1905-1941 essays

  1. Stalin Man or Monster

    This is a prime example of how Stalin was corrupted by his power. The source attempts to justify Stalin's actions and claims that 'the terror was necessary, not only to keep men obedient, but even more to make them believe in him.'

  2. Stalin man or monster

    Fact written by supporter "two days ago reinforces the fact the writer doesn't know Stalin too much and refers to Stalin in the first person using words such as "I" which are personal words based on personal opinions. (4) Study Sources G and H.

  1. The blance sheet for russia.

    The complete impotence of the Kerensky regime was not accidental. It reflected the reactionary character of the Russian bourgeoisie. The capitalist class of Russia was a very weak class, tied hand and foot to the landlords, and subordinate to world imperialism.

  2. Assess the idea that is the ideologies, which emerge from the French revolution, rather ...

    Napoleon and Wellington had long rival enemies, but yet again Napoleon was defeated. "Napoleonic rule would bring it's own problems and contradictions, but it endured because it began by resolving others that had torn the country apart for more than a decade".

  1. To what extent was the storming of the Bastille the most significant event of ...

    they had trapped off, which resulted in the storming of the Bastille. Interestingly for such a recognised event only six prisoners were taken and around a hundred men killed. It can be said therefore that the storming of the Bastille was merely a symbol, which reflected the unsettled disposition of

  2. Find out the real cause of the French Revolution

    Just before the French Revolution was initiated, France had sent troops and supplies to aid the American revolutionaries, fighting against the Great Britain. The ideas of the American constitution, which eventually led to the American War of Independence were published in France and discussed among the intellectuals.4 Many regarded America

  1. Tsar's Russia & revolution, Hitler's rise to power revison notes.

    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk The Bolsheviks wanted peace so they set up a treaty with Germany. They called an armistice with Germany hoping that it too would undergo a communist reolution but it never happened. German were advancing so Russia agreed to harsh terms of Brest-Litovsk (place were treaty was signed)

  2. Running head: IMPERIAL MANIFESTO ON POLAND

    He was the younger brother of Alexandar I and after Alexandar's death he succeeded the throne and became the next Tsar of Russia. Unlike his brother, he did not want to rule with an intellectual and spiritual mind. As noted, "he saw his role simply as one paternal autocrat ruling his people by whatever means were necessary."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work