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Was life improving for most Russian people before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914? Discuss.

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Was life improving for most Russian people before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914? Discuss The 1905 "revolution" was a massive wake up call for The Tsar and his government but he didn't react quite the way some people wanted. Tsar Nicholas II could have gone two ways: He could think himself lucky to have survived the revolt and drastically reform government policies or regain total autocratic power. Unfortunately he chose the latter. In his first repressive step to reaffirming his absolute rule, The Tsar appointed Stolypin to replace Goremykin as Prime minister. Stolypin was notorious for being heavy handed but an excellent right wing leader, the Kaiser Wilhelm once asked the Tsar if he could lend him Stolypin for a few years! In 1906 a lot of the violent disturbances a ceased in the cities but had carried on in the countryside but Stolypin soon changed that. He set up military courts that had the power to hang people on the spot without trial and thousands of people were killed by this method, which was known as 'Stolypin's necktie'. ...read more.


The first Duma met and was dissolved in the same year and in 1907 the second Duma met and was dissolved the same year. The 1905 revolution changed things but not for the better. It only brought about more persecution and repressive policies. Stolypin's Agrarian reforms were seen by many as the first step towards a changing empire. In the November of 1906 the prime minister introduced the Agrarian reform, which involved the abolition of redemption payments for allotment land and the setting up of the peasants bank which its main purpose was to provide loans to the peasants. This was one of the governments more progressive policies and it actually did work quite well. Some peasants moved to urban areas leading the way forward for wealthier peasants to buy and farm more land, as a result of this there was a record harvest in 1913. However the poorer peasants were forced to leave their land and look for work elsewhere in the countryside or in the cities. So Stolypin's land reform had mixed blessings, it helped the richer peasants but only persecuted the poorer even more. ...read more.


This harsh defeat of the Lena Goldfields strike only opened the floodgates for even more workers protests. The aspect of the Empire that improved the most was the agricultural side of Russia which was vastly improved by Stolypin's reforms however, the reforms meant that very poor peasants were forced to find work elsewhere. The Agrarian reform made life better for some people and if it weren't for the 1914 war there would have been a more productive side to Russian agriculture. The Duma's were as near as the Tsar got to Democracy and they were in the Tsars words supposed to "advise" him and not give him orders. The workers wages were lower than the glum days of 1903. Anguish was at an all time high and the only people benefiting were a few of the successful farmers, the gentry and urban landowners. On the whole, life was better before the 1905 revolution because the up rise only pushed the tsar in to a corner and it made him realise that he needed to regain autocratic power so it wouldn't happen again. Well he certainly regained his power! ...read more.

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