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What were the causes of the 1905 Revolution in Russia?

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Introduction

What were the causes of the 1905 Revolution in Russia? The 1905 Revolution was triggered by a peaceful march of workers that turned into a bloodbath after the Tsar's secret police (the Okhrana) panicked. This began the revolution, but it was only a trigger factor in the revolt. Tsar Nicholas II at that time led Russia. He was a monarch who had inherited the position from his father, Alexander, who as a leader had much more respect and control due to his ruthlessness. Nicholas wanted to emulate his father but could not. Although the Tsar allowed for a degree of power to be shared by his ministers, he was by and large a dictator. By January 1905, the majority of the Russian population had desired change for some time. The peasant classes (agricultural labourers) were treated like animals even though the economy was predominantly agrarian. The industrial workers (those who worked in factories and in mines), a growing part of the workforce, were also relied upon by the Tsar to provide a modern industrialised economy, yet they were treated poorly with unions being banned and working conditions in general being inadequate. ...read more.

Middle

would have distributed some power to the people, but Nicholas II believed that it would compromise his position as Tsar. This left a good number of the bourgeoisie resentful towards the Tsar. This situation was rather important in relation to the 1905 Revolution as it pushed the potential leaders of any opposition to the tsardom further away from compromise. Activity during the 1905 Revolution centred on industrial areas, such as the formation of Soviets to act as a worker's group. Was one of the causes of the revolution the actions of industrial workers? This is probably accurate. The industrial working class were a growing faction within Russia. The industrialisation programme that Russia was undertaking meant workers' numbers were rising rapidly, but they experienced hardship on a similar scale to the peasants. Working conditions were hard with workers often suffering from horrifying accidents in the workplace and having to work long hours for poor wages. And any form of union representation was forbidden as it posed a threat to the Tsar's power. Instead, underground political parties, such as the Social Democrats, formed whose goals were to gain power for the proletariat. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this had been the situation for centuries, so therefore one might assume that the peasants were not the driving force behind the revolution. Having said that, they still had some involvement in the uprising. National minorities were also a group who had good reason to revolt, but the revolution would probably have occurred without them. The centres of revolutionary fervour at the time were not areas that demanded autonomy, but the main cities of Russia- St Petersburg and Moscow. The main causes of the 1905 revolution were the intelligentsia and the industrial workers. It was the educated middle classes who wanted liberal reforms, which were not granted, and it was them who also presented leadership. Until then, there had been continual suppression of the workers and peasants because these groups had not been represented. However, this revolution could not have occurred without the presence in numbers that the industrial workers gave. This industrial labour force was also concentrated in urban areas, which allowed them to unite quickly when a revolution took place. The Russo-Japanese War was the catalyst which brought together different groups united in their opposition to Tsar Nicholas II as head of the failure of the Russian Armed Forces. ...read more.

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