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

Why was there a revolution in Russia in 1905?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why was there a revolution in Russia in 1905? Imperial Russia was a vast land, divided geographically but also riven politically, socially, ethnically, religiously and economically. Russia was an autocratic state. The political and constitutional power was centralised in the Tsar. In 1832 Tsar Nicholas I published a compilation, the Collected Laws of the Russian Empire which summarised the political system of Imperial Russia. It stated: 'The Emperor of all the Russians is an autocratic and unlimited monarch; God himself ordains that all must bow to his supreme power, not only out of fear but also out of conscience.' It is not surprising then that Russia was governed ruthlessly by successive Tsars and that Russia was a deeply divided society and each of the frustrated elements within it - the peasants, the industrial working class, the minorities and political extremists - all had different aspirations. The great bulk of the Russian people were peasants. By the Edict of Emancipation of 1861, Alexander II had ended the system by which peasants were owned by landlords and had no land of their own. The Edict freed them from serfdom and provided them with some land, but this land was generally poor and overcrowded. ...read more.

Middle

While this caused few problems in the 'home' provinces, in the more distant and outlying provinces, some of which were relatively recent additions to the Empire, these attempts led to opposition and discontent. Russification in Poland, for example, caused a huge outbreak of nationalism. This Polish nationalism proved to be a great rallying force that cut through political barriers in Poland. Groups like the 'Proletariat' and the 'National League' were determined to oppose Russian domination. Workers and peasants were the main reason for political opposition, as they were demanding rights and representation. The 'Social Revolutionaries' appointed themselves as aids to the vast peasantry of the Russian Empire. They were established in 1901, a follow on from 'The Populist movement' and concentrated on advocating terrorism as a means of achieving their objectives. The 'Social Democrats' were few in number and in 1903 split in two (the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks). They aided the working class and based their arguments on the principles of Marx. The Liberals also posed a political threat to the Tsar, they were made up of intellectuals and had a chain of business and family links. They expressed the need for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly etc. They managed to deliver their opinions through the Union of Unions in May 1905. ...read more.

Conclusion

This event caused a nationwide outbreak of disorder and with what followed many acts of terrorism and violence along with numerous strikes. These incidents were made worse by Russia's humiliating defeat against Japan. Further peasant dissatisfaction was caused by the governments attempt to seize their property due to failure to pay off mortgages, thus leading to thousands of peasant petitions and calls for reform. Many heard these calls and groups like the 'Union of Unions' (set up in May 1905) organised an alliance between themselves, workers and peasants. Non-Russians started to lift their heads and realised that the time was ripe for them to live their dreams and desires. They longed for the destruction of the Tsarist system. In conclusion there were various reasons as to why a revolution occurred in 1905: long term dissatisfaction by many classes: the peasants, industrial working class, minorities and political extremists; they all added to the build up of negative views and attitudes to the Tsarist regime. It was inevitable there would be a revolution, but it specifically occurred in 1905 due to factors such as the assassination of Plehve, 'Bloody Sunday' and political rivalry (e.g. 'Union of Unions' and the 'Paris Bloc'). Robert McEwan ...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. To what extent was the storming of the Bastille the most significant event of ...

    the widespread reaction to the Bastille was already in motion, thus the people paid little heed to the King. The peasants viewed the Bastille as an excuse to storm landowners and seize grain, intensified by a fear - most likely groundless in retrospect - that the king might attempt to burn it and thus starve the peasants into submission.

  2. 'THE TSARIST REGIME WAS SECURE BY 1905'

    This proved too much for the peasants and they had enough. Russia's population in 1900 was about 120 million; at least eighty percent were peasants, so they formed a big unhappy majority. Some peasants wanted land to be divided out fairly and taken off the middle class.

  1. Why was the Tsarist regime able to survive the revolution of 1905?

    He in fact did this twice in one year and he also made reforms within the October manifesto which meant the Dumas were filled with his own aristocratic supporters. The fundamental laws were the way out for the Tsar and he managed to reverse everything which had been set out

  2. Factsheet on imperial russia

    Tsar Nicholas II was very conservative; he believed that God had put him as Tsar. Some of the people didn't believe that Tsar Nicholas II was put there by God; therefore true Russian people were not as devoted to Tsar Nicholas II as he felt he was to them.

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

    War Communism 1] All factories with 10+ workers taken over by Gov. 2] all workers under gov. control. Death penalty for strikers, unemployed made to work 3] Private Trading banned, Peasants give extra food to Gov. 4] Government allowed Inflation - abolished rents, railway fares and postal charges 5] Food was rationed.

  2. Why was there a revolution in Russia in 1905

    Since landlords could not, or would not, pay labourers and since the peasants could not afford land themselves, almost a quarter of the previously cultivated area fell into disuse. The rapidly increasing population put great pressure of existing resources of food, especially in times of bad harvest.

  1. Both Russian Revolutions stemmed from Russians' dissatisfaction with the Tsarist government's ineptitude

    The spark that turned dissatisfaction to action was the Russo-Japanese war, in which the Russian Army was easily and embarrassingly defeated by an upstart Asian power. Following the defeat of Russian Army at Mukden, hundreds of thousands of St. Petersburg citizens marched to present the Tsar with a petition, thus beginning the revolution of 1905.

  2. 'Only Alexander II's policies made significant progress in avoiding revolution in Russia.' How valid ...

    government Alexander II did not make significant progress in avoiding a revolution, his reforms angering the Slavophiles and encouraging revolutionaries that a revolution was possible. It seems the conclusion of events has to be that if Alexander had made no changes to the system when he came into power, serfdom,

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