Long term and short causes of the Russian Revolution of 1905.

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Gaurav Mishra        History        11th September 2008

Long term and short causes of the Russian Revolution of 1905.

The Russian revolution of 1905 was the product of more than a century of discontent shown by the Russian people (). The revolution was a burst of anger bottled up by the people of Russia for over 50 years, starting with the rule of Alexander the II.  I believe, all three Tsars’ - Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II were the cause of the 1905 revolution.

        Alexander III was known to history as a liberal autocrat. He came to power only a year after the Crimean war, in which Great Britain, France, the kingdom of Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire defeated Russia.  This highlighted the backwardness of the Russian Empire; hence, Alexander II started liberal reforms all over Russia. The most important of those reforms was emancipation of the serfs – Alexander II thought he gave freedom to the Serfs (slaves). Although in reality, many of the serfs were upset because they could not longer share their land, or graze their animals on the same land. They didn’t like it because they had to pay money to the government. Another reform that wasn’t popular with the Russian people was the creation of the Zemstva. This is because they did not have enough power to do anything significant.

        Alexander III was known to history as a reactionary and conservative ruler. He had many counter reforms. He re-instated the autocracy rule in Russia. Many new laws were set, for example, working class and peasant’s children could not go to secondary school. Something to take in consideration, most of Russia’s population are peasants. The Tsar did not take in action what the people of Russia wanted rather then what he wanted. Russia was an empire and had citizens from Eastern Europe to central Asia. The Tsar wanted a large-scale Russification; this caused problems because people were meant to learn Russian and a lot of the population spoke a different language. Anti-Semitism was a policy in the government.

        Nicholas II reign caused fast growth in the industrial section. Although this came in a price, many workers still had very bad living conditions, usually working 15 hours a day. Even though it was illegal, workers organized strikes and a little of that bottled up anger leaked into the air. The strikes main aim was to making working conditions better but in later years, their aims changed to over-throwing the government.

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When it think of the causes of the Russian revolution of 1905, I imagine that a room is filled with gunpowder, the gunpowder is a metaphor for the three czar’s and the match that blew the whole thing up is the short causes like the Russo-Japanese war and Bloody Sunday.

The Russo-Japanese (1904 – 1905) war was over Manchuria located in china. Russia though Japan was a third world country and could be easily defeated. Russia wanted to make a railway through Manchuria so they could have a ice-free port.  Japan wanted it because it was small and ...

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