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Russian Revolution 1905


Submitted By taylorjo8
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The Russia -Japanese war was a key reason into why revolution broke out in 1905 Plehve was reputed to have said that a “short victorious war to avert a revolution” Russia lost several battles producing an amount of 107,000 Russian troops lost. Also the Russian Baltic Fleet, which had sailed half-way round the world to assist their failing army, was completely destroyed by Japanese Ships as it entered the Straits of Tsushima. By this time the Japanese were exhausted and the Russians were almost in Revolution so they signed the Treaty of Portsmouth. The war meant that taxes and therefore prices rose this caused great discomfort and anger among the Russian people. The army was punished for its humiliating defeat and enforced strict disciplinary action. But the Damage had been done to Russia, Revolution was almost upon them.
Russia’s population was overwhelmingly peasant. Before the Emancipation of Serfs by Alexander II, peasants were tied to the land they tended so they couldn’t migrate and depopulate Russia. After they had been emancipated the peasants had to buy their land and spend almost the rest of their lives paying back redemption payments. The peasants first struck back at the Government by attacking their Landlords property. Some groups of peasants went as far as to chase down and kill their landlords and burn the property. These attacks were triggered by the spreading of terrorist acts from the towns and cities to the countryside. These attacks continued throughout 1904 and 1905 until they started to decline in 1906. Throughout the whole of 1904 –1907 these peasants had been seizing land for their own. When the Tsar lifted Redemption payments for them the peasants decided that he had also offered them land and tried to take it. But they were mistaken and quickly subdued.
The Urban Workforce in Russia had been unhappy for many years about the working and living conditions they had to put up with. These normally made up most of the numbers I strikes and rallies even though it was the middle classes that really held any power in demonstrations. In 1904 a major strike broke out in the Putilov Arms Works as all the workers went on strike. This strike spread and soon by Jan the following year there was 120,000 people involved in this strike from different businesses. After Bloody Sunday which was led by father Gapon, 400,000 workers went on strike as protest to the way the Tsar had handled the situation. This Strike was organised by Trotsky. The Urban Workforce striked throughout 1904 – 1907. Although there was a decline in the amount of strikes in 1906 and the creation of Trade Unions, only 40,000 workers were in Trade Unions by 1907. This was because the Tsar closed down many Trade Unions on technical terms.
The Middle Classes were only unhappy with the lack of control they had over how the country was run. They wanted to create a democratic government so they could vote. In 1904 the Zemsvo called for constitution. So the Tsar shared his power which caused the “Banqueting Campaign”. When the Middle classes were in the march with the other Demonstrators, the Tsar compromised with them by giving them the first Duma.
The first Duma was dissolved by the Tsar after it asked for too much reform. The Tsar didn’t like what it was asking him to do, he felt he would be giving up too much power if he gave into their demands. The Tsar could not give in to demands without agreeing to political reforms this meant that riots and revolution were the only option.
In Conclusion, the “Revolution” of 1905 was not a revolution in the true sense of the word. The definition of Revolution is: A fundamental change in a government. That happened to a certain degree. It is true that there was a change in government policies but the actual government didnt change. It continued to work the same way it did before. Therefore It wasn’t very successful, although it did force the Tsar to relinquish some of his power to the people.

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