Assess the reasons of the 1905 revolution in Russia
The build up to 1905
– The failure of Tsar??™s character- Tsar meant an autocratic country- led by one. Nicholas II??™s character was not built for this- ???shy??? man. Little training of the job. Avoided change even though Russia needed it. EXAMPLE: 1896 1300 people killed in the Tsar??™s coronation- the Tsar did nothing about it and carried on with the ceremony- out of touch with the people.
– PEOPLE DENIED BASIC FREEDOMS, for example freedom of press, speech.
All linked to the Tsar??™s autocratic state.
Middle classed liberals wanted more of a say in the way that Russia was run- wanted an elected assembly- felt they were being treated the same as everyone else. They also asked for this because of the way the government had acted with the war and economy- felt it was unnecessary and appalling. The main liberal party was the Kadets- supported by people like lawyers and doctors.
Octobrists found support amongst industrialists, businessmen and larger landowners. Called for the assembly, eventually to be the DUMA!
The soviets- Started striking on behalf of the industrial workers- wanted better working conditions, pay etc., maybe following suit, having seen the others doing it.
The SR??™s- Founded in 1901, and believed that the future of Russia was in agrarian socialism- adopted violence into their schemes, such as murdering officials and ministers- The Sr??™s gained considerable support and outnumbered the SD??™s, but didn??™t pose a serious threat, however did contribute greatly to the growing unrest between 1901-1904.
Behind the peasants.
Social Democrats (SD??™s)- Influenced heavily by Marxism. Split into two:
Lenin believed that a revolutionary party should be made up of:
– Small numbers
– Operate under a central leadership
– Have a system of small cells (3 people) to make it less easy for the police to infiltrate
Job of the party to bring socialist consciousness to the workers and lead them through a revolution. Critics warned this would lead to a dictatorship.
Support came mainly from the working class. Attracted more younger, more militant peasant workers who like discipline, firm leadership and simple slogans.
– The party should be broad and anybody should be able to join.
– Be more democratic and allow its members to have a say in policy making
– Encourage the trade unions to help the working class and improve conditions.
Believed that there would be a long period of Bourgeois democratic government during which the workers would develop a class and revolutionary consciousness until they were ready to take over in a socialist revolution.
The Mensheviks tended to attract different types of workers and members of the intelligentsia and a broader range of people- more non Russians, especially Jews and Georgians.
1) Poverty, need for more land, high taxes, redemption payments on land.
2) Suffered famines.
3) Increased peasant population- putting more pressure on the land. (LINKED TO THE SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARIES)
1) Long working hours, terrible working and living conditions.
2) Wanted more political power.
(LINKED TO THE SOVIETS)
THE WAR WITH JAPAN- The motives behind the war in Japan:
1) Expand in the Far East as they didn??™t have much influence in Russia.
2) Obtain an ice free port as most were iced over at some point of the year
3) Distract attention away from Russia??™s own problems- patriotic struggle.
Misjudged that Plehve (Interior Minister) was behind the driving force for the War- but Witte played a major part also- he wanted the economy to grow.
Russian government deliberately rejected Japanese proposals for the settlement of Korean question hoping that it would provoke a military response.
RUSSIA SEVERLY UNDERESTIMATED JAPAN- thought that it was still a backwards country, whereas it had turned itself around. Had reformed and was trying to modernise like the West.Japanese army were FAR BETTER EQUIPPED and BETTER PREPARED than the Russians and won a series of battles:
1) Port Arthur to Japan , Jan 1905.
2) Russian surrender of Mukden, Feb 1905.
3) Russian fleet destroyed at Tsushima, May 1905.
Reasons for defeat: UNDERSTIMATION OF JAPANESE STRENGTH.
INADEQUATE MILITARY PLANNING
POOR STRATEGY AND JAPANS READINESS, STRENGTH AND SKILL
This then linked back to the riots and protests that were occurring, as many saw the Russians as WEAK even though they had one of the largest armies. Failure for RUSSIA. People of Russia did not like it.
THE ECONOMY- Sergei Witte played a huge part in the economic side of Russia, however there were still some problems:
1) The peasants- Emancipation of the Serfs in 1861- amount of land owned by peasants trebled. This was partly funded by the Peasant Land Bank, which was set up in 1883 but mostly by peasants themselves. This meant:
– Most plots of land owned were smaller than before- few villagers could afford to expand because of the huge redemption payments which were crippling.
– Those who could afford were reluctant to take on new land as this then made them responsible for redemption payments; increased profits meant you would have to have a greater share of repayments.
– Apparent that freed serfs could not afford repayments. By 1875 arrears had reached 22% of the annual payments.
However Witte was very successful in getting the industrial revolution alive. He did many things to improve:
– Witte adopted the gold standard for the rouble in 1897 which meant a fixed exchange rate with currencies for both paper and gold- led to a vast increase in flow of foreign capital in Russia.
– State spenditure on railways rose to 275 million roubles- much went on the Trans- Siberian Railway- was needed to improve the trade system- Industry etc ( 25 factories were involved with making the track- state loans were available to start factories to provide materials) = BIG BOOST in helping businesses grow etc. BIG GOOD CIRCLE (
– From 1892 to 1914 50% of the investment in Russian industry came from foreign investment- largely from FRENCH, BRITISH, GERMAN AND BELGIAN banks= foreign interest and investment and technological expertise.
OVERALL VERY IMPRESSIVE- from 1891 to 1900 russian industrial capacity increased by 80%
Petrol increased by 450% and railways by 70%
IN AN INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. HOWEVER PROBLEMS AS WELL AS GOOD:
1) Private banks in Russia were weak-
2) State income was very unpredictable- direct taxes accounted for 7.5% in the 1890s
3) Made Russia too dependant on foreign investment and loans.
4) Paid no attention to Russia??™s agricultural needs- (80% of the people were peasants)
5) Under Witte??™s policies, urban workers and peasants were taxed heavily and were paid low wages.
6) Economic slump after 1902 led to high unemployment and social tension in towns.
7) Poor harvests in 1900 and 1902 led to starvation and violence in the countryside.
However it was very hard for Witte to succeed as he was a very hard man to get along with and made many enemies easily. In 1906, shortly after having managed to gain a big loan from France
Witte was forced to resign from government. Witte was never fully recognised for his talents, and he could have been the saviour in modernising Russia.
STRIKES ETC, Father Gapon, Bloody Sunday, 1905.
Lead up to the 1905 revolution:
REASONS FOR IN BRIEF
– Poor govt: repression, taxation, imcompetent leader.
– Social unrest- Economic Recession- Bad Harvests
– Peasants angry over the mortgage repayments- Emanicpation of the Serfs- 1861.#
– Worker??™s angry over unemployment and falling wage- Witte to blame Heavy taxes due to the loans from foreign investment, however he was trying to improve the economic situation- Industrial revolution
– Fail of a performance against Japan! Fall of Port Arthur, Jan 1905, taking over of town of Mukden, Feb 1905, Russian fleet destroyed, Tshushima, May 1905.
TRIGGER CAUSES ??“ WHAT HAPPENED ETC
Bloody Sunday- Father Georgi Gaopn attempted to lead a peaceful march of workers and their families to the winter palace in St Petersburg- intention was to present a petition to the Tsar begging him to use his powerful authority to relieve them of their suffering. HOWEVER, the marches induced panic in the police force and the marchers were charged on by cavalry- no exact figures but around 200 people were killed with many more injured. Even though the Tsar was not at the Winter Palace at the time, he was no longer seen as the protector of the Russian people – the ???little father???.
– Strikes spreading everywhere- The defeat by Japan made situations worse and the SR??™s assassinated Phleve. Public buildings in towns and large private estates in the country were attacked. Land and properties were seized by peasants who squatted in the landlord??™s houses. THE PEASANTS FEARED THAT THE GOVT WERE ABOUT TO REPOSSESS THE HOMES OF THOSE WHO WERE UNABLE TO PAY OFF THEIR MORTGAGES IN THE POST-EMANCIAPTION STAGE. This essentially encouraged the non-russian minorities to assert themselves. Georgia declared itself and independant state. Poles demanded a national self-govt. Jews pressed for equal rights.
– Terrorism against govt officials and landlords
January 1905- Revolution BEGINS- Bloody Sunday- Father Gapon- around 200 people killed with many more injured- including women and children.
May 1905- ???Union of Unions??? formed.
June 1905- The Potemkin mutiny- Summer of 1905 the crew of the battleship Prince Potemkin mutinied whilst at sea. The incident started as a protest by the sailors for having to live in such grim conditions- eating rotting food etc. The sailors elected a representative Peter Vakulenchuk to approach the captain- he ordered the man be shot instantaneously. This left the crew to retaliate essentially killing the officers and taking over the ship. However they were on there own with no-one to help them. To try and get support from land they sailed to Odessa where an anti-govt strike was taking place- strikers welcomed the sailors as if they were heroes and placed Vakulenchuks body on a platform to praise him. DEFIANT GESTURE OF SOLIDATRITY. Yet angered the authorities. Troops were ordered to disperse the crowds at the harbour- bayonets fixed the soldiers marched down the steps trampling on those who fell and driving hundreds into the sea- DEATH TOLL RAN INTO THOUSANDS. This then forced the crews to flee Odessa and they abandoned their ship at a Romanian port, hoping to find sanctuary in a deeper part of Russia. VERY UNSTABLE TIMES- could the Tsar rely on his troops/armed forces, especially as they were coming back from the Japanese War which had been a failure. Witte was needed to try and put all the pieces back together, ???peace terms??? with Japan etc.
Autumn 1905- Industrial unrest had grown into a strike. In most cities mosly recognised St Petersburg and Moscow workers formed themselves into an elected soviet. The Soviets began as organisations to represent the worker??™s demands for better conditions- their potential as bases for political agitation was immediately recognised by revolutionaries. Leon Trotsky (leading Menshevik) became chairmen of the St Petersburg Soviet and organiser of several strikes in the capita
The groups that led the revolution
??? The industrial workers
??? The peasantry
??? The reformist middle classes
Essentially the revolt was very broad-based that most revolutionaries had been awaiting. Yet, when it came to it it was more accidental than planned. Despite the efforts to make it poilitcal most of the strikes and demonstrations were economically based- been a reaction to industrial recession and bad harvests. It was the tsarists regime??™s ill-judged policies that turned the disturbances of 1905 into a direct challenge to its own authority.
SO THE REASONS FOR THE 1905 REVOLUTION IN RUSSIA WERE:
??? THE INADEQUATE LEADERSHIP SKILLS SHOWN BY THE TSAR.
??? THE FAILURE OF THE JAPANESE-RUSSIAN WAR
??? PEASANTS AND THE EMANCIPATION-MORTGAGE PROBLEMS- SUPPORTED BY THE SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARIES- THE PEOPLE??™S WILL-TERRORISM. BAD HARVESTS 1900 AND 1902.
??? THE INDUSTRIAL WORKERS WANTING BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS- SOVIETS SET UP AUTUMN 1905.
??? ECONOMIC SLUMP 1902-HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT- HOWEVER WITTE WAS TRYING TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.
??? TRIGGER FROM BLOODY SUNDAY- CAUSED EVEN MORE STRIKES- 200 PEOPLE KILLED ETC.
??? THE POTEMKIN MUNITY- THOUSANDS KILLED.
??? RISING OF THE SOVIET STRIKES FOR MORE FOOD- HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT! OVERCROWDING IN THE CITIES DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE MIGRATING FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE! HAVING TO PAY HEAVY TAXES DUE TO THE POLICIES MADE BY WITTE- LOANS AND INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD BOUGHT INVALUABLE PRIVILEDGES, BUT MEANT THE PEASANTS AND WORKERS WOULD HAVE TO SUFFER WITH HIGH TAXES!!
EQUALS A REVOLUTION!!!
What did the Tsar do to try and stop the revolutions
??? The October Manifesto: the following concessions were granted:
1. The creation of a legislative Duma- (a parliament with law making powers)
2. Freedom of speech, assembly and worship.
3. The right of political parties to exist.
4. The legalising of trade unions.
EQUALS very satisfied liberals- gained what they wanted- were going to be given more power via the DUMA!
??? November an announcement was made that mortgage payments were to be reduced progressively and eventually abolished altogether= an IMMEDIATE stop in land seizures by peasants and a decline in the lawlessness in the countryside.
??? Industrial workers- the government felt strong enough to crush the Soviets, with the loyal backing from the soldiers returning from Japan. After a five day siege the headquarters of St Petersburg Soviet were stormed and the ringleaders captured (including Trotsky) and arrested.
The revolutionaries played a minor part in the revolution- Trotsky the only SD present.
The Tsardom came out of the revolution stronger than weaker.
The peasants and liberals quickly accepted the Tsars bribes.
None of the parties were ready for a revolution.
As long as the Tsarist govt was able to keep its nerve and the army remain loyal then protesters would find it very hard to be a serious threat.
The Russian economy- 1903-1914
Peter Stolypin appointed president of the council of ministers- july 1906.
He was dedicated to strengthen the Tsardom- needed to sort out the peasants. Decided on the ???wager on the strong???. Farmers were encouraged to replace their land with fenced fields, as the strip system was proving to be inefficient- was done in western Europe and proven very successful- so a special land bank was set up to provide funds so that the peasant could buy the land-
Stolypins intentions were to create a layer of prosperous, productive peasants whose wealth would turn them into natural supporters of the TSARIST SYSTEM.
Why was the Tsar able to survive the 1905 revolution
??? The aim of the revolutionaries- didn??™t plan to overthrow the tsar or his government.
??? The rebels were politically and socially divided and the liberals and peasants readily accepted government bribes.
??? Nicholas lost none of his power and came out stronger after the revolution.
??? Mutinies in the armed forces failed to spread (the Potemkin) and forces rallied in defence of the Tsar.
??? Events of 1905 were very violent and threatening.
??? Nicholas made concessions such as letting the liberals have power in the sense of the duma and the fundamental laws and the October manifestoooo!
??? Nicholas image was DAMAGED.
??? Plehve assassinated and Witte fell from office. Uh oh (
So Nicholas was able to keep power because he had the armed forces behind him, revolution was not yet ready/needed, everyones needs were different, liberals more power, peasants- emancipation of serfs- 1861- mortgages, and then they even accepted bribes. Nicholas was able to recover himself quickly too- October manifesto listed that the Duma could be set up, free rights and speech for people etc. He was also quick to publish the Fundamental Laws, which declared that he still had ultimate power. SO HE CAME OUT STRONGER THAN EVER!
Causes of 1905
1917- was the war the main cause
??? The Dumas- had been made up of four main ones- first by reformist parties, second by revolutionaries and right-wing parties-clash, third duma- elections were rigged by Stolypin to produce more co-operative deputies from moderate parties, finally FOURTH DUMA- DOMINATED BY RIGHT RING PARTIES- SOCIAL REFORM CONTINUED, BUT WOULD CRITICISE GOVT
??? Inflation- value of money sharply declined, creating instability and high prices- government spending rose from 4 million to 30 million roubles and heavy taxation took place at home. The gold standard was abandoned meaning more notes could be put into circulation- long term it made money practically worthless- resulted in severe inflation which meant that wages doubled put the price of fuel and food quadrupled 1916!
??? Food supplies were evidently short- horses were called up to be used by the army making it harder for food to be produced on the farms- not until 1916 when it began to fall apart- was increased by the fact the army had unlimited usage of the roads- food supplies could not be easily supplied to everyone especially in remote areas. Petrograd suffered particularly badly because they were in such a remote place and because of the population growth.
??? Transport system broke down due to the stresses of war- the attempt to transport millions of troops and masses of supplies to the war fronts created unbearable pressures- by 1916 575 stations were no longer capable of handling freight.
??? The army- fought well but were undermined by the lack of supplies and and poor organisation- lack of equipment for soldiers- lack of liason and administration between the govt and departments responsible for supplies.
??? Role of the tsar- Nicholas II??™s fateful decision to become commander in chief made survival of tsardom dependant on military success.
??? Morale- was high to begin with but gradually began to decline- loads of casualties on the front line and declining supplies at home.
Strikes were imminent: began on the 18th February by the workers of the putilov steel works- strikes due to the rumours that there were to be bread ration cuts. Many flocked to the streets including women supporting the rights for women on ???international women??™s day???- only significant because it shows the weakness at the heart of the government- no authorities were able to bring the strikes to an end- even those in the police force were quick to join in with the protests leaving no-one to defend the country- Tsar by himself unlike that of 1905- Tsar being turned on by those who were once closest supporters of himself.
ANOTHER FACTOR- lost support from the soliders authorities- as seen before- lots of soldiers had started to desert due to the lack of morale and the little equipment they had been supplied with- General Khabalov called on the garrison to retain order in in Petrograd but were only met with the opposite reaction- 26th February 150,000 people had deserted the army- showed the support was really not there for the tsar- vulnerable position- most were away fighting for the tsar in the war, and those left were leaving him- no-one to help crush the revolts- were imminent for the Tsar??™s surivial- therefore waar was most important without the war- troops would be at home- would still be morale etc.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR MAYBE THE ROLE OF THE TSAR- promised change in the 1905 october manifesto- quickly backed up by the fundamental laws which stated that he would always have ultimate power- little change did actually occur even though he promised it- his image was truly damaged from 1905-
The tsar went off to war- made himself the general- poor organisational skills etc- and went to Mugilov- 400 miles away! Left Rasputin and the Tsarina in charge- 1915- very unpopular with the Russian public- tsarina was german- wasn??™t seen as the leader of a RUSSIAN nation! Rasputin- ladys man- wasn??™t one to run a country!
Tsar and the dissolution of the Duma- thought it best to get rid of it because the Tsar said it was best to focus on the war- met with resistance by the members, who came to form the ???progressive bloc???.- Alexander Kerensky- a member of the progressive bloc called for the Tsar to stand out- ultimate action if defiance! People were standing up against him! Therefore the tsar was seen to be very stubborn and disregarded people- ignored peoples views- dissolution of the Duma- left the country in charge with hugely unpopular people- went ahead with the fundamental laws- really wasn??™t interested in the state of the country but his own affairs- Fact was he was hugely imcompetent with everything he did- how could he run a country War was a shambles, policies were shambles, wife was ashambles, he was a shambles! Ahhhh!
Petrograd- one small place yet had a huge impact, where all the strikes were held- one little place could hold such a big difference, No other places were rebelling- could so have easily joined!
THEREFORE, the war was probably the main factor because:
??? Heavy inflation- this led to the risings in the towns, because they thought their bread supplies were going to be cut off- 18th February- followed by women wanting to help- ???international women??™s day???
??? Morale was extremely low- led to soldiers deserting- around 150,000 had deserted by June- didn??™t want to support the Tsar. General Khabalov ordered for the garrison to hold back Petrograd ( but the police force were on their side! No-one was confident!- the tsar relied so heavily on them to squash any defiance!
??? The provisional bloc- duma was disollutionised- called for it during the war- everyone to work together= ministers refused so formed the provisional bloc- Alexander Kerensky asked for him to stand down- BIG SHOW OF POWER! ??“ 2nd most important!
??? Bolsheviks weren??™t involved- most in hiding- Lenin returned in 1917!