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How effective were the reforms made during the period of 1905 to 1914? Paper

During this period of nine years, many people had the power to make reforms in which would change the country for the better. With the combination of the Tsar, Stolypin and the four Duma’s appointed, none of these were successful in setting up an effective reform, as none of them were either not given much of a chance or they required to long of a period to settle in to a make a difference, which would benefit the country.

After the devastating actions of Bloody Sunday, the tsar had been given two choices, which was to repress or reform. To stay in control, he had chose to reform, as he thought that he could control the situation by creating useful reforms. He had started of with the October Manifesto, a legislation which consisted of a number of points, one of which were that, the all mighty tsar gave the people of Russia freedom of speech, religion and assembly along with freedom of organisation. It also had promised an elected assembly, very much like the Houses Of Parliament, though this had been given the name of the Duma. The last aspect of the legislation was that all redemption fees’ to be paid would now be cancelled. The reform on paper look’s quite successful and effective due to that it applied to all classes in the Russian ranking. Though the picture that people fail to see is that it did not really have much of an effect or an achievable outcome, or as Trotsky put it “… was a whip wrapped in parchment of a constitution.” This reform proved to be so ineffective due to the fact that it had clearly contradicted itself and was proved by the actions of Stolypin when he had organised the arrest of the members of the St Petersburg, in the following month after the reform was made. It was also ineffective due to the fact that it had now given many minor groups the freedom to talk against the tsar, which could have proved costly for him-self.

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The reform also is known for its weakness because of the Duma. The fact that it was promised to the people was fulfilled, however after four tries was a duma there for a long period. Even though it was there, they were put into strict limitations for what they were able to do. For instance, they were stopped passing religious laws related to toleration. Therefore, in that sense the idea of introducing a duma, the lower house of the assembly, was not really an effective reform for they were not given much of a say in how the country should be run. Though obviously the duma are not to blame for this due to the limitations that they had by the tsar. The last intention of the October manifesto was to cancel the redemption fees. Tsar knew that there was only a short period left to pay these fees of, therefore he decided to end them. This was a pointless and unmeaning reform due to the fact that the fee’s for the land that was introduced in 1855 and mostly the entire amount had been paid off. The Manifesto failed as an attempt of an effective reform because not enough time had gone into the planning of the manifesto and it was made up of contradictions, which had made the whole reform meaningless.

In 1906, when Stolypin arrived in May as Minister of Interior and later in July became President of Council of Minister his main aims and goals were to improve the efficiency of the tsarism through conservative reforms. He had created a number of reforms because he realised that the only way to keep peace was make the critical reforms. He had addressed most of his reforms towards the peasantry as he thought that the main deal of unrest was due to them and how they were mistreated. He had aimed to resolve these problems by attempting to make changes, which he assumed the peasantry would appreciate. He had started of by dissolving the mirs that had redistributed land since 1861, giving the peasants the right to withdraw themselves from the mirs. Though in result he failed considerably due to his incapability to see that the peasantry had actually liked the mirs because they supported them plus it kept the families together. This had turned out to be an utter failure. Agriculture policy statistics + quotes.

Though his reforms were not all unsuccessful, his idea of consolidating the land was a worthy reform for it gave good amounts of land to the peasantry so they can grow better crop’s and sell them for a better price, however the effectiveness of that can be questioned due to only 10% of Russia’s huge population only receiving this. Therefore, after balancing it out, this reform also proved to be ineffectual due to only a minor fraction of the country benefiting from this. Stolypin had also made other reforms which also failed to help Russia, though the reason for which they had gone through this path was that they required 20 years to settle in and make a difference, and this was too long of a period, in addition the interruption of the war would have also influenced this reforms turning out to a unsuccessful one.

In 1905 there had been an effective reform introduced, which was related to the issue of education. This probably had been the only effective reform due to that fact this was the first attempt to educate the lower society. He had done this by investing 19 million roubles, 1.8% of the budget. He had performed this piece of action again in 1914, though investing fours times as much, 76 million roubles, which was 4.2% of the budget. This was the only effective reform that the tsar had come up with in the nine years. However, a vital issue that he failed to see was that the people that he had educated might have later developed a brain and therefore could have questioned him.

All the reforms in the nine year period had turned out to be a utter failure and totally ineffective due to that fact that they were all not properly planned out. In the following years the reform proved to be a letdown as the reforms turned out to be one of the main factors why there had been a revolution in 1917.

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