Causes of the collapse of the Romanov dynasty 1894-1917

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  • Causes of the collapse of the Romanov dynasty 1894-1917
    • Failure to reform (political)
    • Opposition groups
      • Liberals
        • Had limited political influence before 1905
          • Contributed to the momentum of that was building up within the country for political change
            • Were the main beneficiaries of the revolution in that year when one of their aims was achieved
              • A representative national body, the state Duma, was established
      • Socialist Revolutionaries (1901)
        • Tried to stir up discontent in the countryside and strikes in towns, and to disrupt Gov by political assassinations
          • Carried out 2000 political assassinations between 1901 and 1905
            • Stolypin in 1911
        • Secret police foiled some activities and was successful in infiltrating the movement
          • Some 4579 SRs were sentenced to death between 1905 and 1909, and 2365 were actually executed
      • Industrial 'take-off' helped make Marxist theories more attractive to Russian intellectuals from the late 1890s
      • Social Democratic Workers' Party (1898)
        • 1898 --> First Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party of the Soviet Union was held in Minsk
          • Produced a manifesto which asserted that the working classes had been, and were being exploited by their masters and that the future of Russia would be the product of class struggle
        • Revival in Bol fortunes in 1912-1914, when they succeeded in taking over many legal labour institutions in both St.P and Moscow from the Mensheviks
          • Gained 6 workers' deputies in elections to the 4th Duma
          • Newspaper, Pravda, was launched in April 1912 and enjoyed much higher circulation than the Menshevik's Luch
          • But support for Bols ideals was limited
            • Had been helped in the 4th Duma elections by a SR boycott
            • Enjoyed no success with the army or navy
      • Industrial depression from 1907, lack of finance and a shortage of secret printing presses made organisation difficult and non of the exiled leaders exercised effective control over their parties within Russia
      • Trade Unions
        • State continued to fear independent working-class activity and, in particular the potential for revolutionaries to work through trade unions
          • 497 closed down and 604 denied registration between 1906 and 1910
        • Legalised after the 1905 revolution
        • Activity confined to St. P and the surrounding area where 3/4 of strikes took place; half in metal trades
      • SRs and SDs weakened by the exile of their leaders after 1905, as well as the damaging ideological split within the SD
    • Military failures
      • WW1
        • Made himself commander-in-chief of the army in 1915, which caused him to leave Petrograd
          • His chosen ministers and 'court' (led by Alexandra and Rasputin) took more control over the war effort, and resisted demands from the Duma's centralist/liberal' parties for more workers' rights and the release of political prisoners
            • The apparent domination of Alexandra (partly German) and Rasputin (noted for his scandalous sexual and alcoholic behaviour) reduced the prestige of the Tsarist system in the eyes of many
        • The Tsar's decision to go to war was initially popular; 6 million men enlisted
          • Spirit of national solidarity dampened when military failures at the start of the war led to its prolongation
            • By mid-1915, all of Russian 'Poland' had fallen to the Germans, who advanced 250 miles into Russia's territory
            • Battle of Tannenburg in East Prussia, which left 300,000 dead or wounded in August 1914
      • Russo-Japanese War 1904-05
        • Pointed out major flaw in military system
          • Navy (Tsushima 2nd October 1904)
            • Battle lasted a day during which the entire Russian baltic fleet was lost at the expense of 3 Japanese torpedo boats
    • Social and economic


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