Challenges to the Tsarist State: Detailed revision notes

Edexcel AS History

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Alexander II: (1855-1881)
Trial by jury ­ ensured fair trials
Emancipation act ­ peasants no longer serfs, freed from land owner, had to pay redemption
Zemstva (elected council) ­ local elected councils, dealt with local matters
Justices of the peace ­ local officials to keep law and order
Raised the pay of judges (prevent corruption)
Alexander III: (1881-1894)
Land captains ­ prevented fair trials, replaced justices of the peace, severe punishments
Restricted the franchise ­ stopped peasants from voting
Raised uni fees ­ only wealthy could attend
Statute of state security ­ could arrest and put opponents on trial without jury, government
controlled courts
Nicholas II: (1894-1917)
Believed in an absolute monarchy
Supported censorship of books and newspapers (prevent revolutionary ideas like
democracy spreading)
Used Okhrana ­ secret police used to maintain security and prevent revolutionaries meeting
and spreading ideas
What did the Marxists believe?

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Political opposition in Russia (up until 1905):
Aims Supporters Methods How Radical?
Believed that a working Exclusive group Planning Very radical
class revolution should Small, tight-knit Violent revolution
Social take place ASAP No co-operation with Control from one leader
Democrats: Build a socialist society other parties (Lenin)
Bolsheviks immediately Expected to be Discipline
(SD's) Overthrow the Tsar dedicated Avoid Mensheviks and middle
revolutionaries class as they will slow the
Follow the Marxist cycle Mass party Follow the whole of the Fairly radical
touching every…read more

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Was a fierce supporter of absolute monarchy
Had the job of industrialising Russia
Plan to industrialise Russia:
1. Government fund key industries (iron, steel, coal and machinery ­ capital goods)
2. Government funds this partly with loans from abroad (France and Belgium)
3.…read more

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Economic discontent: Witte's rapid industrialisation: Russo-Japanese War:
Taxes on the peasants and Financed by loans and taxation What happened?
workers were high Huge growth in heavy industries Wanted to expand empire but
Workers wages were low Impact of this on peasants and came into direct conflict with
Peasants desperately wanted workers was negative Japan
more land (overcrowding in towns, poor From 1904-1905 Russia and
Peasants had to pay high living and working conditions) Japan went to war over
redemption payments control of northern china and…read more

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How dangerous was the revolution?
Involvement of
Event What happened? revolutionaries Who would this scare most, why?
February 1905 The government
400,000 workers went on strike ­ by Railway strikes were crucial
the end of 1905, over 2.…read more

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Paramilitaries such as the Black Hundreds were encouraged and funded by the Tsars
government to restore order by publicly intimidating and using violence against
opponents of the Tsar (e.g. ­ forcing protestors to kiss the imperial flag and beat them
up )
2. Use of compromises:
The October Manifesto
Nicholas promised an elected parliament and civil rights. This satisfied many workers,
middle classes and some liberal politicians. As a result, the Liberals split into the
Octobrists and Kadets ­ this weakened the liberal movement.…read more

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