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Introduction
Opposition during 1881-1904 spread at an
alarming rate. The formation of revolutionary
parties such as the social revolutionary and the
social democrats proved a threat to Alexander
III. Despite Alexander II having opposition,
Alexander III had even more dangerous
opposition. Which may be why Alexander III
resorted to his reactionary policies like tightening
censorship and improving Policing.…read more

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Opposition outlined pre 1881
Opposition groups pre 1881 included the intelligentsia and populist groups.
Both these groups posed a threat.
The populists were divided into two groups the Black Partition and the
People's will.
All the types of opposition pre 1881 wanted revolution but used different
approaches to achieve their goal.
The intelligentsia hated the autocracy and wanted revolution of nobles and
upper class, whilst the peoples will and black partition wanted revolution of
the lower classes and peasants
Both the peoples will and black partition also has different approaches. The
peoples will wanted a violent revolution whilst the black partition wanted a
peaceful revolution.
The peoples will were the most successful in threatening the Tsarist regime as
they assassinated the tsar in march 1881.
The intelligentsia and black partition were perhaps unsuccessful as they
achieved very little by 1881.…read more

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Opposition groups:
Populist groups Intelligentsia
Wanted revolution of nobles and
Upper classes against autocracy
Black Partition People's will
Want peaceful revolution Wanted a violent
Of lower classes Revolution of lower classes…read more

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Populism post 1881
After the assassination of the tsar on march 13th 1881 populism had
effectively ended. However secret meetings still took place.
The peoples will was reformed among students in St Petersburg
In march 1887 the group who made the bomb with the intention of
assassinating the Tsar were arrested and two months later five of these
including Alexander Ulyanov (Lenin's elder brother) were hanged.
The assassination of the Tsar in 1881 proved a disappointment to the
opposition. Instead of removing the tsarist regime, a new tsar took over.
Alexander III counter reformed all the policies of his father-which was the
opposite to what the peoples will wanted-and punished those whom took part
in his fathers assassination.
The remaining ideas of the People's will were preserved in `self-education'
circles such as the Muscovite society of translators and publishers. Which
translated and reproduced the writings of foreign socialists and made contact
with radicals in the west.
Very little revolutionary activity in the 1890s due to problems like the
imprisonment of leaders, lack of funds, famine of peasants and police activity.…read more

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Social revolutionary movement
and leaders
In 1901 o number of populist groups came together to create the socialist
revolutionary party. This was a fairly loose organisation with a variety of views and
was never centrally controlled.
The most influential theorist was Viktor Chernov (1873-1952)
Although the party never had a congress until 1906, they fused together Marxist ideas
and populist ideas to provide a specifically Russian revolutionary programme.
They put forward the interests of workers and peasants first. Therefore they argued
that they should work together to get rid of the autocracy.
They developed a wide national base , with large peasant membership, although 50%
of their supporters were from urban working class
The tactics of the social revolutionary party were similar to that of the Peoples will-
they tried to stir up discontent in the countryside and strikes in town.
They were successful in promoting a wave of political terrorism in the early 20th
century and carried out 2000 political assassinations between 1901-1905. including the
assassinations of the ministers of internal affairs; Dmitrii Sipyagin (minister 1900-1902)
and Vyacheslav von Plehve (minister 1902-1904)…read more

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