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The legacy of the "Tsar Liberator", Alexander II, 1855-1881.
The emancipation of the serfs, 1861.
Social Problem. 80% of the population were serfs.
Major obstacle to the modernisation of Russian society.
o Subsistence agriculture. (little exports & famine)
1861- Imperial decree to abolish serfdom.
o Former serfs had to pay redemption payments to the Russian government, as
owners of land had to be compensated.
o Forced to live in mirs (communes) where land was held collectively.…read more

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The problems facing Alexander III in 1881.
1) Keeping the large multi-ethnic empire together.
2) Maintaining his own supreme political power- difficult due to the fact his father has begun
reforms which raised expectations.
3) Pressures from advisers to reform the empire to make it more western. (Reforming the
autocracy, allowing an elective parliament.)
4) Problem with legacy left by his father. He did not approve of his fathers modernising policies,
return to conservatism.
Repression & reaction.…read more

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Governements had the right to choose juries.
Unity- insisted on the use of the Russian language.
Pogroms- attacks on Jews, approved by the government.
Financial reform.
Russia was the most uneconomically developed, mainly based on agriculture. Backwards and
If Russia wanted to maintain its position as a Great Power it would have to modernise and increase its
wealth to main its armed forces.
Reduced the tax burden on peasants.
Peasant Land Bank- loan facilities.…read more

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Development was developed sponsored and directed by the government. Emphasis on good such as
iron and steel, coal and machinery.
Financed from abroad and taxes levied.
Trans-Siberian railway. Influence in the Far East.
Production rose.
Half of the industrial workforce was employed in factories with more than a thousand workers.
Cities grew.
Exploited natural resources of Siberia.
Military production grew.
Poor living and working conditions in towns and cities due to rapid growth.
Social unrest, and support for radical alternatives to Tsarism.…read more

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Supported peasant uprisings.
Largest political party in Russia before 1917.
The Social Democrat Party.
Industrial development was essential for a socialist revolution.
The split between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks.
Lenin addressed the question of how the party differed from the SR's. He outlined a plan for the
creation of a party of political revolutionaries who would lead Russia in socialist revolution. Revolution
ad to be organised and planned.
The Second Party Congress of the SPD was held in 1903.…read more

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Immediate causes of the 1905 revolution?
The Russo-Japanese War
Russia aimed to expand its empire in the Far East. Direct conflict with Japan. Although the Russians
saw themselves as far superior in military power they suffered a humiliating defeat. Had to surrender
their Port Arthur naval base.
National humiliation and caused unrest against the government.
Battle of Tsushima. Sailed halfway around the world and lost 25 out of its 35 warships, in a defeat
against the Japanese.
Undermined support for the Tsar.…read more

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Why did the Revolution come to an end?
The loyalty of the armed forces
Crushed disturbances and executed and exiled revolutionaries. Trotsky and Lenin fled.
Stayed loyal to the Tsar.
Supported the formation of a new political group "Union of Russian People" which was linked to
pro-government terrorist groups called the Black Hundreds. Counter-revolutionary groups helped the
government regain control, executing reformers.
Lack of unity among the revolutionaries
Lack of central coordination.…read more

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Chapter 6 Stolypin- repression and reform.
Government officials were being murdered in terrorist attacks, as peasant unrest continued.
Stolypin met terror with terror. Handing out death sentences. (1144 in 6 months)
Ceased publication of thousands of newspapers and closed trade unions.
Restoration of law and order.
Stolypin the reformer?
Aware that social and economic reform was necessary.
He wanted to modernise Russian agriculture, to produce higher yields and create a more prosperous
class of peasant.
1906- Freed peasants from the control of communes.…read more


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