Russia & Revolution 1881-1924

Russia & Revolution 1881-1924

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Russia in Revolution 1881-1924
1881 ­ 1906
Emancipation of the serfs ­ 1861
o This was a Russian form of slavery where landowners had total control over the
peasants who worked on their land
o This was where serfs no longer had to work for their landowners and could buy their
own land. However, they had to pay taxes for their land due to the shortage of
farming territory and the government's taxation of land. This meant that the serfs
had not fully gained their freedom as it would have taken them generations to pay
the taxes in full.
o They had to pay redemption payments over the next 49 years
Alexander II's reign from 1855-1881
The Russian defeat at the Crimean War had been the catalyst for fundamental change
Alexander II's reforms
1860 ­ Establishment of State Bank to provide credit for industrialisation
1861 ­ Emancipation of the Serfs (about 23million private serfs were freed)
1864 ­ Establishment of the zemstva
1865 ­ Relaxation of censorship laws
1870 ­ introduction of elections for town government
Non-vocational education offered to girls
Radical groups became more Militant
o The radical groups wanted Alexander's reforms to go further
o Some wanted the tsarist autocracy to be replaced with a parliamentary system
o The political views of Karl Marx & Michael Bakunin became very popular
Workers were exploited by their owners so Marx's ideas appealed to them
as they wanted to live in an equal society
Marx believed Class struggle would abolish capitalism (this was the struggle
of the peasants)
He believed that industrialisation would cause oppression within workers
and they will rise up and cause a revolution. From here, Russia will be a
socialist state and all social classes will be abolished. Once classes had been
abolished, Russia will move unto the final and permanent stage which is
communism. In a communist state everyone will work for the benefit of all
and there would be no central government.
o Terrorist groups were introduced, the `People's Will' being the most popular
Alexander II was assassinated in 1881 by the intelligentsia
Alexander III was even more repressive than Alexander II he responded with `the Reaction'
`the Reaction'
1881 under the Statute of State Security - Special government controlled courts
were set up that operated outside the legal system

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Okhrana and secret police were extended, and censorship of the
press was tightened
1887 under the University Statute ­ universities became under government control
1890 under the Zemstva Act ­ Alexander III decreased the independence of the
local council and empowered government officials to interfere in their decision
Newspapers had to submit their papers a day before publication in order to be
Alexander III (1881-1894)
o Influenced by his tutor Pobedonostev
Nationality Promotion of Russification
In 1885, Russia became the official language.…read more

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Russian ways on all peoples within the nation
o those that suffered the most were the: Ukrainians, Armenians, Finns
o there was state interference with their education, religion and culture and this
became systematic
Jews suffered the most under Russification
o Jewish people weren't allowed to become doctors or lawyers
o Very few Jewish people were admitted into universities
o Organised violent attacks called pogroms were carried out on Jewish communities
for a long period of time
o There were over 200 pogroms during Alexander…read more

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The 1891 Famine
o 17 out of Russia's 39 provinces were hit by the famine
o There was an early winter & the summer was dry and long
peasants crops dried out
o The famine was made worse by the outbreak of cholera and typhus in 1893
o The famine was blamed on govt.…read more

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Cities grew rapidly - St Petersburg
grew from 1 million in 1890 to approx. 2
million in 1914
Witte invited foreign experts &workers
to Russia to give advice on industrial
Witte limited imports coming from
abroad.…read more

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Weaknesses in the political system
civil servants helped Nicholas II govern Russia - they weren't efficient
the decisions they made were slow to come to pass
the majority of the civil servants were badly paid so corruption
&bribery existed
the tsar could be indecisive and was easily influenced
o The Tsar's dictatorship
between 1894-1905, he refused to allow parliament to be established
the tsar relied heavily on the Okhrana to maintain security
He supported the censorship of newspapers and books
Nicholas II was willing to…read more

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The Social Grew directly out of the Populist party
Revolutionaries drew on some of the ideas from Karl Marx but their leader was Victor Chernov
They focused on attracting the support of the peasants
Peasants were experiencing economic difficulties in the 20th century which
made them more popular
The SR's had no long-term plans and were often poorly disorganised
Key methods - terrorism.…read more

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Liberal Industrialisation had resulted in an educated
middle class
They wanted to adopt a modern West
European style of democratic government
They rejected the idea of Marxism
They demanded for new political constitutions
which Nicholas rejected before 1905
Liberal politicians became more aggressive.…read more

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Nicholas wanted to expand his policy to make up for his decline in Europe
Nicholas wanted an ice-free port because in winter all Russia's ports were unusable
Russia believed that they could win the war because Japan was an inferior nation.…read more

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The Potemkin mutiny angered the Russians even more. The sailors on board killed their officer &
took over their ship because of the conditions on the ship. When they came back to Russia, they were
welcomed as heroes by the Russians. However, troops were told to disperse the crowds & done this
by killing many civilians.…read more


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