The 1905 Revolution: Long, Short and Immediate Causes and Bloody Sunday

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The 1905 Revolution
Long term causes
Ruled by a Tsar, who had complete control over the country. However, he was a weak
ruler and failed to rule his people properly
He treated opposition with violence and the Okhrana (the secret police)
Extremes for wealth and poverty
Huge country; communication was difficult and in winter, virtually impossible
Population growth - overcrowding, food shortages, poor conditions
Very backward country, 80% were peasants
Long Term: Social
Almost 80% of Russia's population were peasants in early 20th century
Nobility made up 1% of the population but owned 25% of the land
1891: Famine, 400 000 died
Disease common
Middle class liberals were alienated: no representation in politics, student protests
Backwards agriculture, high tax, increasing population put pressure on land
Short Term: Economic
Population unhappy with Witte's economic policies
Wages remained low but taxes were high
Too much focus on industrial growth, taxed high and exported grain in order to pay interest on
foreign loans
1900 & 1902: Poor harvests, famine
1902: Economic crisis - unemployment rose, strikes and violence repressed by force
Short Term: Tsar's Rule
Tsar Nicholas II weak and indecisive
No freedom in the press/to form political parties
Ruled through repression, used the Cossacks to put down revolts
No concessions made of nationalities
No move towards constitutional government - liberals/Socialist Revolutionaries wanted a
constitutional monarchy and to limit the Tsar's power
Immediate Term: Russo-Japanese War
February 1904: Russo-Japanese War began
Exacerbated economic and social problems within Russia - shortages of food and fuel, high prices
and unemployment
Defeated and humiliated by a smaller country; January 1905 lost Port Arthur
Led to increased discontent
Trigger: Bloody Sunday
22nd January 1905
Tsar's troops fired on peaceful demonstrators in Petrograd
By the end of January, 400 000 workers were on strike - this then spread to other cities and to
the countryside

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THE RUSSO JAPANESE WAR: 1904 - 1905
Like the other western powers, Russia wanted to expand its empire, and it did into the far - east.
However in doing so it came into direct conflict with another expansionist power JAPAN. From 1904 -
11905 Russia and japan went to war over northern china and Korea, and although the Russians saw
themselves as far more the military superior they suffered a humiliating defeat.…read more

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