Tsarist Russia 1904-1906
the Russo-Japanese War 1904 was a catalyst for the 1905 revolution - it caused fuel shortages and food shortages. Prices rose and there was a lot of unemployment. There was a huge upsurge of discontent and the Tsar and his governement was seen as incompetent.
Bloody Sunday, Januaray 1905 was the spark to the revolution. The Tsar's troops fired on peaceful demonstrators and it was led by Father Gapon.
October Manifesto promised freedom of speech and free press and also an elected Duma which actually had authority. It worked well and strikes were called off - in December, the Tsar was able to easily crush the Bolshevik uprising.
Nicholas II introduced the Fundamental Laws in 1906: it broke some of the promises of the October Manifesto and it enabled him to reasser his authority. It stated that the Duma would be set up but first the laws had to be passed by the Council of State (thus denying the Duma any real power)
Tsarist Russia 1907-1914
The Third Duma - it introduced educational provision, Land Captians were replaced with the Justices of Peace, political parties were made legal, the Dumas were allowed to be reported and discussed and overall Nicholas II's attitude towards the Duma changed.
Lena Goldfields Massacre, March 1912 (can be used to show further evidence for the rise in discontent): it was militant labour unrest (mainly miners demonstrated) over inadequate food supplies and poor management. This massacre was seen as a threat to law and order. Over 270 people were killed and it resulted in a rise in support for the Bolsheviks in the elections of the 4th Duma.
Battle of Tanneburg 1914: it showed that Nicholas had bad managment and that the Russian's were not prepared
introduced huge economic reforms:
Trans-Siberian railway 1891: the plan was to encourage migration
Foreign Investment 1897: the Gold Standard was introduced on the the rouble to stabilize its value - in 1890 it was 200 million and in 1900 it was 900 million