Causes and Consequences of the 1905 Revolution

Flash cards on the causes and consequences of the 1905 Revolution

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 04-04-13 11:30

Economic Problems

The economic problems faced were very serious.

  • Russia suffered from a backward argricultural system.
  • Yields were low due to strip farming.
  • The government imposed high taxes on peasants and took a considerable amount of crops per year.
  • There was great resentment among the peasantry which led to many taking part in the 1905 Revolution.
  • Russia had a lot of foreign debt 
  • Most industrial growth was funded by other European countries (particularly France through loans)
  • 30% of capital invested in Russia came from abroad- any crisis in Europe threatened Russia's financial stability.
  • Russia fell into a period of trade recession at the turn of the century and this lasted to around 1906.
  • Industrial workers and peasants suffered the most.
  • Harvests were poor and there were high levels of unemployment and falling wages.
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Social Problems

The poorest in Russia suffered terribly at the turn of the twentieth century.

  • Industrial workers had to endure terrible living and working conditions.
  • The Tsar's government did little to improve standards.
  • Many turned to revolutionary political groups who claimed they could help them.
  • Many people were illiterate (mostly peasants) which worked in the Tsar's favour- it blinded the peasantanry to how miserable their lives were.
  • Russia's new industry was financed mainly through tax (excluding foreign loans) 
  • Peasants were taxed heavily even though they were least able to afford it.
  • There was continued repression- the denial of freedoms and political repression widespread.
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Political Problems

Weaknesses in Russia's political system made it unlikely that the social and economic problems could be dealt with.

  • Russia was an autocracy- one man made the final decision in all areas of government.
  • Tsar Nicholas II was less than a capable ruler.
  • He was described as a devoted family man rather than a good political leader.
  • He was determined not to change the autocratic system of government.
  • He believed that democracy would destroy the Russian Empire.
  • A Duma was established in 1906 but the Tsar largely ignored its reccomendations
  • The vote was limited to the wealthiest people in society and those who sat on the Duma usually represented their conservative views.
  • Demands for reform by the Zemstvos was always ignored by the Tsar and his government.
  • (Zemstvos- land assemblies) 
  •  The government was highly corrupt with the powerful political contacts tending to be the ones who advanced while promotion was rarely on merit.
  •  The Russian Orthodox Church was a major force against change. It had a big influence on the Tsar.
  • All of these factors prevented the Tsar from making changes that were needed.
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Opposition

There were 3 forms of opposition to the Tsar.

Liberal Opposition: 

  • After 1906 this was concentrated mainly at the Duma and in the Zemstvos. 
  • Liberals supported a strong role for parliament in running the country.
  • The Tsar didn't allow this. They wanted the Tsar to stick to the October Manifesto terms (Which he failed to do) 

Revolutionary Opposition:

  • At the start of the twentieth century the main revolutionary parties in Russia were the SR's (Socialist Revolutionaries) and the SDs (Social Democrats)- they split into the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in 1903.

Opposition from non-Russian minorities:

  • About half of Russia's population was ethnically non-Russian.
  • The Tsar's opposition often prompted both Jewish people and other members of other minorities to join revolutionary groups.
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Economic Problems 2

  • Peasants hated the mortgage payments.
  • Russia was vastly bigger than any other country=extremely inefficient transport network- this made the country appear more vast and inaccessible.
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