Causes of the 1905 Russian revolution

The causes that led to the Russian revolution in 1905

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Why was Russia Difficult to Rule

  • Russia was a vey big country with a huge population
  • Communications were poor so it was hard to hard to transport messages around the country
  • There was many different people from different cultural backgrounds in Russia
  • There were over 20 different cultures in russia speaking different languages and creating a national division.
  • There was a big social divide between the rich and poor. This created a lot of tension
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The Pyramid Of Power

1) The Tsar - He was an autocrat. This meant he had total control over russia. He  could pass laws without a goverment, he censored newspapers  and used severe punishment on people who opposed with. They  were dealt with by the Okrana

2) The Rich Nobles- They made up about 0.1% of the population but owned 25%  of the land. 

3) Working Class - These were the people who worked in the factories. They lived  and worked in poor condtions for little pay but they were slightly better off than the peasants

4) Peasants - They made up 80% of the population. and lived in villages around  Russia. Each village was controlled by the Mir who had the power  to decide whether the peasants could buy or rent land

Okrana - Secret Police

Mir - Local Council

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Tsar Nicolas II

He was an autocrat and had total control over Russia.


He was a kind and devoted family man

He believed he had been appointed by god to run russia well

He genuinley wanted the best for his people


He had no idea how his people lived and made little effort to find out

He couldn't rule alone so appointed a number of official whom were corrupt

He was weak, cruel and stubborn

He held onto every bit of power he had and hated opposition

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Opposition to the Tsar

The Liberals - They mainly consisted of men from the middle class. They wanted a peaceful political change and a democratic system. They were split  into two groups, the constitutional democrats and the Kadets.

The Social Revolutionary - They wanted to seize power by revolution and wanted all the land taken of the rich land owners and given  to the peasants. They were led by Victor Chermov

The Social Democrats - They followed the teachings of Karl Marx and wanted to  revolt and bring out a communit system. However in 1903 they disagreed about how to revolt and split into 2 parties the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. The Mensheviks  were led by Yuly Martov and wanted to disribute power around as many party members as possible. Whereas the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin wanted to give power to a small elite core of dedicated revolutionists.

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The Russo-Japanese War

In 1904 Russia went to war with Japan hoping for a quick victory and to distract attention away from domestic issues. It was though over Manchuria and Korean control. Unfortunatley the Russians were beaten and had to sign a peace settlement meaning they lost land and influence in the Far East. It was a humiliating defeat and led to even more hatred of Tsar's Goverment

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Bloody Sunday

On 22nd January 1905 a priest called Gapon led 200,000 men to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to hand the Tsar a petition. However when they got there the Tsar's troops opened fire on the crowd and over 1,000 people were killed. This was the final straw and triggered strikes and revolutions all over Russia. The event was known as Bloody Sunday.

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