Key Issue 2: How stable was Russia between 1905-1914?

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 07-10-13 14:08

1905 Revolution

  • Began with Bloody Sunday
  • 4000,000 workers on strike in febuary - 2.7 million by the end of the year
  • Peasant revolt in Kursk in feburary - spread to most of european russia by april
  • The Potemkin Mutiny - navy ship revolted in the black sea and joined strikers in Odessa
  • St petersburg soviet - formed to organise strives
  • 2 Liberal groups (middle classes) - Kadests and Octobrists
  • Nationalities demanded freedom and formed parties


Army stayed Loyal

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Witter and The October Mainfesto (1905)


    • sacked as Minister of Finance in 1903
    • Negotiated the end of the Russo - Japanese war (pleased the tsar)
    • Tsar got him back - and he drafted the October Manifesto

October Manifesto

  • By october concessions were unavoidable
  • divided the opposite force into groups: liberals, peasants, workers and nationalities
    • Liberals: Duma, right to set up political parties, legalising trade unions
    • Peasans: redemption payments cancelled
    • Nationalities: freedom of spreech, assembly and worship, right to set up political parties
    • Workers: Crushed by force
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Fundermental Laws

Although the October Manifesto promised freedoms to all the russian language still had to be used in the army, navy and the state

Duma was promised yet due to the fundermental lawsa (1906) the Tsar was still aloud to overrule any act passed by the duma

The fundermental laws also use religion to back up the Tsars power as peasants are brainwashed to believe that the tsar is a father figure that was appoited by God.

All males were also subject to military service.

The duma was practically powerless - a token gesture that was never intended to take away from the tsars autocratic power

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The 1st & 2nd Dumas

The 1st Duma

  • Hostile to government demanded land reform
  • Bi - cameral - a parliment made up of 2 chamers and upper and lower, upper could veto lower depriving them of any real power
  • only laseted 73 days
  • 200 of them reassembled in Vyborg and drew up an appeal telling russian people to - refuse to pay taxes and defy conscription into the army (failed - arrested never alowed into duma again)
  • never really recovered from the failure

The 2nd Duma

  • after Vyborg kadets lost half its seats - social democrats and revoltionaries both there so there was much disagrement
  • opposed stolypins land programme
  • attacked the was the army was run, accused of subversion = dissolved 
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The 3rd and 4th Dumas

The 3rd Duma (novermber 1907- June 1912)

  • tsar kept it partly to show that russa was democratic to forgien powers
  • dominated by the right wing parties as many peasants and workers lost the right to vote
  • right wing were less likely to critisise the Tsar
  • more co-operative so stolypin could go ahead with his reforms
  • some social reforms were approved such as primary schools for the poor and national insurance for industrial workers

The 4th Duma (November 1912 - August 1914)

  • moved towards state welfare and warned the tsar that the government was in danger if it did not listen to its people and the wishes of the duma
  • less openly obstuctive of the Tsar

Never a truly representative assemble, 1914 - political parties were legally established

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Repression and Reform Under Stolypin

  • Cheif Minister
  • Policy of fierce repression
  • 2500 executions in 5 yrs
  • noose = stolypin' necktie
  • de-revolutionised peasants by annoncing all outstanding repayments would be cancelled
  • land banks helds peasants afford there own private land
  • replace ***** system with fenced fileds
  • The MIR and land captins power reduced - peasants free
  • poor relief doubles as did primary schools 1905 - 1914
  • reforms were not fully supported by the tsar
  • assasinated in 1911 at the opera
  • Moustach
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Policial Situation on the eve of War (1914)


  • Rulling class were hostile to change, therfore always served the interest of the Tsar
  • Tsar gained more support from the middle class as they fered revolt from the workers
  • Social revolutionaries were not organised, a collection of radical groups
  • Bolsheviks were small and insignificant
  • membershipp for social democrats declined from 1905 levels


  • The blindness of the Tsar's government was driving people towards revolution
  • Organised peasant risings
  • Mensheviks were influential in the second Duma
  • Bolsheviks and Mensheviks encouraged union unrest
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Econimical Situation on the eve of War (1914)


  • Stolypins reforms were succesful in agricultural improvments
  • Russia made enormouse progressions in industrial production and railway increased - coal production more than doubled and railway increased by 40% (1900 - 1913)
  • National Debt fell 1900 -1913
  • Aneravge annual growth rate 1907 - 1914 was over 6% - greater than other european countries
  • Despite recession from 1908 -14 overall increased of industry output - 1.5%
  • inflation rose by 40% (1908-14) - average industrial wadge rose from 245 to 264 roubles a month
  • Russia: modern industrial estate - incresed production labour force and foreign investment


  • Development was only made in heavy industry, consumer goods were neglected
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Social Situation on the eve of War (1914)

    • Positives
  • countryside was peacefull due to stolypins reforms and good harvest (1909-1913)
  • growth in universal free primary education
  • great progress in technological and agricultural colleges
  • trade unions were legal
  • Number of newspapers grew
    • Negatives
  • Industriallisation grew so towns and houses grew, poor living and working conditions, poor pay, long hours = social tension
  • public disorder grew (1911-14)
  • strikes - 24 in 1911 2401 in 1914 
  • miners strike (lena goldfield) in 1912 led to the shooting of 200 demonstrators by troops
  • Growth in revolutionary parties amongst te national minorities
  • Wdespread anti semitism
  • 1910 stolypin had ordered new repression against university
  • trade unions stamped out
  • 1000s of newspapers were closed and others censored
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