Russia and its rulers: Nicholas II

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Nic II: The Last Tsar

Background: Influenced by Pobedonostsev so russification and reaction continued. The opposition to Tzar was growing eg populists, Social Revolutionaries, Social Democrats (had now split in to the Bolshavics, lead by Lenin, and the Menshavicks), the Octobrists and the Kadets. Industrial and Agricultural reform= Witte and his "grate spurt" of 1894-1903 and Stolypins land reforms of 1906-11.   

Russo-Japanese War 1904-5: Russia wanted to extend land, and to have a ice free port, but could not go east, so went south west towards Japan and Korea. Used as a Distraction form domestic problems. Japan wildly underestimated. Resulted in National humiliation, Plehve (minister of interior) became a national hate figure, all worsened under 1905 revolution.

1905 Revolution: 22nd of January = Bloody Sunday, Farther Gapon leads the march to demand more food, fired at by army 200 killed. Leads to strikes and assassination of Plehve, Soviets formed, Milyukov calls for unions of union. Battle ship Potemkin taken under mutiny. In Response: Witte re-apointed advice and ends war with Japan, introduce October manifesto witch promise a legislative dumy, free speech and triad unions. Peasant mortgage payments reduced and later abolished. April 1906 Fundamental Law = no law can come in to place with out Tsars approval = reduced power of legislative duma.

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Nic II: The Last Tsar NO2

Dumy: First Duma: April- June 1906: had an elected lower chamber with universal manhood suffrage and an apointed (by Tsar) upper chamber with right of veto. Dissolved by Tsar witch leads to the Vyboge appeal by SRs who encorage russans to rebell, with 2500 exicuted as result become known as "Stolypins necktie"

Second Duma: Feb to June 1907: Fewer Kadets and more SRs and SD. Dissagrements over Stolypins land reforms cause disolution.

Third Duma: Nov 1907 to June 1913: Workers and peasants lose the right to vote. Becomes more conservative with some social reforms=national insurance, schools and modernising army.

Fourth Duma: November 1912 to August 1914: Lena Goldfield massacre question. Dissolved its self after WW1 brakes out. 

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Nic II: Economy and Society

Nationality: Still continuing policy of farther and Pobedonstsev. Russification became more open during the 1890's. More control over other regions Baltic Germans; fins; Armenians; Ukrainians and poles. Anti-semitism increased again, forced to live in Ghettoes, the black hundreds (a group of ultra conservative Russian nationalists encouraged by Tsar to beat up Jews). Pogroms extended. Emigration of Jews more widespread. More radicalisation of Jews- Jewish Bund formed 1897.

Industy: Still continuing work under Witte= The grate spurt- rapid industrialisation, getting coal from Ukraine and Oil from Caucasus. Used State Capitalism = Foreign investment + private enterprise + govt control. Witte brings in foreign experts and put Russia on to the Gold standerd in 1897 = value of the ruble increased. Invested in railways 1893= 20,000 miles 1913= 45,000 miles. Also built the trans-Siberian Railway form 1891-1902 works and a symbol of Russian progress. Output increased CP3O (coalx5, pig ironx4 oilx3 and gainx2). Out put increased at twice the rate of the uk, but started from an already low rate. 

Problems: population explosion: 1890- 100,000,000 by 1913 150,000,000 witch lead to overcrowding and food shortages. 4/5 of people still peasants.

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Nic II: Economy and Society NO 2


Background: Little happened before 1906 when Stolypin became president of Council of minister "suppression first, then and only then, reform"

Rural Crisis: Famine from 1891 to 1897, growing city populations. Peasants not happy with mortgages and ***** farming, so Stolypin wanted to make changes and reforms.

Policies: "de-revolutionising the peasants" 1906 by cancelling mortgage payments. "A wager on the strong" in 1906/7 by Stolypin to change from ***** farming to fenced farming. However only 10% of farms modernised by 1913 as cut short when stolypin assassinated in 1911 and outbreak of war in 1914.

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Nic II: War and Revolution

1904/5 Russo-Japanese War: Plehve had called for a "quick war" and belived that they could easily beet the Japaneise. 22nd jan 1904 Japan broke off diplomacy. Torpeso attack on Port Arther 25th jan. Critical Naval errors in navie when Vladivostok, a major russian port, was ice bound so battle ships when the "long way round" and were amboushed by the japanes. Battles: Port arther fell December 1904 and lost grate land battles in Manchuuria with 85,000 deaths compared to 41,000 japanes deaths. May 1905 Battle of Tsu-Shima Russian fleet ambushed. Finished with the Peace of Portsmouth= lost lease to Manchurian railway and Port Arther.

1905 Revolution: 22nd of January = Bloody SundayFarther Gapon leads the march to demand more food, fired at by army 200 killed. Leads to strikes and assassination of Plehve, Soviets formed, Milyukov calls for unions of union. Battle ship Potemkin taken under mutiny. In Response: Witte re-apointed advice and ends war with Japan, introduce October manifestowitch promise a legislative dumy, free speech and triad unions. Peasant mortgage payments reduced and later abolished. April 1906 Fundamental Law = no law can come in to place with out Tsars approval = reduced power of legislative duma.

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Nic II: War and Revolution NO 2

1914 World War 1: Russian army was still very backward despite several reforms in education, uniforms and strucher. There was an arms race in Europe 1912 to 14, but Russia still far behind west. First grate battles were Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes in August 1914 the Russians were massacred with 230,000 dead. Turkey joined war in Nov 1914 and cut off access resulting in a "shell shortage" for Russia. Chief of Staff Myasoyedov accused of being a spy and replaced by Alexeyev. He introduced "The Grate Retreet" in 1915 resulting in the death of 1.5 million Russians. Small victories against Astro-Hungy, but large defeat elsewhere.

1917 February Revolution: Economics: Off Gold Standard 1914. Reduction in taxes due to a ban on alcohol 1914-16. By 1916 cost of war was 4.7x Gox expenditure for 1913. Inflation was at 400% and national debt x4 . Agricultural producers withheald grain as price was so unstable. Petrograd and Moscow pop increase 25% 1913-17. Politics: Nic attempts to assert control by not having a Duma and putting press censorship in place. The duma then recalled July 1915. Progressive block formed by KDs, Octobrists and progressisis to support and compromise with the Tsar. Rasputin left in charge fired Polivanov leaving Nic isolated and confused, Bless. Feb 1917 22nd a brake in cold weather allowed protest against Tsar, Cossacks did not fight for Tsar, Duma wanted to keep Tsar but with less power, but Nic abdicates any way.

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