Russia: Pre-1905 Growth of Opposition.

Russia: Pre-1905 Growth of Opposition.

  • Created by: Joshua
  • Created on: 24-05-10 10:43

Growth of opposition

  • Seeds of opposition sown well before reign of Alexander III
  • Despite the reaction revolutionary activities continued- June 1888 332 mass disturbances
  • Repression and especially Russification drove many into opposition either in Russia or abroad
  • Turn of the century revolutionaries contained many Jews forced into opposition (e.g. Trotsky, Zinoviev)
  • Four main opposition groups opposed to tsardom can be identified: The Populists, Social Revolutionaries, Social Democrats, the Liberals.
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  • Leadership drawn from the upper middle classes, Russian intelligentsia


  • 1870s attempted to educate the peasantry through "Going to the people"- campaign failed


  • Split movement- Passive vs Violent- People's will assassinated Alex II turned to terrorism
  • Revolution based on peasantry unrealistic.
  • Populist leaders killed after assassination, but sowed the seeds of other revolutionary groups.
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Social Revolutionaries

  • Grew out of the populists
  • Interest in social- economic issues
  • Peasant orientated programme- lead by "Victor Chernov" 1901


  • Wished to widen the concept of the people in order to attempt to overthrow the Tsarist regime with the works- this was appealing


  • Attracted revolutionary youth similar to populists divided by anarchist vs peaceful
  • Killed 2,000 (inc G Duke Sergei + Plehve)
  • However terrorism dominated, dint encourage uprising and didn't overthrow the system
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Social Democrats

  • Marxists (1895) from the emancipation of the labour party


  • Committed to Marxism
  • Looked to the proletariat to push forward Russia, excited by industrial spurt + growth of working class
  • Bolsheviks-for immediate change/ Mensheviks- for strengthening of working class


  • Progress slow, had small 'cells' in cities
  • Played small role 1905
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  • Middle class industrialists, national minorities


  • Wanted independence + modernisation through social/political change by overthrowing tsardom
  • Wanted independence from Russian control


  • Wanted to weaken system, not destroy
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