Key Background Factors:
The process of industrialisation begun by Witte in the 1890s encouraged more people to move to the cities. The population of russia expanded rapidly from 98 million to 1885 to 125 million by 1905. However, in the early 20th century there was an economic slow down and fewer jobs became available. Large slums developed in cities such as St Petersburg. This resulted in workers becoming more rebellious in the period 1901-1905. Poor agricultural techniques and poor government resulted in a crisis in agriculture, with famines occurring in 1901.
The government was also experiencing more political challenges from terrorists. In 1905 the Grand Duke Sergei, the Tsar's uncle, was assassinated by a member of the Social Revolutionaries. The educated middle classes were also demanding more political reforms. Finally a disastrous war with Japan in 1905 triggered protests and rebellions within Russia.
1904: government concessions
In 1904 it appeared that the government was more prepared to listen to the demands of the Liberals, and this raised expectations for political reform. In April 1904 the conservative Minister of Interior was…