Tsar and Bolsheviks

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Causes of the 1905 revolution.

  1. Bloody Sunday- angered peasants who were prepared for a peaceful agreement. They wanted an 8 hour day and an elected assembly. They only wanted to sign a petition. The army were used to maintain control and they open fired on the crowded killing 200 people.

    The massacre united different people, protest and strikes became more frequent. There were a few mutinies such as the Potemkin, but the majority remained loyal to the Tsar along with the upper class.

  2. The Russo-Japanese War – The Russian army suffered humiliating defeats. The Russians were forced to surrender Port Arthur and the Russian Baltic fleet were defeated at the battle of Tsushima. These defeat ignited rebellions. The Tsar was forced to sign a peace treaty with Japan. The war meant there were fewer troops to help control protests. Many loved ones were angered by the defeats due to the loss of loved ones.

  3. The Tsar failed to reform – In 1904 it seemed that governments were more prepared to reform so the Liberals asked for more. Minister of Interior, Svyatoplk-Mirsky encouraged a Union of Liberation which sought political freedoms but the Tsar largely ignored this.

  4. Witte – He encouraged peasants to move to the cities in 1890s and the population expanded to 125 million in 1905. But there was economic down turn and few jobs in 1905 and this resulted in more rebellious workers and large slums.

  5. Famine – Poor agricultural techniques and poor government resulted in a famine in 1901 which angered the peasants.

  6. More opposition groups were available – They demanded radical reform which appealed to the peasants. There was a Petrograd Soviet set up, but this was closed down by troops. There was also the Union of Unions which demanded a new political constitution.

Why did the Tsar survive the 1905 revolution?

  1. Loyalty of the armed forces – They crushed disturbances and arrested thousands of revolutionaries. Many of these were executed or sent to siberia. This terrified the revolutionaries and they fled the country. There were few mutinies and the army were supported by the Black Hundreds. The army shut down the Soviets and executed known reformers. The Cossacks were reliable and crushed an uprising in Moscow.

  2. Lack of unity amongst revolutionaries – They were divided which made it easy for the Black Hundreds to persecute. They were poorly organised and unprepared. The revolutionaries had different beliefs – The Liberals wanted to share power, the SRs wanted peasant ownership of land and the SDs wanted total removal of the Tsar. Some of them even fought amongst themselves.

  3. Stolypin – He created a series of incentives to appease the Peasants. He created the peasant Land Bank, encouraged efficient farming to prevent famine and allow more modern farming. He also dissolved the Mirs.

  4. October Manifesto – Persuaded by Witte. It was to provided more freedoms such as freedom of speech, assembly and press. It was to have an elected Duma and to be a National Party. The Dumas

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