“The first wave of the revolutionary storm is receding. We are on the eve of an inescapable, inevitable second wave. The proletarian movement is spreading wider and has now reached the remotest outlying regions of the country” (Placeholder1). These are the words of Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik revolutionary leader, as he commented on Russia’s 1905 revolution. This was a series of massive political and social unrests that occurred in the Russian empire from 1905 to 1907 (Simkin, 1905 Russian Revolution). In particular, peasants and workers revolted against the tsarist government everywhere in the empire. In Russia’s vassal states, Poland, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia, people revolted, seeking independence for their nations. And in the Far East, …show more content…
Generally, this revolution had no goals, no united leadership, and no specific targets – different groups of people revolted against the rule of the tsar, Nicholas II to release their angers. (Simkin, 1905 Russian Revolution) Ultimately, the revolution failed, and the Tsar, Nicholas II, kept his throne. There are mainly three contributing factors that led to the revolution: economic hardship of peasants and workers, a strike of St. Petersburg’s factory workers, and the effects of the Russo- Japanese war. The root cause of the revolution is the economic hardship of its people; peasants and workers made up over 85% of Russia’s total population at the beginning of the 20th century (Nafziger and Lindert 36). However, they were unhappy with their situations and social status. To understand Russian peasants and workers’ hardship and reasons why they rose up against the tsarist government, the Russian society, prior to 1905, must be further studied from aspects of economics, traditions, and politics. Economically, Russian workers were extremely exploited by their employers. In particular, …show more content…
For instance, nobles started investing in fields of industry, and people who lived in rural areas went to the cities, transforming themselves to industrial laborers from farmers. However, neither the industrialization nor the modernization had improved the living conditions of Russia’s working class – needs and rights of working class people were being ignored and denied by the upper class and Russia’s rulers. In addition, even though the Serfdom was abolished by the emancipation reform of 1861, the situation of ex-serfs remained unchanged or became even worse for some ex-serfs; an extortionate compensation fee was required for serfs to exchange their freedom and land, and heavy taxations were placed on them. From the aspect of traditions, Russian workers and peasants were not respected by Russia’s upper class – noble class and newly-emerged capitalist elites still considered and treated workers and peasants as slaves. Ostensibly, the emancipation manifesto of 1861 ended the slavery in Russia, and granted serfs freedom. In fact, this so-called freedom only existed on paper – ex-serfs were soon being enslaved again by the heavy
In the years leading up to World War I, social unrest among the Russian people was spreading rapidly. There was a huge social gulf between the peasants who were former serfs and the landowners. The peasants regarded anyone who did not work as a parasite. They had always regarded as all land belonging to them. They regarded any land retained by the landowners at the time serfs were freed as stolen and only force could prevent them from taking it back. By the time Russia entered the war, one peasant rebellion had already been suppressed and several socialist revolutionary movements were developing.
It was due to its great resources and population that Russia was able to compete with the other world powers in war and in commerce. Russia did not have the succession of leaders that supported industrialization like Japan did. Therefore, Russia, with Alexander II as czar, made few reforms to encourage industrialization. It was only through the multiple peasant revolts that Russia began to change. Both of these nations experienced changes in government, an increase in economic strength and transportation, and radical changes in the structure of the social classes.
While most of Europe had develop strong central governments and weakened the power of the nobles, Russia had lagged behind the times and still had serfs as late as 1861. The economic development that followed the emancipation of peasants in the rest of Europe created strong industrial and tax bases in those nations. Russian monarchs had attempted some level of reforms to address this inequality for almost a century before, and were indeed on their way to “economic maturity” (32) on par with the rest of Europe. But they overextended themselves and the crushing defeats of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and the First World War in 1917 lost them the necessary support from their subjects and created “high prices and scarcity” which were by far “the most obvious factors in the general tension”
The Late-Tsarist period in Russia is popular in the state’s history in that it was during this time that serfdom was abolished, that is around the early 1860s. Before this era, serfdom was legal and practiced in the traditional Russian systems. Serfdom was an ideology of the late 1640s which gave to landowners the power to override the lives of their peasant serfs (workers) as long as they lived on their land. Serfdom’s legal powers included denial of movement from the landlord’s place, and freedom in acquiring as much service as a landlord could demand. Thus defined, it can be concluded that it was a form of slavery. It is for these reasons that the following study text will evaluate the aftereffects of the 1861 emancipation, and what Russia became after it.
future leader of the Soviet Union as a “dress rehearsal” for the 1917 revolution. The most important difference is that the 1905 revolution failed to destroy the autocracy in Imperial Russia. A combination of reasons can explain why this revolution failed at overthrowing the Tsar Nikolas the Second. The revolutions participants were not revolutionaries that wanted to overthrow the Tsar, it was not started by revolutionary groups. The military and military context played an important role to the revolution’s failure, and the autocracy’s reforms gave compromise to the protestors who could be satisfied with the changes. These factors show why the 1905 revolution failed to destroy the autocracy.
Economics, austerity, and political corruption have been the common causes of popular uprisings across the world, and whether the revolutions have been peaceful or violent, the result has nearly always been a change in the political structure and the redrawing of boundary lines. The continued presence of Russian-backed revolutions combined with the cries of the European people for independence and security reflect the ongoing influence of the Russian Revolution on the whole of Europe and, possibly, the world.
Altogether, the causes made a ‘mood for revolution’ and put a yearning for change in the hearts of men. They made the people against the monarchy and the Provisional government and, combined with the Bolsheviks’ ruthless methods, gave them an open path to leading Russian into becoming a true Communist state.
The resignation of Nicholas II March 1917, in union with the organization of a temporary government in Russia built on western values of constitutional moderation, and the capture of control by the Bolsheviks in October is the political crucial opinions of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The actions of that historic year must also be viewed more broadly, however: as aburst of social strains associated with quick development; as a disaster of political modernization, in relations of the tensions sited on old-fashioned traditions by the burdens of Westernization; and as a social disruption in the widest sense, concerning a massive, unprompted expropriation of upper class land by fuming peasants, the devastation of outmoded social patterns and morals, and the scuffle for a new, democratic society.
Russian literature thrived in the second half of the nineteenth century under the political and social problems that shadowed the country. In the early nineteenth century, Czars had unconditional power and paid no attention to the needs of the people, especially the serfs who were defined and treated as slaves. Revolts began to spread, however, and the serfs were eventually emancipated in 1861. This reform gave the Serfs equal rights and opportunities as free citizens, including the right to marry and own property. With exception to house serfs, all others received a small plot of land from the government.
“The social causes by the Russian revolution mainly became of centuries of domination over the lower classes by the Tsarist regime, and Nicholas’s failures in World War one.”5 As the rural agricultural peasants had been limitless from serfdom in the year 1861, the peasants still refused paying redemption payments to the state and demanded to be the private owner of the land that they worked. The only problem was further compounded by the never lasting failure of Sergei Witte’s land reforms during the early twentieth century. Peasant disturbances increased which sometimes ended up becoming revolts, with only the goal of securing the ownership of the land they worked. At that time Russia consisted mainly of poor farming peasants, which made up one and a half percent of the population owning twenty-five percent of the land.
Russia lost many men in the battle which made them lose the war and they had to pay back. When they lost this caused the Russian economy to crash and by that caused the Russian revolution. The Russian Revolution began in 1917 after Russia lost many wars which made the economy weak. During the 1914 in World war 1 Russia had lost many supplies and military men and Russia lacked good leadership. Tsar Nicholas was in control of Russian government and the army and he refused to share his power with the masses. Then the Duma Parliament in the summer of 1915 demanded the government with democratic values and to show responsibility to the citizens in the country that needed help. However, later that year Nicholas eliminated the Duma and went to war. Tsar Nicholas left the country to be destroyed. Then the government was taken over by Tsarina Alexandra Nicholas wife. She attempted to rule absolutely in her husband’s absence by firing and electing officials of her
Prior to the 1905 Revolution the Tsar’s failure address the living and working conditions of the peasantry ultimately caused the build up of civil unrest all across Russia. Through the excerpt from George Gapon, “The Story of My Life”, 1906 “The workman sees the sad faces of his wife and hungry children in their squalid corner where they are packed like herrings” It is evident how Tsar Nicholas’ lack of interest in improving the quality of life for peasants shows the leadership he lacked as he had also kept out of the touch with the population of Russia and allowed further dissent amongst the populace. Additionally another example of the Tsars failure as a leader which caused the fall of the regime is the event known as “Bloody Sunday” which sparked the fires of the 1905 Revolution. Tsar Nicholas’ ineffective leadership was presented when the peaceful protest on the 22nd of January 1905 that came to raise a petition over the living and working conditions of peasants to the Tsar was fired upon by troops in front of the Winter Palace.
Russian Revolution of October 1917 was the child of the antagonism of classes in contradictory imperialism. It started in poorly ruled environment of Tsarism, prepared by previous revolutions of 1905-6 (Hobsbawm, 1995, p.30). “So ready was Russia for social revolution that masses treated the fall of Tsar as a proclamation of universal freedom, equality and direct democracy. The uncontrolled masses transformed into Bolshevik power” (Hobsbawm, 1995, p.36). Many political parties had arose, however, not many of them knew how to rule the huge country. As country mainly was agrarian with more than eighty per-cent of peasants, who were hungry, landless and tired of the endless wars, Bolsheviks who represente...
Furthermore, the farming methods were still old - fashioned and life barely rose above the starvation level. The peasants were dissatisfied. with the situation, leading to social difficulties within Russia. Working conditions for both peasants and the working class have barely improved, resulting in an urge for change among many Russians. Their most important desire was the longing for a new leader to replace the Tsar.
The Russian’s were wrong in having hope for a reformed government. Following the careless Czar came Lenin and Stalin, both continuing the reign of terror that the Czar had left behind. Instead of a Czarist gover...