Russia existed in turmoil at the close of the 19th century. This tumultuous atmosphere spilled over into the new century. This time period is a portrait of a country in a state of constant change. However, this change was far more problematic to Russia that similar progress of western European nations. An examination of the revolutionary period of 1905 presents the inevitability of such a revolution. Russia's rapid industrialization and modernization had inherent problems. Typically, countries, which undergo rapid periods of industrialization, subvert the well being of the common individual in favour of the progress of the nation. This was the case in a rapidly industrializing Russian economy. The rise of capitalism led to an increase of inequality between the classes. In addition, the mistakes of the Russo-Japanese war loomed upon the horizon of the Russian political climate. These factors, in cooperation with the archaic autocratic government, led to civil unrest. Protests and strikes led to the formation of radical political parties. The Russian people were dissatisfied with their government and their way of life; and they were becoming increasingly vocal in their protests. The revolution of 1905 was a product of continued autocratic repression of the Russian people, and the inability of the autocracy to effectively represent and govern the vast nation of Russia.
At the turn of the 20th century there were increasing social divisions in the social and political structure of Russia. The resulting inequalities left peasants and members of the proletariat at an increasing disadvantage. Abraham Ascher quotes P.N. Miliukov in an explanation of representative disorder wit...
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...the turn of the 20th century. The immediate hardships forced upon the population by the autocracy through the Russo-Japanese War served as a catalyst for the growing reaction of the Russian people to their oppressive reality. The 1905 Revolution was an event instigated because of oppressive domestic policy and the inability of an autocracy to effectively represent and govern 129 million people.
Abraham Ascher, The Revolution of 1905: Russia in Disarray (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988)
David Floyd, Russia in Revolt (London: Macdonald & Co., 1969)
Sidney Harcave, First Blood: The Russian Revolution of 1905 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1965)
Thomas Riha, ed., Readings in Russian Civilization, Vol II: Imperial Russia 1700-1917. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973)
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