Causes Of The 1917 Russian Revolution

2592 words - 11 pages

The revolution of March 1917 wasn't just a sudden event that happened and was planned over night, there were many causes, long and short term that finally brought out the peoples strength.There were many long-term reasons for the Russian people being dissatisfied. The people weren't being governed properly. This was because Russia was full of many different races and social classes and it was a very large empire, almost twice the size of China! If any riots were taking place a long way from St Petersburg, (the capital), it would be very difficult for the Tsar and his forces to reach them and control them in time. To try and solve the great problem of its size, an enormous railway was built. ...view middle of the document...

Many worked there to earn extra money too. Many just wanted enough of there own land to farm. The situation was getting worse by the 1900's. The population had grown by 50% and was still increasing. This created more competition.The urban workers lived and worked in the towns. Many of the workers were young male peasants who had been forced off the land. More jobs were now needed.In the industrial centres away from the cities, the workers lived in barracks next to the factory. Inside, up to 30 workers slept in each dormitory, or in minute rooms, small families slept. They were divided by small partitions, giving no privacy. Illness, smells, arguments, sex - nothing could be hidden. Most factories were working 24 hours a day. Two workers slept in one bed, one on the day shift; the other on the night.Life in the back streets of Russia's cities was very different for the men and women who worked in the new industries. They lived in cheap wooden lodging houses or large tenement buildings, ate cheap black bread, cabbage soup and buck wheat porridge and drank vodka.The ruler of Russia, the Tsar, was an autocrat. He had complete power and could do what he liked without consulting anyone. He was not elected. But he had a government to help him run the empire. There were thousands of civil servants. Getting things done was an incredibly slow business. The civil servants carried out orders passed down to them. However, because of the low wages for the people at the bottom, there was a good deal of bribery and corruption.There was no parliament to represent the people's views, and absolutely no way for the people to get their views heard. All books and newspapers had to be censored, (approved by the government), before being printed. Opposition was not tolerated and the Okhrana, secret police, had spies everywhere, and dealt with people who criticised the government. Dissidents soon found themselves exiled to Siberia.One of the most important sources to the Tsar was the Russian army. He used the troops to control everything and anything, especially when things were getting out of control. He couldn't and wouldn't have survived if the army went against him.At the beginning of 1905 conditions were bad in St Petersburg and tensions were high. To ease the tension a priest, Father Gapon, organised a march to deliver a petition to the Tsar asking for help. As they approached they were met by troops. A massacre broke out known as 'Bloody Sunday.'This did not solve anything. Tensions were still clearly there and in October a soviet, a council/committee, was formed. They threatened the Tsar by staging strikes and started to form other soviets in other cities. The Tsar was forced to make important concessions or risk losing his throne. He issued the October Manifesto on the 30th October 1905. This offered the Russian people a Duma or parliament, elected by the people. This offered civil rights, e.g.) freedom of speech and conscience, uncensored newspapers and the...

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