Russia 1905 Essay

1441 words - 6 pages

The revolution of 1905 whatever its success or failure was, nonetheless it was an important event in the last dying years of autocratic imperial Russia. Failure in many cases throughout history is only judged by the events that follow and this is true in many ways of the 1905 revolution. The events of 1905 involved many different people, all of whom had their own grievances with the prevailing Russian system. By examining their demands and what they were conceded after the revolution will it be determined that the revolution was a failure.
The key problems in Russia, which lead to the revolt of the people were after suffering a harsh defeat in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, Russia's tsar, ...view middle of the document...

Many houses have been burnt down without reference to the relations which had existed between the peasants and the landowners or the latter’s police views.” (Lynch 46) The massacre caused revolt throughout the nation. 

The revolution was a failure because although the people wanted to modify the system they were living in and mainly their life style; they did not know how to enact change and did not have clever methods which would help them achieve the success they wanted. The three main discontented groups were: the proletariat class in the industrial towns, which were the Marxist-oriented revolutionary parties (Social Democrats and Social Revolutionaries), the middle-class political parties and the peasants in the countryside. All across Russia, different sections of the people moved into active protest. The peasants and workers joined with the middle classes, intelligentsia against the absolutism and oppression of the Tsarist monarchy. Each group had different aims, however, and the two forces which played the leading part in the revolution were the workers and peasants, who raised economic and political demands.

The Social Democratic Labor Party consisted of The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin (the majority) and the opposing group the Mensheviks (Minority). The Mensheviks wanted a mass party consisting of both active supporters and non-active sympathizers. While the Social Democratic Party appealed to the workers for support. Like the Social Democratic Party, the Social Revolutionaries believed in an imminent middle class revolution. But the Social Revolutionaries differed from the Social Democrats in three ways: first they gave to the peasantry a greater and more independent role in the revolutionary process; secondly, they thought that all land should be the property of the State and the State should parcel out land to all peasants on the basis of their labor ownership (In other words, those peasants who had greater labor force would be given more land); thirdly, they concentrated on assassination and other terrorist methods to achieve their goals.

There was still a continuing dissatisfaction from the peasants to the Emancipation Edict of 1861. Although this piece of legislation had brought an end to serfdom, peasants still remained tied to the village commune (mir) and were angry at the redemption payments they were expected to pay in return for the land they had received. They believed more, and better quality, land should have been given to them at no cost. On top of that, the famine that struck the peasants, made them unable to pay the redemption payments,which caused a lot of discontent towards the Tsar.

The worker’s living conditions were intolerable; they were crowded together in barracks where there were no healthy and sanitary facilities. Conditions in the factories were also unsatisfactory there were no safety devices to protect the workers. To express their grievances, the workers organized strikes, even though...

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