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  • CausesIt is widely believed that the 1905 revolution was a Spontaneous rising / accidental rather than it being planned. The increase in Strikes etc. had a more social / economic focus rather than a political one despite the best efforts of revolutionaries. Industrial recession plus bad harvests had increased unrest pre-1905 and Economic pressures on Russian people – taxation, low wages, and growing unemployment. This Combined three main opposition classes – workers + peasantry + reformist middle classes leading to a broad base. Furthermore Incompetence of the Tsarist regime to deal with tensions and problems in Russia meant that that Government’s policy of repression led to Witte Chairman of the Council of Ministers continue to be frustrated at the lack of Tsar’s understanding suggesting government policy was a ‘…mixture of cowardice, blindness and stupidity.’ Events in Russia’s foreign policy and military also fuelled the revolution. Russian fleet destroyed at Tsushima in May 1905, they surrendered the fight against Japan 1905 war. Government was blamed for defeat which led to further outrages (for instance the assassination of Plehve by SR terrorists). The summer of 1905 contained several instances of troops / sailors disobeying orders (e.g. refusing to shoot unarmed strikers) and in June 1905 Crew of the Potemkin battleship mutinied whilst at sea (began as protest against terrible food leading to a man being shot…triggering mutiny). They Sailed to Odessa where there were supporters and led to the Authorities retaliating (massacre). Alone with Humiliation of Treaty of Portsmouth (Sept 1905), handing over control of Port Arthur (negotiated by Witte) Events January: Father Gapon wanted on the 22nd January to lead a peaceful march of workers and families to the Winter Palace to present a petition asking for relief from terrible conditions. However on January 9: Bloody Sunday took place. 150,000 striking workers and their families march through St. Petersburg to deliver a protest to the Tsar, they were shot and ridden down on multiple occasions by the army. Father Gapon repeatedly called out, ‘There is no God any longer. There is no Tsar.’This led to an incease in spontaneous workers' strikes. February 4th the Grand-Duke Sergei Alexandrovich is killed by an SR assassin as protests grow. February 18th Reacting to the growing troubles, Nicholas II orders the creation of a consultative assembly to report on constitutional reform; the move is less than the revolutionaries want, but it gives them impetus. June: Soldiers used against strikers in Lodz.June 18: Odessa is halted by a large strike. June 14-24: Sailors mutiny on the Battleship Potemkin. August 6: Tsar issues a manifesto on the creation of a state Duma; this plan, created by Bulygin and nicknamed the Bulygin Duma, is rejected by revolutionaries for being too weak and having a tiny electorate. October: unrest had grown into a general strike. In cities (esp. Moscow / St.P) workers formed themselves into elected councils known as soviets. They represented workers demands, but could also be a potential base for political agitation (Trotsky leader of St.P soviet)October 9: As telegraph workers join the strike, Witte warns the Tsar that to save Russia he must make great reforms or impose a dictatorship. October 13: In cities (esp. Moscow / St.P) workers formed themselves into elected councils known as soviets. They represented workers demands, but could also be a potential base for political agitation (Trotsky leader of St.P soviet)October 17: Nicholas II issues the October Manifesto, a liberal scheme proposed by Witte. It grants civil liberties, the need for Duma consent before passing lawsOctober: Lvov joins the Constitutional Democrat (Kadet) party, which includes the more...
  • The Revolution of 1905 was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies. It led to the establishment of limited constitutional monarchy, the State Duma of the Russian Empire, the multi-party system, and the Russian Constitution of 1906.

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