Why Was There A Revolution In 1905 The Revolution in 1905 happened for many reasons, some reasons are long term and some short term. A long-term cause of the 1905 Revolution was the continuing dissatisfaction of both peasants and landowners 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 called the 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. Their anger was made evident during the peasant disturbances of 1902.
This also meant that the land was not used to it full potential, all these factors lead to the famines and causing peasants to up rise using violence against government officials. This was on the verge of the revolution. The deep resentment from the peasantry towards the Tsar increased after the war as lots of money had being invested in the war and Russia had lost. Moreover, Sergei Witte had tried to improve the economy of Russia but it was to make sure that the Russian social order stayed the same. Due to industrialisation, factories were built which lead to rapid growth of population in the towns and cities for example from 98 million in 1885 to 125 million in 1905.
Poor harvests, famine, a lack of freedom and repressive policies meant that Russia was a country that was teetering on the brink of revolution long before dissatisfied factory workers marched on the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Some of the causes of the 1905 revolution were due to poor working and living conditions. For instance, up to 15 people would share one room to live in, because of this demonstrations such as the one outside the Winter Palace commonly known as Bloody Sunday took place. 100’s were killed due to horrific misunderstanding by the Russian army. In many ways this helped fuel Russian Revolt.
Alexander was hopelessly out of touch with the emerging realities of a modern Russia. For example, agriculture was exploited as a source of export earnings; this helped cause a series of famines, especially in 1891. This made him hugely unpopular as he took grain from the people in an attempt to make money and improve the economy. Due to his slow intelligence and lack of experience, Alexander forgot the fundamental rule of keeping his people happy and instead chose to supress them. He did not realise that, following Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs in 1861, he could not return to a state of rigid autocracy when the serfs had already had some freedom.
How far were the divisions amongst its opponents responsible for the survival of Tsarist Rule 1881-1905 In the years 1881-1905 the Tsarist regime was faced large amounts of opposition from many people. The lower classes caused uprisings, their aims to remove the Tsar from power, while some educated middle class went on strike in an attempt to reform the regime. Many people were revolting and 3 main political groups emerged. The divides in these political groups were heavily responsible for the survival of the Tsarist rule, however there were other factors responsible such as the repression in Russia, which lead to the eventual removal of all opposition groups, and the loyalty of the Tsars supporters, which meant that his power was still stronger than the opposition he was facing. One of the main reasons the Tsarist rule continued during the tome 1881 until 1905 was due to the splits in the political groups.
The social groups on the other hand are constantly changing and transforming, sometimes influenced by the change in government because of the different beliefs and aims of each group. During this time period Russia was not very economically stable and by 1880 an industrial revolution had not taken place. Russia was too big and her road and rail network not sufficiently developed although the production of railways was dramatically increasing. There was also no effective banking system in place to help and guide Russia to economical success. The 1880s saw an industrial expansion in Russia.
This industrialisation was paid for through heavy taxation on the peasants and the workers. Wages were suppressed to allow money to be ploughed back into developing industry and , in particular, railways. Conditions were very poor for urban workers and soon revolutionary parties like the Bolsheviks began to appear. Furthermore, industrialisation required an educated workforce. This was dangerous for the Tsarist system as an educate workforce was more likely to call for reforms.
This included the Tsar’s incompetence which led to failures both in foreign policy and domestically, as well as the severe human consequences that resulted from the slow and inefficient development of agriculture and industry – a fruitless attempt to keep up with the other Great Powers. From 1881 onwards, reformist groups grew to become of major significance, as their ability to carry out of a full-scale revolution grew with support. Liberal reformers hoping for more radical reforms following Alexander II’s reign were severely undermined by Alexander III and then Nicholas II’s repressive measures. The refusal of the regime to share power with the public representative bodies, and the continued bureaucratic restrictions on the rights of the zemstvos, brought about the zemstvo moment – an alliance of the bourgeoisie (the gentry, professionals, intellectuals and students) – which provided the ‘organisational basis for a constitutional movement’. Tsar Nicholas II’s dismissal of such constitutional desires as ‘senseless dreams’ only provoked further outrage and violence (e.g.
According to the author Sidney Harcave, who wrote The Russian Revolution of 1905, there were four problems in Russian society at the time that had led to the revolution. These are the agrarian problem, the nationality problem, the labor problem, and the educated class as a problem. While individually these may have not made a difference, the combination of these problems created the conditions for a potential revolution.  "At the turn of the century, discontent with the Tsar’s dictatorship was manifested not only through the growth of political parties dedicated to the overthrow of the monarchy but also through industrial strikes for better wages and working conditions, protests and riots among peasants, university demonstrations, and the assassination of government officials, often done by Socialist Revolutionaries. " The government finally recognized these problems, albeit in a shortsighted and narrow-minded way.
Peasants were at the bottom of the Russian Society and in many people's eyes the most likely to want to revolt, but due to the illiteracy and lack of understanding of what was going on, they never, as Robert Service states in “A history of modern Russia” by saying “Peasants, while making money from the expanded market of their products, kept to tradition notions and customs,” this highlights how controlled the Russian Society was and that though many, if not all, peasants were in a bad situation, they upheld traditional values. This would have added to the Tsars strength before 1905, because the peasants made up 80% of the population, and having that huge a percentage under control really would have made the Tsar become under less threat of a revolution. Another reason as to why the Tsar was so strong before 1905 was his tight control over the Russian workers. The Russian industry wasn't very advanced and it can be argued that this was done on purpose, as Robert Service mentions “ for he and his ministers were fearful about the rapid creation of an unruly urban proletariat such as existed in other countries” this shows how the Tsar thought, that if the workers started to earn more money and have a better working life, it may lead to an unbalanced society, so to keep the workers in check, he deliberately