The effectiveness of these groups can be judged in terms of the outcomes of their actions. The first type of opposition to consider is opposition from groups within Russia. In the earlier years of Alexander II’s reign opposition to the Russian government existed within the peasantry. In between 1800-1861 there had been 1467 uprisings and in 1861 alone there were 400 instances of revolt amongst the peasantry. This basic form of opposition was never truly effective as their actions were simply put down by the government partly due to their failure to unite and lack of ideology and political demands.
Tsar Nicholas II wasn’t much of a good ruler for Russia; he ignored the fact that Russia wasn’t doing so good and overlooked the industrialization and nationalism that was occurring throughout Russia. Nicholas II disregarded the troubles the Russians were facing and seemed to only care about himself and him staying in power. This caused people to revolt as they needed a good strong leader to help Russia survive. The main leader who started China’s revolution was Sun Yat-sen who believed China should adopt a democratic government if it were to survive. The revolutions led by him eventually led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty in China.
The lack of unity opposition possessed was a key factor in its failure throughout the period. Division in opinion and ideology were consistent problems for opposition, which only fully united in the February revolution. Even then there were still divisions in opinion, however there was one common cause to unite behind. Other attributing factors such as heavy repression by rulers, well timed reforms and the continuing use of military force ultimately meant that opposition to Russian Governments was rarely successful in the 1855-1964. The peasantry were consistent opponents of Russian Government throughout the period, yet were rarely successful in doing so.
The long-term policies of Russification imposed by the Tsar in the 1880s, caused a lot of political unrest within Russia and these contributed to the 1905 revolution. Russia was the only country within Europe with no elected national parliament. The only form of elected representation (what the Tsar referred to as ‘senseless dreams’) was the “Zemstva”. The Union of Liberation demanded in December 1904, that a parliament should be set up because they felt the Russian population needed an outlet to express their views. At the time, the formation of political parties was illegal but despite this, they still existed.
The October Manifesto, though not actually creating significant change in Russian political policies, officially signified the end of Russia’s autocratic government. The manifesto also raised expectations of political representation which were crushed through the Fundamental State Laws of 1906 and electoral changes in ’07. Through this, Nicholas lost the confidence of his supporters and the people of Russia and from 1906 to 1917, he was gradually abandoned by the bureaucracy, the ruling classes and the church. Despite this, however, Nicholas remained stubbornly unwilling to recognise the isolation of his government. This was demonstrated when he assumed that him taking personal control of the army during the First World War would unite the nation.
Nicholas’ policy platform and his approach in governing the Russian people were heavily influenced by his tutor Pobedonostev. Nicholas inherited his political outlook from Pobedonostev, rejecting liberal and democratic ideas. Following his father’s policy platform, which was also derived from his tutor’s ideas; Nicholas continued repressive measures against any opposition to Tsardom and the Russian Orthodox Church. His government frequently encouraged violence against any religious or cultural pollution against the policy of Russification. “Brothers, in the name of our Savior who gave his blood for us, in the name of our very pious Little Father, the Tsar, who watches over the wants of his people, and alleviates their lot by generous manifestoes, let us join on Easter Day in the cry, "Down with the Jews ! "
For example Alexander II was a humanitarian but Nicholas II mainly wanted modernisation for Russia. Alexander III just wanted to retain his power and keep in control to avoid the same fate as his father. Similarly, the communist rulers were not uniform either as they had different core aims, for example Khruschev’s main aim was destalinisation whereas Stalin’s was to create his own legacy. The Provisional Government and Lenin were alike in their policies in the fact that they both completely changed the system. In the case of the Provisional Government they changed it from autocratic to democratic and Lenin changed it to a one party state; although the result was different the basis was the same.
It can be argued to a certain extent that a study of Russian government in the period 1855-1964 suggests that Russia simply exchanged one form of autocracy for another after 1917. Between the period of 1855 and 1917 Russia was led by the Tsar’s, all born out of the Romanov family which meant they were born into power and followed autocracy, meaning one individual (the Tsar) had absolute power over everyone else. However, this changed after 1917 when the Russian revolution occurred. Leaders of Russia came from the Communist party which by definition claims that there is no powerful individual, everyone’s equal. Leaders from the communist party worked to claim power and weren’t born into it.
However this was not the only problem that showed why they were so short-lived. * Left behind with The problems that the Tsar had faced were still very prominent. * War – continued to fight for loan and duty. * People of Russia wanted to get out war – what the Bolsheviks were offering, whereas Kerensky saw it as defensive war. * Lost terriorty in Poland & Western Russia – PG were blamed for losses just like the Tsar was when took charge.
During the civil war, he was consistent in disobeying orders made from Lenin and Trotsky, as they were the main organisers. However, after Lenin’s death, he was elected politburo, in which now he had central power over the Bolshevik party. Trotsky was expected to take power on the death of Lenin but was not as