Explain Why the Opponents of the Tsars from 1855 to 1917 Were More Successful Than Those Who Opposed the Communist Regime from 1917 to 1964. Essay

1283 WordsMar 9, 20146 Pages
Explain why the opponents of the Tsars from 1855 to 1917 were more successful than those who opposed the Communist regime from 1917 to 1964. The opponents of the Tsars were more successful – as they achieved vastly more change – than those of the Communists for a number of reasons, not least because of the legal status of opposition, the strength of the regime, the nature of the opposition, the repression imposed by the leader of the day, and the unity and organisation of the opposition. Indeed, this question is being asked simply because the Romanov dynasty was ousted in February 1917; the Communists, on the other hand, were not. However, this question is slightly misleading: not all of the opponents of the Tsars were in fact successful – the Poles, the Peoples Will and the Narodniks all failed when attempting to attain change in Russia; indeed, it can be seen that, in reality, the only regime in which opposition was truly successful was that of Nicholas II. One reason why the opponents of the Tsars were more successful than those of the Communists was the fact that, under the Tsars, opposition attained a legal status. It can be argued that the implementation of the Zemstvos under Alexander II paved the way for the full legalisation of opposition, as this allowed the spawning of political ideas. However, under Nicholas II this was more prevalent, as the October Manifesto allowed for the full legalisation of opposition through the implementation of the Dumas. Though the Dumas acted as unsuccessful opposition to the Tsar – as he declared the Fundamental Laws almost immediately after the Dumas came into existence – this was important as it allowed the opposition groups to burgeon. Unlike the regimes of both Alexander II and III, political discussion was allowed, and as such it developed more so than at any other time in the period. This differs starkly to the

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