How Accurate Is It to Say That the Growth of Reformist Groups in the Years from 1881 Was the Main Cause of the 1905 Revolution?

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HOW ACCURATE IS IT TO SAY THAT THE GROWTH OF REFORMIST GROUPS IN THE YEARS FROM 1881 WAS THE MAIN CAUSE OF THE 1905 REVOLUTION? (30) The growth of reformist groups across a large section of Russian society – the middle (landed) class and the lower classes consisting of peasants and workers, was to a large extent seen as the main cause of the 1905 revolution. This was because the increasing number, scale and violence of strikes, combined with a greater sense of political direction that came from the core of these groups, put the majority of the population in direct confrontation with the tsarist regime, putting Russia on the brink of revolution. However, there were also other causes which were arguably of equal, or greater, significance. 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. 1899 university students’ strike) and eventually led to
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