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.
To what extent was the lack of political representation the most significant cause of the 1905 revolution? There were a number of different causes that contributed to the start of the 1905 Russian revolution however some were more significant than others. One of the contributing factors was the lack of political representation due to the existence of an autocratic regime. Whilst this was an important factor, the most significant factors were the social and economical issues that caused unrest amongst the Russian population. 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.
The World War brought up a huge range of different issues, which plummeted an already shaky country, into a desperate country. One such issue was the economic strains that the war put on the country. The urgent need for weapons and specialised equipment drove the Russian economy into overdrive, leaving the poorest Russians without food and with an inflation rate which rose around twice as fast as wages went up. The huge numbers of men armed by Russia also meant that industries all across Russian began to slow their production rapidly, most notably of all being agriculture. This meant trade to other countries went down bringing the economy to yet another low and this lack of agricultural workers meant a lack of food across Russia, especially in towns and cities where there was no easy access to farms; and as is with most things in demand, the prices went through the roof, leaving peasants starving on a mass scale.
Opposition to the Tsarist regime increased due to a number of reasons many of which could have been helped and others that were more natural. The key aspects of the opposition of the Tsars was Wittes programme of industrialisation, which while vital to Russia, exchanged the loyalist peasants into the disgruntled working class. While there were problems that the Tsar could not control such as the great amounts of other nationalities wanting independence and resisting Russification, such as the Poles and Jews. In 1881 opposition started due to ordinary people having little to no rights, as it was a criminal offence to question the Tsar and with no parliament to try and change the course of their country they would have to rely on the rich autocratic Tsar to decide to make changes to help the common people. As the government had strict censorship on books and journals when information did get through it would usually be made even more powerful as the government had attempted to ban it.
In the late 19th century, Russia began its process of industrialization following its defeat at the hands of Western nations in the Crimean War. Russia's Industrial Revolution was further helped along by its growing population and an increasing labor force. As the industrial process continued, it gave new job opportunities such as: in mining, factory work, and railroad construction. This influx of jobs was taken by an influx of people, where it came from the country to work in the cities as cheap laborers, taking up dangerous and low-paying jobs. In spite of all these changing times and circumstances, the tension between the upper and lower classes remained tenser than ever before, building up under the fabric of society.
Another issue was that whilst the Tsar encouraged the industrial growth of Russia, and was keen for the country to become an industrial power, when peasants then left the land to work in the developing enterprises, they discovered that their living conditions did not improve. The disaster of the industrial slump that followed the initial rapid advances (coal production had trebled and iron production quadrupled) meant that there was atrocious working conditions, and as trade unions were illegal, life for the peasants that had been seeking a new way of life or hoping to earn more money was
When Nicholas was first crowned Tsar in 1894, the whole country rejoiced and had a new hope for a brighter future, that things would be better than they were before. However, if anything, maybe things got worse. Peasants living in the countryside made up 80% of Russia and their living/working conditions were horrendous. Those who supported the opposition, the Social Revolutionaries, mainly opposed the Tsar because of land. Some peasants left to work in the cities as the Tsar wanted Russia to be an industrial power, however the living conditions there hardly improved, which matched their dreadful working conditions.
Tariffs making goods scarce and heavy taxation meant prices for Russian consumers increased, whilst their wages stayed low. Workers had poor living and working conditions, and their discontent was severely repressed.
Why did widespread protests and rebellions occur across Russia in 1905? There are several reasons as to why widespread protests and rebellions occurred in Russia. The most important reason, which sparked Russia into a time filled with protests, was the Political problems that brewed in Russia; the Tsar aggravated many people, and caused many demonstrations across Russia, as he was not listening to the population. The main reason, which caused a widespread rebellion across Russia in 1905, was due to the political problems in Russia. In 1905, Russia was still an autocracy, with the Tsar possessing complete political power, unlike other countries in Europe, Russia did not have a national elected parliament therefore people were unable to have a say in how their country was run.
Stalin forced all peasants to leave their farms in order for them to be collectivized, and their suffering was horrendous. It is estimated that ten million peasants were dispossessed between 1929 and 1932, of whom around two or three million lost their lives. With the lost of a huge proportion of animal population, seven million people died of famine. Somewhere between 5-10 million kulaks were sent to the Gulags prison camps, where they would be tortured and some even killed. Evidently, an innumerous amount of people suffered from the collectivization, therefore Stalin failed in the social policy of collectivization.