How Far Was the Outbreak of the Revolution of 1905 Due to the Consequences of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905?

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How far was the outbreak of the Revolution of 1905 due to the consequences of the Russo­Japanese War of 1904–1905? Eminent Historian Abraham Ascher contends that had Russia not provoked a war with Japan in 1904 then the 1905 revolution may not have happened. The war seemed to symbolise for many Russians the deep problems within Tsarist Russia, However the war alone cannot take all the blame as there were many long­standing problems which existed in Russia which help to create the conditions necessary for revolution. It can be argued that the 1905 revolution has it’s roots in the late 19th Century. Strikes and peasant revolts were common in the 1890s. During the reign of Alexander III, the regime had hardened it’s treatment of its opponents and rejected any calls for reform. When Nicholas II came to power in 1894, he pledged himself to maintain the autocratic principle.Consequently, all discontent was dealt with in a heavy handed way by the Okhrana ­ the secret police ­ and calls for reform were ignored. At the same time, Russia was beginning to industrialise under the Finance Minister, Sergi Witte. 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. As well as this, the newly emerging middle­class began to call for a constitution and a parliament to give them some say in the running of the country. Of course, all calls for reform were met with stiff resistance from the Tsar. Added to this was the economic crisis
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