Miss Essay

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“To what extent was the Romanov regime under threat from internal and external forces in 1904?” It appears that in 1904, the Romanov autocratic regime was under threat from both internal and external forces, given that the following year in 1905, Russia commenced what is known as the ‘First Russian Revolution’. The immediate cause of this revolution, it would seem, was the Russo-Japanese War (1904 – 1905), but tensions had been rising among the people for many years due to the acts of the final three Czars – Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II. Firstly, Alexander II contributed significantly to the problems facing Russian society in 1904, as it was he who introduced a number of reforms, many of which had negative consequences for the people of Imperial Russia. The first of these reforms was the Emancipation of Serfs in 1861, resulting in the peasantry being given land that belonged to the nobility. The issue was that because the peasants now had this land, nobles were losing money. The government now paid the nobility with money paid by the peasants. The peasantry now had to pay higher dues than they had when the land belonged to the nobles, thus forcing them further into poverty. Poverty rates rose under Alexander II, as did anger and resentment towards the government. Alexander also created the zemstva, a form of provincial self-government, reducing the power of the nobility. The zemstva also, however, led to the challenging of the Czar’s rule, for the people wanted more political power. Some of his other reforms included improving the legal system, introducing conscription, abolishing military assemblies, expanded the basis of entry for secondary school, and relaxed book censorship to reform university autonomy. The problem was that the intelligentsia felt that these reforms weren’t radical enough and social problems weren’t fixed, so they formed

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