However after Karakazov attempts to assassinate the Tsar in 1866, he becomes much more autocratic, revealing that he had no intention of significantly developing politics, his use of the Zemstvas were in fact to help sustain autocracy, through making local administration more efficient. It can be suggested from this that Alexander II had put the Zemstva Act in place to appease the nobles angered by the Emancipation Act. Alexander III was much more of a successful autocrat. His reactionary attitude led to the reversal of many of his father’s liberal reforms, and was in some cases angered by them. Alexander III re-implements Tsarist form, through the use of repression and terror.
How important was the role of Lenin compared to the failures of the Provisional Government in bringing about the October revolution? After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917, the Provisional Government (PG) took control of Petrograd, and led the country how they thought it should be led. Their main policy was to maintain Russia in fighting in the war; this was not a favoured idea with the PG followers. Although, they promised to stop the food shortage and to give peasants land which was what everyone wanted. This was one of the main reasons why they gained many followers during the period of the Tsars abdication.
How far were the divisions amongst its opponents responsible for the survival of Tsarist Rule 1881-1905 In the years 1881-1905 the Tsarist regime was faced large amounts of opposition from many people. The lower classes caused uprisings, their aims to remove the Tsar from power, while some educated middle class went on strike in an attempt to reform the regime. Many people were revolting and 3 main political groups emerged. The divides in these political groups were heavily responsible for the survival of the Tsarist rule, however there were other factors responsible such as the repression in Russia, which lead to the eventual removal of all opposition groups, and the loyalty of the Tsars supporters, which meant that his power was still stronger than the opposition he was facing. One of the main reasons the Tsarist rule continued during the tome 1881 until 1905 was due to the splits in the political groups.
He did not realise that, following Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs in 1861, he could not return to a state of rigid autocracy when the serfs had already had some freedom. The reformist groups formed as a result of his errors, he fuelled the creation of them. He aggravated them by taking away many of their rights for example fees quadrupled to restrict entry to secondary and higher education and their previous ability to vote was made more difficult. The fact that they had been given a taste of liberalism by Alexander II was what made the Russian people more aware of the inconveniences of the Tsarist Regime; they began to lose their respect for him and one of the main problems he had on his name was
How far were divisions among its opponents responsible for the survival of tsarist rule in the years 1881-1905? Divisions of opposing groups and their differentiating ideas were very important to the survival for many reasons, but other factors such as the church, the army and the okhrana played a part in the survival of keeping the tsar in power. Opposition can be identified as four main groups; populists, social revolutionaries (SR’s), social democrats (SD’s), and the liberals. The populists Used violent tactics such as terrorism and violence, within this there was the people’s will, from the populist movement the social revolutionaries grew and they were to include a wider spread than just the peasantry. One of the reasons why this didn’t work was the downfall of communication, and disagreements within the group due to the extent of different opinions was so great causing splits and creating smaller less powerful sub divisions.
The system of land distribution was unfair and most peasants received 4% less land than they had rented before, many received much less. In reality they had less land than when they were serfs. This was seen as unfair as they believed that, because they had worked the land for generations, it should now belong to them. The Mir still restricted peasants’ movements and as consolidation and enlargement of property was difficult, there was little incentive to improve the land and adopt modern methods, resulting in a decline in productivity The huge redemption taxes also meant that the peasants had to sell many of the crops they needed to eat and the Mir kept the peasants tied to their commune and still controlled by rules. Peasants felt disappointed and disillusioned and many rioted.
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? The most notable reformist groups that had an impact on the 1905 revolution were the national minorities, the army and the revolutionary parties. The national minorities leapt at the chance of changing autocracy, ending Russification and a democratic government by using Russia’s confusion against itself. It consisted of Jews who wanted civil rights, Polish and Finnish people (and other parts of the Russian empire) who wanted independence and many others. This turned into great violence across the empire, with peasants even attacking officials.
As for the Dumas, they could not pass laws, could not appoint ministers and could not control finance. The first two Dumas were radical and demanded more power and rights for peasants, this may seem like a good thing but these Dumas were both dissolved by the Tsar for being too radical. Stolypin may have helped many peasants buy land and improve farming but he also had a reputation for being particularly tough. He set up many military courts where people could be sentenced and hung on the spot. In fact, the hangman’s noose became known as Stolypin’s necktie.
Although there are several reasons that contribute towards the failure of the Provisional Government, such as the shared power with the soviets, the decision to continue fighting in the First World War was the most important because it led to the loss of support of the people and perhaps more importantly the army, who they desperately needed to keep hold of, as the army protected them. The First World War was the biggest problem the Provisional Government faced, having already lost territory in places such as Poland, and the morale of the armed forces was rapidly decreasing. By continuing in the First World War, the Provisional Government lost the support of the people. Russia owed a large amount of money to several countries who had loaned money to fund the war. The foreign banks were willing to continue to loan to Russia as long as they continued fighting, therefore it can be argued that the Provisional Government was inclined to continue the fighting in the First World War.
Was the Tsar’s personal inadequacy that led to the revolution of Feb/March 1917? Essentially, Tsar Nicholas II was a lacking ruler, he was unwilling to get rid of autocracy which then resulted to no reforms in government which was often corrupt mainly due to the fact that it was an autocracy. This led to the demands of the people being ignored causing there to be universal discontent all over the land of Russia, logically Nicholas’s inadequacy as a Tsar would be a reasonable consideration for what led to the 1917 revolution, however there were other reason not just Nicholas lacking strength in leadership which resulted to the revolution. For example, there had been lingering discontent growing especially with the industrial workers and peasants beforehand concerning their conditions of work. This led to an increase in strikes.