How far was the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 responsible for the outbreak of the 1905 revolution?
The 1905 Revolution consisted of a series of strikes that took place all over Russia. It was spontaneous and took place as a result of a considerable amount of resentment about the social, economic and political situation in Russia. There are several short and long term factors that contribute to the overall outbreak of the revolution, including the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05.
The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 clearly contributed towards the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution as a short-term factor. Russia wanted to expand its empire in the late nineteenth century: it attempted to gain more control over the Far East, coming into direct conflict with another expansionist power, Japan. From 1904-05, Russia and Japan went to war over the control of northern China and Korea. Although the Russians saw themselves as far superior in terms of military power, they suffered a humiliating defeat. In January 1905, they were forced to surrender their Port Arthur naval base in North China, and over the following months, the Japanese defeated the Russians in Manchuria with the greatest military humiliation took place at the Battle of Tsushima on 27th May 1905. In Russia, the defeats helped to create unrest against the government and undermine the support for Tsar Nicholas, who had supported the conflict. Therefore, the popular resentment caused by the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 humiliating Russia, contributed towards the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution.
A few long-term factors that contributed towards the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution were the social and economic problems. Before 1905, 80% of the Russian population were peasants with the majority living in poverty. The rapid population growth: from 98 million in 1885 to 125 million in 1905 didn’t help this either. The size of peasant landholdings fell in an attempt to provide individual plots for each peasant family....