The 1905 Revolution Never Seriously Threatened the Position of the Tsar or His Government.’ How Far Do You Agree with This View?

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It could be said that the supposed revolution was a serious threat to Tsardom. This is because the outrage shown towards the government came from a broad spectrum of society, occupying the three main classes of Russia; the peasantry, the proletariat and the middle class. The motives behind the uprising would certainly warrant a revolution. Fear of eviction and anger at redemption payments (the peasantry), the desire to have political representation, a constituent assembly and civil rights (the middle class) and the condition in which the proletariat had to live. These, along with the demolition of the army in 1905 and the massacre of Bloody Sunday, portraying the Tsar’s incompetence, would be perfectly viable reasons for a revolution to take place. Also, the actions of the public would also assume that the Tsar was threatened. City-wide strikes, destruction of property and seizure of land which occurred may not have troubled the Tsar, but the fact that the government’s Minister of Interior, Plehve, was assassinated surely struck fear into the heart of the Tsar. Plehve was somewhat responsible for the failure of Russia in the war with Japan, and this was showing that if the government did something wrong they would get punished for it. I think clear evidence that shows that the Tsar was worried was the concessions that he subsequently made. Created almost entirely by Witte (one of Russia’s only competent ministers) the October Manifesto was designed to placate the masses, showing the current revolution was a threat. The reduction and eventual abolition of the redemption payments may not show a serious threat, but the fact that the Tsar conceded some of his “Divinely appointed power”, certainly does. The granting of some civil rights, such as speech and assembly, as well as the formation of the duma (despite its heavy restriction) was still a
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