To What Extent Did Russia Under Political and Economic Refirm?

719 Words3 Pages
According to the author Sidney Harcave, who wrote The Russian Revolution of 1905, there were four problems in Russian society at the time that had led to the revolution. These are the agrarian problem, the nationality problem, the labor problem, and the educated class as a problem. While individually these may have not made a difference, the combination of these problems created the conditions for a potential revolution.[1] "At the turn of the century, discontent with the Tsar’s dictatorship was manifested not only through the growth of political parties dedicated to the overthrow of the monarchy but also through industrial strikes for better wages and working conditions, protests and riots among peasants, university demonstrations, and the assassination of government officials, often done by Socialist Revolutionaries."[2] The government finally recognized these problems, albeit in a shortsighted and narrow-minded way. The minister of interior Pleheve stated in 1903 that, after the agrarian problem, the most serious ones plaguing the country were those of the Jews, the schools, and the workers—in that order.[3] The Russian economy was tied to European finances so when the western money markets contracted in 1899-1900, Russian industry plunged into a crisis deeper and more prolonged than that which concurrently struck western European industry. This setback aggravated discontent throughout society in the five years preceding the revolution of 1905.[4] Every year thousands of nobles who found themselves in debt either mortgaged their estates to the noble land bank or sold their land to municipalities, merchants, or peasants. The nobility had sold off one-third of its land holding and mortgaged the third that remained. The peasants had become emancipated from serfdom.[5] The government had hoped to make them a politically conservative land holding class. The
Open Document