Why did opposition to the Tsarist Regime increase between 1881 and 1904? Opposition to the Tsarist regime increased between 1881 and 1904 due to a mix of the effects of industrialisation, which lowered the quality of life for the peasants and the workers in Russia, and government policies such as Russification and upholding the autocracy. Industrialisation, which both Alexander the third and Nicholas the second prioritized in the 1880s and 1890s, caused a lot of problems for the peasants, which mad them oppose the autocracy. Land hunger was a massive problem throughout this time period and only 5% of Russia’s land could be used for farming. So this meant peasants didn’t get a lot of land, which became more of a problem because to aid industrialisation, a policy of export and starve was introduced.
Although it has obtained some successes at the beginning, the dramatic changes were not far away. Russia was badly equipped and led; the army suffered a run of disastrous defeats as well as the rail way signalling system breakage of food transportation, causing blocked lines and trains being abandoned, over 200,000 men were found dead. Food riots broke out in Russia’s countryside and major cities. Because Russia was receiving supplies and support from their European allies the provisional government refused to pull out of the war, and began announcing new offensives. Loyal army has been replaced with around 15 million peasants, the army had sympathised with workers and themselves along with the navy began mutiny against a government they had no wish to fight and die for with the Bolsheviks rioting.
Firstly the Russian empire’s economy was largely focused on agriculture; which was also essential for feeding their vast empire. At the start of the First World War agricultural workers and horses were drafted to the army causing a reduction in food production. This meant contentment on the home front was low as there weren’t enough people to do the work and people weren’t getting enough food; this is a direct cause of the war and is a prime example of how the First World War was responsible for the fall of the Romanovs. Combined with the lack of workers was the army takeover of the railway, this meant that there were further food shortages in towns and cities as there was very poor internal communication; the lack of workers caused by the war affected the people’s faith in the Czar and the war and contributed to the eventual downfall of the Czarist regime. To add to this rationing was introduced and each person was entitled to 50 grams of bread a day.
The prices had risen so much that transport was limited, so not much food could reach Petrograd before it was rotting. The Russians were furious losing the support for their leader. Nicholas was appointed after his father died to be the autocratic ruler of Russia. Nicholas by this time of the late 19th Century when he came into power should’ve realized that he
Russian industry and agriculture struggled to cope with the war economy; food shortages in the cities were heightened by the war and the limited railway system was focused on transportation of men and arms to the front, rather than food to the cities. Riots broke out as a result of starvation, workers in the cities complained about the situation they found themselves in and, as the number of dead continued to rise, the level of discontent grew. This ultimately caused a sense of unease within the ruling elite which eventually led to the abdication of the
However, the First World War changed all this. Russia was known throughout Europe as being a ‘backwards’ country that desperately needed to industrialise. Russia’s lack of modernisation meant that their transportation systems were extremely underdeveloped, and thus getting equipment to the Front proved to be a great challenge indeed. This resulted in many shortages; for instance, in 1915, some Russian artillery units were limited to firing three shells per day. This, in turn, caused a significant number of casualties and deaths, and by the end of 1915, two million men had been wounded or taken prisoner.
This made him very unpopular. With such a huge empire Russia struggled with agriculture. ‘Even when the harvests were good, yields were poor compared with the rest of Europe’. Russia couldn’t keep up with the rapid growth of agriculture in Europe; it didn’t even make enough food to feed its large population. As a result of this many peasants were in poverty.
This made the government not original so the country could not benefit from it. Also political parties were banned so the government had little incentive to work to their potential as there is no competition. This relatively useless government made Russia unproductive and inefficient as there was little reform from their government. Following this most important point is the second most important factor of the 1905 Revolution which is the depression between 1899 and1903. The depression damaged Russia’s economy quite badly.
Nicholas poor leadership and traditional beliefs meant that there was little change in Russia, outside Russia many countries were further advancing in industrialization where as Russia was still lacking behind. Possibly the most fatal mistake that the Tsar made was appointing himself Commander in Chief of the Russian military as he was suddenly personally responsible for the many defeats in the first world war. The most devastating being the Brusilov Offensive of June 1916, killing about 1.5 million soldiers. The people of Russia felt let down. However, it was not just the Russian people who felt let down by the Tsar’s actions, the soldiers themselves began to desert, in some cases even killing their own officers.
Assess the reasons for opposition and unrest in Russia from 1894 to 1905 During 1894-1905 Russia faced much opposition to its dictatorship rule by Tsar Nicholas II. There was social unrest throughout Russia within this time period, which was created by economic troubles, the loss in the Russo-Japanese war and political problems. The Tsar was also a very weak figure and there was Opposition to the autocratic system. Industrialisation in Russia helped Russia’s economy grow massively and in 1914 it was one of the causes of opposition and social unrest in Russia, as industrialisation caused a gap between the rich and poor. This caused the division of society between the countryside and towns.