To What Extent Was the Revolution of 1905 a Failure?

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To what extent was the revolution of 1905 a failure? Although Bloody Sunday was the immediate spark, there were many more short and long term causes prior to the revolution. The Long term causes may be split into two categories, Social and Economic, and Political. The first involves; the poor living and working conditions, that were a result of sudden industrial and population growth, and the harvest failures that had been a issue for decades, both of which contributed to high levels of violence from the lower classes. Furthermore the Jacqueries attacked government officials and buildings, destroying many official records, specifically those that referred to unpaid rents. Finally the oppressive policies and the violence that peasants faced from the government and groups, such as pogroms, pushed the levels of tension further. The political causes are centred on the demand for change. Moderate reformers such as the liberals wanted an elected government, where as the more radical groups, such as the Social Revolutionaries and Democrats were looking for a greater change and more power for the peasants. Short term causes included the embarrassing defeated faced by Russia in the Russo-Japanese war. This loss to a ‘second rate power’ not only undermined the Tsars power, but also resulted in already poor conditions in towns deteriorating further. The high taxes that were introduced at one of the many times of great famine angered many peasants already struggling to survive. Finally the economic slump further raised unemployment in the working classes. Although at first glance the revolution may appear to have been a failure, there were many successes that came as a result. Foremost the grand scale of the uprising is a clear indicator of how well the peasants could organise themselves. Evidence of this is also shown in the case of the St Petersburg soviet as, although it
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