However after Karakazov attempts to assassinate the Tsar in 1866, he becomes much more autocratic, revealing that he had no intention of significantly developing politics, his use of the Zemstvas were in fact to help sustain autocracy, through making local administration more efficient. It can be suggested from this that Alexander II had put the Zemstva Act in place to appease the nobles angered by the Emancipation Act. Alexander III was much more of a successful autocrat. His reactionary attitude led to the reversal of many of his father’s liberal reforms, and was in some cases angered by them. Alexander III re-implements Tsarist form, through the use of repression and terror.
There were two views on the Tsarism regime, the Liberal theory where they believed things were getting better and the regime could have survived and the Marxist theory where they believed the Tsarist regime was outdated and could no longer work and the masses would rise up. Although these two views were debated amongst the people of Russia it was not what made the revolution inevitable, different factors such as the war, food shortages, working conditions, etc.... are what mad the revolution inevitable as they showed the Tsar’s weaknesses and made him vulnerable. The main reasons why it was inevitable that Russia would face a revolution in 1917 was the War. This was one of the main reasons as the Tsar was over ambitious once he got to the Front, he thought they could win the war which meant pro-longing the suffering back in Russia, as the people thought the war was dragging on and that they were unlikely to win, therefore even more soldiers would die leaving the women and children without husbands, fathers or brothers. This made the people more frustrated with the Tsar as 10 million soldiers had already died, therefore they did not want the suffering to go on longer if they were not going to win.
The October Revolution of 1917 was the second major revolution that occurred in Russia in 1917. Due to the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Party of Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin was able to come into power in Russia and brought the country under the influence of Marxism. The Bolsheviks, who were an anomaly in Russian politics even at the time of the February Revolution, were able to quickly manoeuvre themselves into power due to the use of force and because the provisional government in Russia failed to establish itself as a stable regime after the fall of the Tsar. The February Revolution that deposed the Tsar occurred spontaneously after factory workers and women protested against the rising inflation and the shortage of food in Petrograd. What the British Ambassador described at first as “nothing serious” , quickly escalated with the end result being the abdication of the Tsar, a new provisional government and around 1,315 casualties .
Alexander was hopelessly out of touch with the emerging realities of a modern Russia. For example, agriculture was exploited as a source of export earnings; this helped cause a series of famines, especially in 1891. This made him hugely unpopular as he took grain from the people in an attempt to make money and improve the economy. Due to his slow intelligence and lack of experience, Alexander forgot the fundamental rule of keeping his people happy and instead chose to supress them. He did not realise that, following Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs in 1861, he could not return to a state of rigid autocracy when the serfs had already had some freedom.
(30 marks) January 2010 To what extent did Russia undergo economic and political reform in the years 1906-14? (30 marks) OR How far was Lenin responsible for the Bolsheviks’ growing hold on power in the years 1917-24? (30 marks) How significant were the personalities of the contenders to succeed Lenin in accounting for Stalin’s defeat of his opponents in the years 1924-29? (30 marks) OR How far did Stalin’s social policies change the lives of children and women in the years to 1945? (30 marks) May 2010 How far do you agree that the use of repression was the main reason for the weakness of opposition to Tsarism in the years 1881-1914?
One major aspect that contributed to the Tsarist governments path towards the March Revolution is the decisions that we made by Tsar Nicholas II during WWI. The decisions that Tsar Nicholas II made during WWI made a huge impact towards the March Revolution. His distance as a leader is one trait that came to the surface during this time and heavily contributed to his downfall. The Tsar would avoid any aspect of political landscape that he didn’t like or that he found offensively modern. Just a few examples of things he would avoid are the left, public opinion, industry, the press and unions.
The months before and during the Bolshevik revolution, as well as the signing of the peace treaty at Brest-Litovsk cause turmoil among the socialists and brought Russia into civil war. The Provisional Government of Russia treated the middle and lower class citizens of Russia very poorly, ignoring their needs, as well as dragging them into World War I and two civil wars in a little over two decades. The workers of Russia wanted a democratic republic, or any government that would have allowed them to make a difference, and one that would help them as much as their current government was against them (Wade 27). In 1917, Russia was at war in World War I and was suffering economically because of it, as well as loosing the lives of many of their young men in battle. The people of Russia desired to leave World War I as smoothly and as quickly as possible (Wade 29).
How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall? The Provisional Government was put in power as a temporary measure after the February Revolution of 1917, in which the Tsar abdicated his throne on behalf of himself and his son. However, the Government only lasted until October of the same year, where the Bolsheviks overthrew them. Their downfall was due to several factors, some of which the Provisional Government themselves were principally responsible for. Firstly, the most pivotal factor that led to the Provisional Government being ousted from power was the fact that, against the masses wishes, they did not withdraw from World War I.
There were many factors that created a base for the reformist groups to flourish at that time in Russia which in turn created a Revolution. Alexander III was determined to upkeep Russia’s image as a major European power, unlike his father; however he was a conservative, believing that his father’s reforms were a mistake and took to reverse them as much as he could. The counter-reforms initially may have looked like a success due to the period of stability during Alexander III’s reign; however with the Revolution a few years later it seems to be that the counter-reforms were not as successful as they may have seemed. The political oppression resultant of these counter-reforms meant Russia politically was behind its major European counterparts, whilst England and France by now had a form of democracy, Russia was still being ruled by total autocracy, and this increased the resentment against the government and added to the growth of reformist groups. Because of the political structure in place in Russia at the time, without a revolution the only way change was possible was from the Tsar being willing to change things, the Tsar was not willing and he clearly demonstrated this through the counter-reforms, leaving an angry population
The Tsar’s ability to make false promises to the people was a reason for him being able to survive the revolution of 1905 but not of 1907 as people knew by then that he was untrustworthy. Secondly, the 1905 revolution happened before the outbreak of WW1 which meant although there was a lot of discontent in Russia in 1905 there was a lot less that the people could blame the Tsar for. In 1917 the Tsar had the power to pull out of the war which was a main reason for the suffering in Russia at the time. This was because millions of men went to fight in WW1 and this meant that back at home there was little food being produced