This also meant that the land was not used to it full potential, all these factors lead to the famines and causing peasants to up rise using violence against government officials. This was on the verge of the revolution. The deep resentment from the peasantry towards the Tsar increased after the war as lots of money had being invested in the war and Russia had lost. Moreover, Sergei Witte had tried to improve the economy of Russia but it was to make sure that the Russian social order stayed the same. Due to industrialisation, factories were built which lead to rapid growth of population in the towns and cities for example from 98 million in 1885 to 125 million in 1905.
Also, compared to other European countries, Russian agriculture was still backward. This is because the Great Spurt under Witte focused on industrial growth and neglected agriculture. This then brought rapid growth in population in cities as peasants moved in to work in factories. As a result, working and living conditions became extremely poor, giving people more reasons to rebel and start a revolution. Furthermore, there were also political causes for the outbreak of the 1905 revolution.
The reactionary reign of Alexander III led to a tightening of government control and the persecution of minority groups, such as Jews, within the Empire. Another long-term cause of the 1905 Revolution was the worsening conditions of both peasants and urban workers. The famines in 1897, 1898 and 1901 had led to shortage and distress in the countryside. Living and working conditions in Russia’s industrial towns were no better. Workers worked in poorly ventilated factories for long hours and little pay.
A large number of Russia’s problems were caused by pre-existing conditions such as poor distribution of food supplies, transportation, and inflation. There are a number of other conditions that contributed to Russia’s war problems; however these are arguably the most important factors. Firstly, the requisitioning of horses and fertilisers by the military for the war effort made it difficult to sustain agricultural output, since farmers still used medieval farming techniques horses were needed to produce a harvest, this resulted in a huge decline in food production and threw the lower class into starvation. Furthermore, the army had first rights on the limited amount of food being produced and they had priority in the use of various transport systems, they also commandeered the railways and roads with the result that the food supplies that were available could not be distributed easily to the rest of the nation. This was terribly inconsiderate of the military as the other 82% of the nation was left to starve as the military was the government’s top priority.
How accurate is it to say growth of reformist groups in the years from 1881 was the main cause of 1905 revolution? Long term- social • 80% peasants- poverty- a lot of ppl against him as he was making them work like slaves- should have helped them because majority & produce the food • Peasants reacted to famine with violence= had enough- attacked gov officials & destroyed gov land holding records • Poor working & living conditions- why wasn’t the Tsar * Agricultural crisis: peasants had huge debts; not enough land for everyone; famine. * Rapid industrialisation: over populated cities; workers living in slums; wages low; hours long. Long term – political • Autocracy- gave Tsar all power but was mostly helping upper class • No elected national parliament= demand for political reform • Reformers had nothing in common apart hate for Tsar= desperation * ruled by a Tsar, who had complete control over the country. However, he was a weak ruler and failed to rule his people properly * he treated opposition with violence and the Okhrana (the secret police) * Political repression; compared with other countries democracies; Tsar was VERY WEAK and easily influenced.
Historians such as Steven Main argue, “WWI had given birth to the USSR1”. Which is what the Bolsheviks and Lenin would later turn Russia into. Like most wars, the First World War had a massive impact on Russia as a country and its people. The war like most took a toll on the economy and due to the fact that Russia was less industrially developed than its allies, France and Britain, this meant that they had to work harder to keep up with ammunition production as well as normal amenities such as food. As there was a shortage of supplies, standard “supply and demand” went up and inflation occurred and because 80% of Russian people were peasants and already poor this meant that many people went without causing famine.
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.
This was because 80% of the population lived in poverty and although the serfs were emancipated in 1861 they were still forced to pay redemption payments up until 1905. An increasing population meant that rural disturbances were growing as 1905 approached as a shortage of food and land became worse as higher taxes were put on those who could barely afford them in order to pay for the industrialisation of Russia. There were also disturbances from minorities who wanted an end to Russification, like Georgia and Poland who wanted autonomy and independence. As well as this, the growing industry in Russia meant more and more workers were moving to towns and cities in order to find a better life when in reality there was only low wages, poor living conditions and long hours. Due to this discontent began to grow in more densely populated areas and from the later part of the 1890s more and more strikes were happening.
This decreased the income of money going into the government which was used for military and other government worthy things. The result of that led to higher taxation on citizens which made the people of Rome upset and ended up having less money to buy necessities and other things to keep the economy rolling. Another important reason was the abundance of slaves in Rome. The large quantity of slaves help lead to the growth of latifundia which is large land estates, consisting mostly of slaves for farming. This ruined the farmers of Rome which in result, they drifted to cities that helped add more unemployment to the cities.
The first revolution in 1917 overthrew the Tsar, hoping that a new government would be formed, and that this new government would end the war. The war had caused the price of food to be multiplied by seven, had weakened the government, which received less money since alcohol sale had been forbidden, and the state had a monopoly on alcohol. The soldiers sent to the front were exhausted and had lost hope, and many of them did not want to fight anymore. Thus, when the Provisional Government came to power and did not do anything to end the war, people were still hungry and angry. This is very important because food is one of the most important and basic things people want, and lots of revolutions broke out because of famine.