what powers did nicholas ii wield as a tsar ?
he was the ‘absolute ruler’ of russia. “autocratic and unlimited monarch. god himself ordains that all must bow to his supreme power” (fundamental laws)
what was the nature of russia politically ?
russia was ‘politically backwards’; it rejected liberal ideas - 1894 russia it was still a criminal offense to oppose the tsar or his government / no parliament / political parties had no legal right to exist.
what was ‘russification’ intended to achieve?
strictly enforced method of restricting the influence of non russian national minorities within the empire by emohasising the superiority of ‘all things russian’ - aim was to impose russian ways / values on all the people within the nation.
what methods did sergei witte use to develop the russian economy ?
-transport and the development of the ‘trans siberian railway’, which stretched from moscow to vladivostok, 5770 miles. aimed to connect the remoter reigions of the empire with the industrial west
how succesful were witte’s policies ?
promised more than it delivered - by 1916 sections were still incomplete, and it did not greatly improve east/west migration.
- improved trade however must be remembered that russia was experiencing a growth in population / russia was starting from a much lower level of production.
- made russia too dependent on foreign loans + investment
- neglected light industry
- paid no attention to russias agricultural needs
what were the main ideas of the SR’s
- represents all labouring people / trust + support put in to ordinary people.
- believed peasants could develop their own socialist state.
- believed in a revolution in which peasants rise up against the tsar to overthrow him.
- 1901 - 1905 they carried out ‘political assassinations’ VON PLEHVE
what was the impact of marxism on the sd’s
they believed in an uprising to overthrow the tsarist system
what led to the divide in the sd party?
they were divided about the role of the party
bolsheviks - believed in a ‘centralised leadership’, made up of a small no. of highly disciplined professional revoloutionaries. FOCUS ON REVOLUTIONARY TACTICS AND PREPARING THE W/C FOR REVOLUTION
mensheviks - impetus had to come from the workers themselves. party should be broadly based and take on all people whom wished to join. THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF TRADE UNIONS TO HELP THE W/C IMPROVE THEIR POSITION
how strong were the bolsheviks before 1917
strong and ready - when a revoloutionary situation developed in 1917 it was the bolsheviks whom were best prepared to seize the opportunity
what encouraged the growth of a liberal movement in tsarist russia
the liberal movement grew significantly after the local gvt reforms of alexander ii, whom set up the ‘zemstvo’ - created a class of people whom became skilled in local politics
why did russia perform so badly in the russo-japanese war?
- underestimated the japanese
- trans siberian railway = incomplete. 150 km gap
- loss of port arthur
- indeveloped baltic fleet. - took 6 months to arrive
why was it so difficult for russia to reform itself ?
- basic disagreement within the government about russia’s true character as a nation - ‘westerners’ believed that in order for russia to remain great, she’d have to adopt features of western europe. ‘slavophiles’ regarded western values as corrupt.
- autocratic nation - change could only come from the top.
how can alexander ii be seen as a ‘reformist tsar’?
- emancipation of the serfs 1861
- ‘zemstva’ set up in 1864- not truly democratic but offered russia a form of representative government.
- relaxation over the controls over press / universities - encouraged the development of the intelligentsia.
what did pobodonestov believe in?
repression / he had a deep distaste for all things ‘liberal and democratic’ - he saw representative government as the ‘great lie of our time’
how much of the population were peasants
annual production of coal, pig iron, oil, grain in 1890 - 1916
coal 5.9 > 33.8
pig iron 0.89 > 3.72
oil 3.9 > 9.7
grain 36 > 64
(in millions of tonnes)
reasons for 1905 revoloution
famine, heavy taxation, repression, incompetent tsar, economic recession, bad harvests, social unrest, loss of 1905 war
why was the ‘potemkin’ mutiny such a serious threat to the tsarist regime?
because it showed that the loyalty of the armed forces, which the regime depended upon, was unreliable. this proved to be dangerous.
what steps did the government take to deal with the challenges faced in 1905?
‘concessions’ made to divide the forces of opposition. august manifesto / creation of a state assembly of elected representatives of the 51 provinces of the empire.
what was bloody sunday
a peaceful march, led by father gapon, that was met with open fire. it damaged the image of the tsar as the ‘father of the people’
what was the ‘union of unions’
a group that the kadets wanted to make in alliance with peasants and factory workers.
what was outlined in the october manifesto
aim - appease the liberals
- creation of a legislative duma
- freedom of speech,assembly,worship
- right of political parties to exist
- legalising of trade unions.
what concession was offered to the peasants
mortgage repayments progressively reduced then aboblished altogether
why were the industrial workers crushed
posed the most serious threat. after a 5 day seige the hq of st petersburg soviet was stormed + ringleaders arrested
why was the 1905 rev a failuire
the people werent ready, they were ‘disillusioned’ and ‘inexperienced’
-duma was not really a ‘reformation’, the fundamental laws came before them.
impact of 1905 on tsarist regime?
- broken bond between tsar / his people - he lost their affection
- fear and respect for the tsar replaced with fear alone
- workers and peasants more inclined towards social revoloution than liberal reform
- mood of peasants changed - sullen resentment and hatred.