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What Were the Causes of the 1905 Revolution?Why Did the Revolution Fail to Overthrow the Tsarist Regime?

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What were the causes of the 1905 Revolution? Why did the Revolution fail to overthrow the Tsarist Regime?

The Revolution of 1905 was the first time the Tsar had faced open opposition from so many groups in Russian society at the same time. It involved peasant disturbances, strikes, naval mutinies, nationalist uprisings and assassinations. This essay aims to examine the different causes of the Revolution of 1905. Short and long-term causes will be considered, and economic, political, military and social factors will be discussed. The essay will also explain why the Revolution ultimately failed to overthrow the Tsarist regime.

A long-term social and economic cause of the 1905 Revolution was the continuing dissatisfaction of both peasants and landowners to the Emancipation Edict of 1861. Although this piece of legislation had brought an end to serfdom, peasants still remained tied to the village commune (mir) and were angry at the redemption payments they were expected to pay in return for the land they had received. They believed more, and better quality, land should have been given to them at no cost. Their anger was made evident during the peasant disturbances of 1902. The landowners were also unhappy with the terms of emancipation. They lost the free labour of their serfs and a large amount of land. As a result many were facing huge debts by 1905.

Another long-term cause of the 1905 Revolution was the general disappointment with which many Russian people viewed the reforms of the previous decades. As mentioned above, emancipation had promised much but delivered little. The reign of Alexander II had produced a number of similar reforms. Changes to local government and the legal system were both limited and led to the call for more liberal reform. The reactionary reign of Alexander III led to a tightening of government control and the persecution of…...

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