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The 1905 Revolution
Prelude to Revolution
Opposition parties & appalling living conditions throughout Russia
Strikes, demonstrations, protests
Nobles warn Russia near revolution
Slightly relaxed censorship leads to explosion of anti-gov’t writing
Gov’t attempt to set up gov’t-controlled trade union leads to further strikes
Tsar hopes to draw country together in war w/ Japan
Russia suffers humiliating defeats
Sunday, Jan 22, 1905:
200,000 protesters gather outside Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, hoping Tsar will read their petition
Father Gapon, priest leads them
100s carry tsar’s picture, showing respect
Tsar fled earlier in the day
Cossacks, w/o warning or provocation, fire on the crowd, then charge with sabers drawn
Tsar finally lost respect of workers & peasants
For 10 months Russia teetered on the brink of revolution
Tsar’s uncle assassinated
Moscow workers barricade streets
Sailors on battleship Potemkin mutiny
September: General Strike paralyzes Russia
Vladimir Lenin & Leon Trotsky return to Russia from exile
Workers’ Councils ( Soviets ) formed in towns
Peasants murdered nobles/landlords
How did the Tsar Survive?
October: Tsar issues ‘October Manifesto’
Offered Duma (parliament)
Right to form political parties
November Tsar offered financial help for peasants
These actions split opponents:
Middle-class delighted (Cadets)
Revolutionary groups suspicious
Tsar made peace w/ Japan
Tsar moved best troops back to western Russia
Peasant rebellions ruthlessly crushed
Leaders of St Petersburg & Moscow soviets arrested, exiled to Siberia
Troops shots workers who resisted
Revolution crushed, leaders killed, exiled, or hiding
As long as Tsar had monopoly of violence (military control) there would be no revolution
May 1906 ‘Fundamental Laws’ issued:
Duma can make laws, but Tsar could veto & rule by decree
In other words, Tsar still autocrat
The Tsar released the Cossacks to terrorize villages and peasant towns believed to favor revolution.
Focus Task: The Tsar survived! Long live the Tsar!
How did the Tsar survive the 1905 revolution?
On the left-hand side, list the different steps the Tsar took to crush the revolution in 1905.
Explain how each step helped him.
As you read your notes & discuss, list on the right-hand side the longer-term measures the Tsar took to keep control after the revolution.
Explain how each measure helped.
The People’s Point of View
Lord, we workers, our children, our wives and our old, helpless parents have come, Lord, to seek truth, justice and protection from you. We are impoverished and oppressed, unbearable work is imposed on us, we are despised and not recognized as human beings. We are treated as slaves, who must bear their fate and be silent. We have suffered terrible things, but we are pressed ever deeper into the abyss of poverty, ignorance and lack of rights. We ask little: to reduce the working day to eight hours and to provide a minimum wage of a rouble a day. Officials have taken the country into a shameful war. We working men have no say in how the taxes we pay are spent. Do not refuse to help your people. Destroy the wall between yourself and your people.
Petition to the Tsar presented by Father Gapon, January 22, 1905
Are these demands revolutionary?
Two words that sum up attitude of petitioners to the Tsar
The Tsar’s Point of View
Saturday 21 January
A clear, frosty day. There was much activity and many reports. Fredericks cane to lunch. Went for a long walk. Since yesterday all the factories and workshops in St Petersburg have been on strike. Troops have been brought in to strengthen the garrison. The workers have conducted themselves calmly hitherto. At the head of the workers is some socialist priest: Gapon
Sunday 22 January
A painful day. There have been serious disorders in St Petersburg because workmen wanted to come up to the Winter Palace. Troops had to open fire in several places in the city; there were many killed and wounded. God, how painful and sad! Mama arrived from town, straight to church. I lunched with all the others. Went for a walk with Misha. Mama stayed overnight.
From the Tsar’s diary, 1905
Do these documents suggest that the tsar was out of touch? Explain