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1905 russian revolution

The meaning of «1905 russian revolution»

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The Russian Revolution of 1905,[a] also known as the First Russian Revolution,[b] was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire, some of which was directed at the government. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies. It led to constitutional reform (namely the "October Manifesto"), including the establishment of the State Duma, the multi-party system, and the Russian Constitution of 1906.

The 1905 revolution was spurred by the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, which ended in the same year, but also by the growing realization by a variety of sectors of society of the need for reform. Politicians such as Sergei Witte had failed to accomplish this. While the Tsar managed to keep his rule, the events foreshadowed those of the Russian revolutions in 1917, which resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy, execution of the imperial family, and creation of the Soviet Union by the Bolsheviks.

Some historians contend that the 1905 revolution set the stage for the 1917 Russian Revolutions, and enabled Bolshevism to emerge as a distinct political movement in Russia, although it was still a minority. Lenin, as later head of the USSR, called it "The Great Dress Rehearsal", without which the "victory of the October Revolution in 1917 would have been impossible".[2]

According to Sidney Harcave, four problems in Russian society contributed to the revolution.[3] Newly emancipated peasants earned too little and were not allowed to sell or mortgage their allotted land. Ethnic and national minorities resented the government because of its "Russification" of the Empire: it practised discrimination and repression against national minorities, such as banning them from voting; serving in the Imperial Guard or Navy; and limiting their attendance in schools. A nascent industrial working class resented the government for doing too little to protect them, as it banned strikes and organizing into labor unions. Finally, university students developed a new consciousness, after discipline was relaxed in the institutions, and they were fascinated by increasingly radical ideas, which spread among them.

Also, disaffected soldiers returning from a bloody and disgraceful defeat with Japan, who found inadequate factory pay, shortages, and general disarray, organized in protest.

Taken individually, these issues might not have affected the course of Russian history, but together they created the conditions for a potential revolution.[3]

At the turn of the century, discontent with the Tsar’s dictatorship was manifested not only through the growth of political parties dedicated to the overthrow of the monarchy but also through industrial strikes for better wages and working conditions, protests and riots among peasants, university demonstrations, and the assassination of government officials, often done by Socialist Revolutionaries.[4]

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