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Assess the Consequences of the 1905 Revolution for Russia?

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Assess the consequences of the 1905 revolution for Russia? ‘Stolypin’s necktie’, this quote was a piece of black humour which nicknamed the execution noose after Stolypin, in a period of mass executions during 1906 and 1911. Arguably this quote shows one that the 1905 revolution did not achieve a legislative, peaceful Russia. However, in this essay one will argue that even though there was significant political change in the way that the tsar’s power had been diminished from the October manifesto of 1906 to a more democratic country.

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That there were several limitations which obtained all rights given in the October manifesto such as fundamental laws and electoral reforms. Also, one will consider the change in the economy; Stolypin’s land reforms and land banks, and the cancellation of the redemption payments. However, it will be considered that these economic changes were hardly valid due to un-content peasants and bad land. Finally, social change will be assessed as social reforms took place e. g. better education, and civil rights and the acceptance of trade unions.

However, one will argue that all of the social improvements were also out-manoeuvred by repression of workers, the Lena goldfield’s incident and Stolypin’s ‘necktie’. Overall, in this essay one will assess the changes in Russia made possible by the change of power situated in Russia with the limitations that took promises made by the tsar away from the people. In this paragraph one will argue the political changes in Russia due to the 1905 revolution were invalid due to the fundamental laws and electoral reforms.

This may be argued because in 1905 the October manifesto was introduced. This gave civil liberties right of ‘free citizenship’ and ‘freedom of person, conscience, speech, assembly and union’. Also, the October manifesto allowed the creation of a legislative Duma. Therefore, this meant that political parties could exist and trade unions were accepted and most importantly the power of the tsar had been reduced to be shared with the voice of the people.

However, this great change can be argued as invalid due to the production of the fundamental laws on 23rd April 1906. This can be argued because the laws stated that the Tsar had ‘supreme’ power and every law created had to be passed by him. Therefore, the existence of the Duma was insignificant as their voice was no longer an equal power as promised. In addition, the laws stated the Duma would be bi-cameral therefore the Tsar had the power to appoint the majority of members in the state council, giving him even more power of the decisions in the Duma.

Additionally, the electoral reforms also limited the political freedoms of the Russians that were promised. This can be demonstrated because Stolypin’s electoral reforms excluded national minorities and dramatically reduced the number of people who could vote in Poland, Siberia, and the Caucasus and in Central Asia. The new electoral law also gave better representation to the nobility and gave greater power to the large landowners to the detriment of the peasants. Therefore, the Duma wasn’t be represented properly by the people, so in reality was a failure.

Overall, this paragraph has argued that the consequences of the 1905 revolution politically were false illusions due to other reforms that took the given civil rights to the people away from them. In this paragraph one will argue the economic changes in Russia due to the 1905 revolution were ineffective due to parts of the land being useless and discontented peasants. This can be argued because Stolypin introduced land reforms in order to achieve prosperity and gain the support of the peasants.

For example Stolypin cancelled all redemption payments in 1907 that had previously been a struggle for peasants. Also, he introduced land banks, where peasants could borrow money to buy land. Some historians could argue that Stolypin’s reforms were well on the way to solving Russia’s problems. This was because the number of independent farms went up from 48,000 in 1907 to 98,000 in 1914. However, one will argue that this was not the case and that Stolypin’s land reforms were unsuccessful. This can be proven because Stolypin had said that his policies needed twenty years to solve land problems.

Therefore was not an efficient way of preventing a revolution. Additionally, one could argue it wasn’t really working anyway because by 1914 only 10% of land had been turned into farms as peasants were reluctant to leave the villages, and most of the ones that did leave went back. Therefore, the peasants were unhappy with the new reforms and were fed up of the competition it provided between peasants. Overall, this paragraph has argued that the consequences of the 1905 revolution economically were just continuity because land reforms proved ineffective.

In this paragraph one will argue the social changes in Russia due to the 1905 revolution had limited significance due to events that continued the riots of the revolution in 1905. This can be argued because the growth in literacy had an increase in the percentage of children of peasants and workers; from 15. 7% in 1880 to 38. 8% in 1914 and even more so in higher technological colleges. Therefore, this shows improvements socially as more people were able to think politically about what they wanted in the country.

Also, potentially the increase in education gave people more freedom in their civil rights as the majority of the population was peasants. Where previously they had no idea of political thinking because were mainly illiterate, though, due to educational reforms they could speak out more. Also, due to the October manifesto trade unions were accepted therefore, workers were more content with the fact they had the right to ask for better conditions etc. However, some social consequences out-manoeuvred the good things that had happened.

This is shown from “Stolypin’s necktie” which came from the repressive method of martial law. Between 1906 and 1911 there were over 2500 executions in Russia in order to crush disturbances. This shows socially unrest as violence was used, therefore shows Russia was politically unstable and on edge of revolution. Also, despite the legalisation of trade unions, the workers had no means of improvement. This is shown as from the suppression of workers in the St Petersburg soviet on the 3rd December 1905 were stormed upon and leaders for example Trotsky were arrested.

Therefore, violence was used to control soviets that were supposedly allowed according to the October manifesto. Additionally the Lena Goldfield incident on 17th April 1912 proved that violence was used against trade unions continuously despite allowance of it in the October manifesto. The workers established their demands for an 8-hour workday, 30% raise in wages, the elimination of fines, and the improvement of food delivery and more. However, the tsar used troops firing on the strikers ending up with resulting in 270 dead and 250 wounded (as reported by a local newspaper Zvezda).

Therefore this showed that the consequences socially after the 1905 revolution were basically nothing, violence was still occurring like that of the 1905 revolution. This paragraph has argued that the consequences of the 1905 revolution socially did have minor changes in education for example, however, these were un-balanced by the major events that showed Russia to be still unstable. In conclusion, this essay has argued that politically, economically and socially Russia had some changes after the 1905 revolution. Most importantly, one has argued that the change in how power was situated in Russia was the most significant consequence.

This is because Russia had gone from an autocratic dynasty to a country where people had a voice i. e. the Duma and trade unions. Therefore, without the October manifesto that made this happen one could argue that economical and social decisions would not have been made as Duma’s worked with Stolypin in order to make changes in the country. However, because the Duma and trade unions are ineffective one will argue that actually most importantly nothing really changed; only the idea of power being shared out was the biggest change as it had never been made possible before, even if it was in-effective.

Cite this Assess the Consequences of the 1905 Revolution for Russia?

Assess the Consequences of the 1905 Revolution for Russia?. (2017, Mar 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/assess-the-consequences-of-the-1905-revolution-for-russia/

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