To What Extent Was the Lack of Political Reforms the Main Cause of the 1905 Revolution

Category: Europe, Reforms, Revolution
Last Updated: 05 Mar 2020
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To what extent was the lack of political reforms the main cause of the 1905 revolution? The 1905 Revolution was brought about by Bloody Sunday, this attack from the Tsar’s army on innocent peaceful protestors was the trigger for the revolution. Many other reasons throughout the years leading up to 1905 lead to the revolution. To understand fully why the revolution took place you need to understand all of the political reforms or the fact that there were not enough. A main factor contributing to 1905 revolution was the power held by the Tsar, the peasants and workers did not agree with the autocracy that was pushed onto them.

Before the revolution all other political parties were banned by the Tsar and were not allowed to form groups that were against the Tsar, any groups that did try to do this, their leaders were either killed or sent to camps in Siberia as political prisoners, this level of harsh treatment towards political opponents and because of this lack of political reform a large amount of resentment was felt towards the Tsar. The lack of a Parliament also left people in Russia pushing for change, and because of this, there was a real need for a reform to create a working parliament so that not all of the power was in the Tsars hands.

To stop the 1905 Revolution, the Tsar realised he was going to have to give up some of his power and to try and reason with his people, or this is the picture that he painted with the October Manifesto, this contained some political reforms that relinquished some of his power and some reforms that gave peasants more independence and factory workers better conditions. This manifesto showed a reasonable level of political reform but he did not actually have any intention of giving any of his power up. By deploying the October Manifesto the Tsar actually calmed tempers of his opponents and satisfied them for a time.

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If the Tsar had stuck to these political reforms there would have been no more unrest through the country but because he went back on them, it in fact worsened the situation and because of the lack of reforms this again led to more and more uprising across Russia. All of the different political parties that started to develop across the country started to socially and economically advance, this was because of more and more middle class people thinking that their voices should be heard. These parties all had many different ideas for political reforms, but first of all they all wanted an nd to autocracy and political change to take place. There was also a major uproar about the Russo-Japanese war which ended in September 1905. This was a huge embarrassment for Russia who were supposed to be one of the great powers in the world and were defeated by an inferior force. This caused much anger throughout Russia because of the Russian people believing that Nicholas II was not able to lead the country through a war. This was another contributing factor to the uprising of 1905. The loss of the war shocked the Russians and knocked the countries esteem and added to what was already a simmering tension within Russia.

In turn this was one of the triggers to the revolution. There was a slight hope that came through with the October Manifesto with the chance of a Duma, but this was short lived, after Nicholas II closed the first two Dumas down after only three months of them starting. This was another case where a political reform that would have made a difference to Russia and helped keep the country under control was not used to its full extent and ended up mounting more anger towards the Tsar for going back on his word.

His minister then made it near on impossible for any real threat to the Tsar to be involved in both the third and fourth Duma. During this time there was a huge growth in the industrial industry in Russia and there was a need for political change to be able to get better working conditions in factories. More and more factories were being built and because of the lack of reform leading to the revolution many workers were protesting about their safety, hours and conditions.

A real lack of political reform was a main contributor to the 1905 Revolution, although the real trigger was the Bloody Sunday massacre there was throughout the beginning of the 20th century a growing anger and resentment felt towards the Tsar and the way he was leading the country. The reaction of the Tsar in the revolution led to resentment about the reforms in the October Manifesto as well due to him just turning back on them. Overall there was a definite lack of reforms leading up to and after the 1905 Revolution.

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To What Extent Was the Lack of Political Reforms the Main Cause of the 1905 Revolution. (2017, Dec 20). Retrieved from

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