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Assess the Reasons for Opposition and Unrest in Russia from 1894-1905

  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2012 10:50 AM
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Assess the reasons for opposition and unrest in Russia from 1894 to 1905

During the period of 1894-1905 Russia faced much opposition to its autocracy and dictatorship rule by Tsar Nicholas II. Opposition to the autocratic system was also accompanied by social unrest throughout Russia within this time period, which was created by economic troubles, humiliation in the Russo-Japanese war, Industrialisation and political problems as well as weak personality of the Tsar.
Industrialisation in Russia which helped Russia’s economy grow to the worlds fifth largest by 1914 was one of the causes of opposition and social unrest in Russia, as industrialisation forced a huge gap between the rich and poor and as a result society became divided between the countryside and towns. In the countryside peasants were still paying redemption payments for land given to them when they became free, and had old fashioned farming methods that hadn’t changed much since the middle ages. As well as this richer peasants (kulaks) gained more land and ran small local businesses which further widened the gap between rich and poor peasants. In the towns and cities workers earned barely enough money to survive and there working hours were too long and strenuous, however Sergei Witte eventually introduced the 11 ½ hour working day in 1897 but this was usually ignored by employers. Factories poor working conditions also caused major health problems for workers and there irregular inspections meant health and safety rules were rarely followed endangering the workers further.
The Russo-Japanese War was another factor that contributed to opposition and unrest as it lasted from 1904 to 1905, and arose from both Japan and Russia’s desire for expansion and dominance in Korea and Manchuria. Russia suffered many great defeats in this war, against a nation that was considered inferior and was not one of the Great Powers. This humiliated the people of Russia, and caused them to lose confidence in Tsar...


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