Causes and Consequences of the 1905 Russian Revolution

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Causes and Consequences of the 1905 Russian Revolution

The Revolution of 1905 was the first time the Tsar had faced opposition from so many groups in Russian society at the same time.

A long-term social and economic cause of the 1905 Revolution was the continuing anger of both peasants and landowners to the emancipation of the serfs 1861. Although this piece of legislation had brought an end to serfdom, peasants still remained tied to the village commune (mir) and were angry at the redemption payments they were expected to pay in return for the land they had received. They believed more, and better quality, land should have been given to them at no cost. Their anger was shown during the peasant disturbances of 1902. The landowners were also unhappy with the terms of emancipation. They lost the free labour of their serfs and a large amount of land. As a result many were facing debts by 1905. Emancipation had promised much but delivered little. The reign of Alexander II had produced a number of similar reforms. Changes to local government and the legal system were limited and led to the call for more liberal reform.

A further long-term social and economic cause of the 1905 Revolution was the worsening conditions of both peasants and urban workers. Famines had led to shortage of food and distress in the countryside, many farmers left the country side in the winter to go and working in the factories. But living and working conditions in Russia’s industrial towns were no better. Workers worked in poorly ventilated factories for long hours and little pay .And they were not allowed to form trade unions. Most of the workers lived in housing built by the factory owners these homes were poorly built and crowded because most of the workers had family’s that lived with them, most factory homes only had around 1.5 square meters of breathing space per person. Economic recession between 1899 and 1903 had also led to growing unemployment throughout the...
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