How Effective Was Opposition to Governments in Russia Throughout the Period 1855-1964?

Topics: Russia, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire Pages: 3 (1167 words) Published: March 18, 2013
How effective was opposition to governments in Russia throughout the period 1855-1964? In 1855, opposition to the Tsarist Government lacked an effective unifying ideology. This remained the case throughout the 1855-1964 period, even once the communists had taken power. A key contributing factor towards this was the lack of unity opposition possessed. Opposition throughout the period came from several sources, however it was dominated by division in opinion and ideology, only fully uniting in the February revolution of 1917 which brought down Nicholas II and the Romanov dynasty. Even then opposition still differed in opinion, however it was unified by one common cause. Throughout the period, the peasantry were providing opposition to Russian Government. However opposition was repeatedly ineffective. The Polish revolt of 1863 during Alexander II's reign was crushed by the army in much the same way as the 1953 East German revolt and the 1956 Hungarian rebellion were crushed under Khrushchev's tenure. A continuing feature throughout the period is the key role which the army played in limiting opposition from the peasantry, with military force frequently being deployed throughout the period. Lenin used it in the Civil War against the Green armies of the peasantry and Stalin used a similar style of brute force in the assault on the peasantry during the collectivisation process, albeit on a much grander scale. The army was very important to the state and their loyalty to Nicholas II during the 1905 revolution was vital in ensuring he was not deposed then instead of twelve years later. The peasantry also lacked a shared ideology and there were several other factors which meant that a full scale peasant revolt was never likely to occur. The demographic and general backwardness of Russia, whose weakness was repeatedly shown by failures in war throughout the period, meant that the peasantry were never going to unify because poor communications and transport links simply...
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