How Important Was Social Suffering in Causing the Revolution of 1905?

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The purpose of this essay is to analyse the importance of social suffering in contributing to the outbreak of the 1905 revolution as the Russian people were becoming extremely discontented. Between the years of 1900 and 1904 the ruling class were under a great deal of pressure from the reforming peasants, workers and middle class. Due to the discontent of the Russian people, strikes were much more frequent. Protests were now occurring all over Russia and both had become a lot more violent and severe. To take the peoples attention away from the problems facing Russia a war with Japan was started, with Russia expecting to be victorious. Instead of the war taking attention away from problems in Russia it added to them. There are mixed views regarding what was responsible for the revolution of 1905, some say the war was to blame, others say the events of bloody Sunday was perhaps the final straw.

Russia in the early 20th century covered almost one sixth of the world's land surface and contained a population of over 160 million people. 80% of these people were peasants living in poverty while only 12% of the people were upper class. In addition to this, Russia's population was growing rapidly. Empress Alexandra, the Tsar's wife, said that Russia needed to be kept "under the whip", as the sheer size of the peasant population and their rough behaviour mean that harsher punishments were needed. However, the peasants were so discontented they were still resisting.
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