Tsaris regime.stable or not?
The case for stability might include a growing economy and the absence of an effective domestic opposition. The regime seemed to have weathered the crisis of 1905. The police system, supported by a loyal army, kept dissent under control. There seemed little chance of a revolution, even less of a Bolshevik revolution, in 1914. Against stability was the failure to introduce effective political reforms. The regime relied on autocratic means of maintaining its power. The four Duma since 1906 achieved little. There was constant political and industrial dissatisfaction from groups, including strikes, that could not be completely suppressed. The Tsar was personally revered but his circle of family and courtiers were not held in high regard. His weak personality and tendency to autocracy hindered a more modern form of government. WW1,downfall of Romanovs and rising of Bolsheviks Russia suffered heavy defeats with massive casualties. The resulting inflation ruined an economy that had been improving by 1914 but was still too weak to sustain the pressures of the conflict. Food became short. The Tsar’s decision to take personal command showed his lack of ability as a military leader but it also discredited him politically. Russia was left to the rule of Tsarina Alexandra and Rasputin. The outcome was the February Revolution. In spite of their later propaganda, Lenin and the Bolsheviks were not important in this rising. Kerensky and the Provisional Government failed to establish a stable government. They tried to deal with grievances about food and land but ineffectively. The many political groups could not be managed. The war continued unsuccessfully and the resulting grievances increased. Although Lenin and the Bolsheviks were checked in the July Days, Kornilov’s attempted coup discredited Kerensky. The October Revolution showed the ability of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, although a minority, to take decisive action. Lenin’s promise of major reforms and slogans such as ‘All power to the soviets’ had an enthusiastic response. Lenin soon abandoned his offer of a coalition government to install the Bolsheviks firmly in power. 1905/1917 In 1905, the opposition was limited but should not be underestimated. It included not only Father Gapon and Bloody Sunday at St. Petersburg but unrest in other cities and rural regions. The Potemkin mutiny at Odessa(sailors protesting) might be mentioned. However, the opposition in 1917 was more widespread. Perhaps crucially, the army remained loyal in 1905 but was disloyal in 1917. 1905 was partly caused by the unsuccessful war against Japan of 1904–05 but the impact of World War I was much greater. The morale of the army was shattered whilst it had devastating effects on the civilian population. In 1905, Nicholas II was popular. In 1917, he was perceived as a major problem. The Tsar’s reputation declined from 1905 when he failed to implement promised reforms in the October Manifesto. The intervening period might be described as one of missed opportunities. The Duma was mistrusted and often ignored. Stolypin was given little backing and his death was not regretted by Nicholas II. (The Tsar might have been involved directly or indirectly.) By 1914, his inadequacy as a military leader exposed him to personal criticism. By 1917, he had lost almost all support, including in the highest circles which had backed him in 1905. Candidates should take care when examining the role of radicals. Lenin and his associates were not involved in 1905. He and many of his associates were in exile. Nor did the Bolsheviks play an important role in the February Revolution. Lenin stated that he didn’t expect the revolution. What opposition achieved by 1914 Nicholas II became Tsar in 1896 but the 1905...
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