Pre-Revolutionary Russia

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 269
  • Published: June 25, 2008
Read full document
Text Preview
Discontent was widespread in Pre-Revolutionary societies

The accuracy of this statement is absolute. It is apparent that the majority of citizens residing in Pre-Revolutionary Russia were not satisfied with the way in which their Autocratic government ran the country. There were numerous factors which contributed to the citizens discontent with the nation. Living conditions were poor, working conditions were even worse, being the first western nation to loose to Asia, the failure to promote freedom within the Duma as well as the Tsar’s complete and utter ignorance to the people were all causes of this unrest.

The peasants and working class citizens of Russia in 1900 were not pleased with their living or working conditions. The also constituted for roughly 77% of Russia’s overall population. Those who worker in the agricultural industry doing tasks such as farming faced numerous hardships. The working days were long and arduous, there was little time for rest and near no time for pleasure. The work was tiring and caused exhaustion however the peasants were forced to endure and make do. Any money they did make was spent on taxes and paying their respective debts or landowners.

Industrial work was no more desirable than agricultural work. When Russia industrialised it saw a lot of citizens taking jobs in various factories. These factories were not a good place to work. The air was thick and filled with the various fumes emitted from the factories, the factories were poorly lit, they were unsanitary and an extremely dangerous place to work. The living conditions for those residing in Russia were no better than working ones. Numerous citizens were housed in horrible shacks and cabins which were no more than ground level mud huts. These mud huts consisted of a roof made of dirt and rubbish, walls which did not block the weather, an earth floor and generally were unhygienic. Furnishing was minimal; bedding was often considered a luxury.

It was more than just unruly living conditions that caused the unrest within the nation. The results of the Russo-Japanese war was another nail in the coffin which helped spark the revolution of 1905. The loss to Japan was a severe blow to the pride of Russia. Prior to this conflict no Asian nation had defeated a European one. Due to poor commanders, corruption within the navy and an overall outstretching of resources Russia saw itself loosing various battles to Japan. Incompetence within the Russian ranks finally saw Japan as the victors in the conflict furthermore establishing Japan as a major figure in the world while inversely showing just how bad the state of Russia was.

The events leading up to and including Bloody Sunday further highlight the discontent the citizens of Russia possessed. By 1905 the peasants of Russia could endure no more of their harsh working environments. Early 1905 saw numerous strikes with workers which only made living conditions even poorer. The answer came in the form of a priest by the name of Georgei Gapon. Gapon’s plan was to take a list of the people’s demands to the Tsar himself to highlight the various grievances they had with their working conditions and the Russo-Japanese war. This was meant to be a peaceful protest, more of a plea to the Tsar’s sense of decency rather than an ultimatum. The people believed the Tsar would see the displease of his people and instantly seek to remedy the situation. Many families attended the event with their children in toe in hopes of getting a glimpse of their ruler the Tsar. On January 22nd 1905 the protest took place at the gates of the Tsar’s palace despite his absence. The protesters consisted of approximately 120,000 to 200, 000 disheartened workers and their families. Despite the peaceful nature of the protesters the Tsar’s soldiers opened fire on the crowd instantly dispersing as well as injuring and killing many. The amount of people injured or killed stands at over 1000. This event had catastrophic...
tracking img