What were the short and long-term factors that lead to the murder of Rasputin?
Grigory Yefimovich ‘Rasputin’ (meaning ‘debauched one’) was a Siberian monk, described by Jennifer Brainard (2008) as “an unwashed sexually promiscuous peasant”. Rasputin was born in 1869, arrived in St Petersburg in 1904 and was first connected to the Romanov family in 1908 when he was called upon to aid Tsar Nicholas II’s only son in his illness (Jennifer Rosenberg, unknown date, The Murder of Rasputin). Eight years later, in 1916, three Russian nobles murdered Rasputin in an attempt to prevent the inevitable Russian Revolution of 1917 (Maria Aprelenko, 2011, Prominent Russians: Grigori Rasputin) This report will examine the long and short-term factors that lead to the murder of Rasputin in 1916.
There were many long-term factors entirely unconnected to Rasputin himself that lead to his murder and ultimately the Russian Revolution of 1917. Maureen Anderson (2008) states that in 1900, 77% of Russia’s population were peasants and that “every social class had grievances against the government”. Anderson further states that in the early 1900’s – due to this unbalance of the social system – Russia was on the brink of crisis. However, Tsar Nicholas II refused to grant reforms, as he believed that this would undermine his autocratic powers. The decision to go to war against Japan in 1904 further “highlighted the government’s weaknesses” and “degenerated into a series of Russian military failures” (Anderson, M., 2008, pp. 44-47). The events of 1905 worsened the already dire situation, as Corianne Bowman (2003) declares, “the working class of Russia… marched to St. Petersburg to petition the tsar. Upon arrival… troops saw the approaching crowd and fired upon them, killing at least 200 people. "Bloody Sunday" marked the start of the 1905 Revolution.” Bowman further states, “The massacre caused revolt throughout the nation. Worker strikes, agricultural struggles, terrorism, and army...
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