Why Did Tsarism Survive the Revolution of 1905 but Not That of March 1917?

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Under many aspects it is arguable that the 1905 Revolution and the March 1917 Revolution in Russia were very similar. Both years found the country still struggling from a war (one bringing humiliation and the other incomprehension and outrage); both found hostility from the streets directed against perceived governmental incompetence. Yet something had changed from 1905 to 1917 for Tsarism not to be able to survive the second revolution like it did the first. The reasons are to be researched in the impact that World War 1 had on the country, the October Manifesto issued by Nicholas II on 1905, and the loyalty that the population and the Armed Forces were not willing to give the Tsar anymore.

Both revolution were spontaneous and started off in the form of peaceful protests. No radical party had any part in setting the revolution off; people were suffering and found themselves reunited collectively marching to the Royal Palace, to present a petition to the Tsar. Even the reasons of their unhappiness were similar in the two protests, and in both cases primarily came as a result of the war (the Russo-Japanese War in the former, and World War 1 in the latter).

In an attempt to quiet the revolutionaries and carefully pulling the components of the building opposition apart from one another, right after the 1905 Revolution the government began to make concessions (not reforms): the October Manifesto, issued by Tsar Nicholas II under the influence of Witte, allowed both personal freedoms and the formation of an elected body (the Duma). It promised reforms. These promises pleased liberals, but as a consequence revolutionaries were split into more and less radical groups – the latter accepting the Manifesto as an important but final reform, the former wanting major social and economic reform as well.

Russia had always been one of the most powerful countries in Europe, a status that mainly derived from its military authority. However, military power was strictly...
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