Lecture 2 – 1905 revolution
Before the 1905 Revolution they had been a rise in strike activity and rural unrest within the Russian Empire. Newspapers however showed the minority population that where literate cracks that where showing in the Tsar’s power, however these people already held positions of power within Russian society. These people included the village elders, members of the clergy and government minsters. At this time in the early 20th century the majority of Europe was totally illiterate so the majority of the population would not be able to read what the newspapers where publishing. A revolutionary underground was starting the form before the 1905 revolution for a number of factors. Russian society was very patriarchal, the minority ruling the majority and the people had no say in what happened to their country. The Russian economy lagged behind the rest of Europe. Still purely based upon agricultural production. This revolutionary underground was causing opposition to the government in a very public sense. However on the 8th February 1904, the Russian Empire along with the Principality of Montenegro went to war with the Empire of Japan over Manchuria, Yellow Sea and the Korean Peninsula. For the Tsar and his advisers a quick and crushing war would gain public support and unite all the country behind the common goal of beating the Japanese. Causes of Russo-Japanese War
In 1868 the Meiji dynasty was restored to power in Japan and they reasserted a sphere of influence over eastern Asia. Prior to World War I, the Empire of Japan fought the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). The war revolved around the issue of control and influence around Korea which was under the rule of the Joseon Dynasty. Following a peasant rebellion the Korean government requested assistance from the Qing Dynasty to send in their armed forces and stabilize the country. The Empire of Japan responded by sending their own force to Korea to install a puppet government in Seoul. Following the Japanese sending their armed forces into Korea the Chinese government issued war on Japan. In 1895 the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed between Japan and China, which ceded the Liaodong Peninsula and Taiwan to Japan. Following the peace treaty, Russia, Germany and France forced Japan to withdraw from Liaodong Peninsula. Soon after Russia occupied the Liaodong Peninsula, built the Port Arthur fortress and based the Russian Pacific Fleet in the port. In 1898, China and Russia negotiated a convention by which China leased Port Arthur, Taiwan and the surrounding waters to Russia. The two parties agreed that the convention could be extended by mutual agreement. The Russians expected such extension, for they lost no time in occupying the territory and in fortifying Port Arthur, there only warm water port on the Pacific coast and was therefore of great strategic value. A year later, to consolidate their position, the Russians began to build a new railway from Harbin through Mukden to Port Arthur. The development of the railway became a contributory factor to the Boxer Rebellion when Boxer forces burned the railway stations. The Russians also began to make inroads into Korea. By 1898 they had acquired mining and forestry concessions near the Yalu and Tumen rivers, causing the Japanese much anxiety. Japan decided to attack before the Russians completed the Trans-Siberian Railway. In 1899-1901 following the Boxer revolution the Russian Empire occupied Manchuria. During the Boxer revolution Russia sent 177,000 troops into Manchuria, nominally to protect its railway that was under construction. The huge number of Russian troops forced the Qing troops out easily and therefore allowed the Russian troops to settle. At the time, Russia assured other nations that it would vacate the area after the crisis. However by 1903 the Russian Empire had not yet established a timetable for withdrawal and had actually strengthened their...
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