Do you think Peter Stolypin was the Tsar’s last hope?
The 1905 Revolution was the build up of the dissatisfaction of Russia’s people with the government. Tsar Nicholas II had turned to key individuals such as Peter Stolypin to save the Tsarist regime. Stolypin, Russian Prime Minister from 1906 – 1911, had addressed a number of problems which threatened Tsarism by appeasing opposition and therefore putting down revolutionary attitudes. His reforms certainly did help gain back some of the Tsar’s supporters, however due to his assassination in 1911, it is hard to determine whether his reforms would have saved Tsarism.
After the 1905 Revolution, Stolypin had to deal with unsettled extremists such as the Socialist Revolutionary Combat Organisation who were a terrorist group. The authorities were greatly threatened and so Stolypin advised the Tsar to create a reserve cabinet. Reactionaries urged a full-scale dictatorship. Additionally, as a result of the first Duma being dissolved, 200 Kadet and Labourist deputies in Vyborg drew up an appeal urging the Russian people to defy the government. Instead of passive obedience, violence was used. Order was restored by suppressing the opposition. Under article 87 of the fundamental laws, field courts-martial were introduced to deal with terrorists and the Martial Law was proclaimed. Trials were discarded and defendants were not allowed legal representation or the right to appeal; many executions were carried out. There were over 2500 executions and the hangman's noose was nicknamed "Stolypin's necktie." These tactics were used to appease the Tsar and reduce terrorist activities that had threatened Tsarism.
Unlike Sergei Witte before him, Stolypin understood the importance of the peasantry; they had made up 80% of the Russian population. Russia had undergone a “rural crisis” in the late nineteenth century and had deepened due to bad harvests in the 1890’s. Their ways of farming were very inefficient as they relied on...
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