Why was the opposition to the state more often unsuccessful than successful in the period 1855 – 1964?
One reason why opposition to the state between 1855 and 1964 was mostly unsuccessful is the divided nature of oppositional forces. One example of this is the Civil War of 1918 where Richard Pipes argued it was a ‘foregone conclusion’ that the Reds would win. The Whites were made up of many different oppositional groups such as the SRs, Liberals looking for a tsarist revival and foreign forces concerned with stopping the spread of communism, which meant they lacked a common purpose or motive to defeat the Bolsheviks and was one of the fundamental reasons why they were unsuccessful in winning the Civil War. As well as this, they had a geographical disadvantage as the Red’s held the centre cities of Petrograd and Moscow, meaning they could never unite in one place to plan a strategic attack. This also allowed the Reds to have unlimited supplies of clothing, food and weaponry, as well as the use of the railway to attack the Whites. Similarly, in 1905 the attempted uprising of opposition to Tsar Nicholas II was unsuccessful due to the separate groups of opposition. The revolutionary forces were made up of different social classes of Russia, such as the industrial workers, the peasantry and political groups such as the Social Democrats and the Kadets, each with separate reasons for revolting – for example the Kadets’ wish of developing a constitutional monarchy. The October Manifesto, a concession by Nicholas II weakened the by settling the problems of the Liberals in the creation of the Duma, meaning they no longer supported the revolution. This is also seen in the November Manifesto after the peasants were appeased by abolishing the redemption taxes that had troubled them for so many years. The divided opposition is key to Nicholas II staying in power as after this attempted revolution he remained unchallenged for the next 12 years. The...
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