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Q4. Describe the 1905 Revolution in Russia and its implication in Russian struggle.

Russia had become more corrupt and oppressive under the weak-willed Romanov Czar Nicholas II. Russia’s imperialist interests in Manchuria at the turn of the century brought on the Russo-Japanese War, which began in February 1904 and resulted in major reverses for Russian army.

Russian government allowed a conference of the regional governments to drum up support for the unpopular war against Japan. The demands for reform made at this congress went unmet and more radical socialist and workers’ groups decided to take a different tack.

On January 22, 1905, a group of workers marched to the czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to make their demands. Imperial forces opened fire on the demonstrators, killing and wounding hundreds. This day is known as Bloody Sunday.  Strikes and riots broke out throughout the country in outraged response to the massacre. Even sections of the army and the navy revolted. Nicholas responded by promising the formation of a series of representative assemblies, or Dumas. The Czar’s manifesto contained principles which would have made Russia a constitutional monarchy like England. However, the Czar soon relapsed into his old ways.

Internal tension in Russia continued to build over the next decade. A new form of organization developed in this revolution which proved decisive in the upheaval of 1917. This was the ‘Soviet’, or the council of workers’ representatives. Beginning as committees to conduct strikes, they became the instruments of political power. The 1905 Russian Revolution centered on the desire of the people to have an interactive government that sought the best for all of Russia but proved to be a dress rehearsal of the revolution that came in 1917.

 

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