Compare and Contrast the Causes of the 1905 and 1917 Revolutions in Russia

1635 Words Jan 28th, 2011 7 Pages
Compare and contrast the causes of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions in Russia

In 1905 and 1917 Russia was tormented by chaotic revolutions. The workers and the intelligentsia had arrived at the point of hating the autocracy because they could no longer endure the suffering, hunger and repression that the tsarist policies brought with them. Years later Lenin referred to the revolution of 1905 as a “dress rehearsal for the October Revolution” of 1917. In 1905 tsardom nearly fell. Nicholas II succeeded in remaining in power, stabilizing the situation, only thanks to various concessions. However, his continuing to rule harshly and unwisely brought him to be forced to abdicate in the February of 1917, signing the end of the Russian monarchy.
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On the short term, the revolutions were both caused by the food shortages in the towns, the terrible working and living conditions and the regime’s failure to ensure a fair distribution of food. In 1905 this was caused by bad harvests and the redemption payments which took away most of the peasants money. In 1917 it was caused by the huge number of peasants who instead of working the land were conscripted to the army. The revolutions were also set off by the increasing frustration of the zemstva liberals, who had been banned from holding national congress in 1905 and being also forbidden from having any word in the government or in the organization of the war in 1917. The defeats in the war against Japan in 1905, and WWI, in which the Russian Poland was lost, played their part in bringing the population the rebel and force the tsar to abdicate.
The causes of the two revolutions had however some differences. The differences on the long term were that in 1905 peasants still had two pay redemption payments, which were ended by Stolyipin’s reforms in 1907. This unfortunately didn’t stop the land hunger and the number of land seizures increased greatly in 1916 and Nicholas II’s constant rejection of reforms brought him to have the October Manifesto forced upon him in 1905. The October Manifesto was a promise of civil rights and a “consultative assembly”

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