The Fall Of Tsarism In The 1905 Revolution

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The 1905 Revolution began on January 9th, or “Bloody Sunday” when a group of demonstrating workers with grievances for the Tsar were fired on by troops
For Fitzpatrick, the causes of the fall of tsarism were both social and economic. In her understanding the fall of Tsarism was essentially inevitable. She writes, “The regime was so vulnerable to any kind of jolt or setback that it is hard to imagine that it could have survived long, even without the [First World] War.” The faults of the system, in her interpretation, were built into society. Fitzpatrick argues that even the Tsar saw the changes coming. The tsarist system, she writes, weakened the reforms that Tsar Nicholas II put in place. Even though he established the Duma, Fitzpatrick
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The most explicit of these differences is in what they find to be the underlying causes of the collapse. For Fitzpatrick tsarism collapsed because of a combination of social and economic pressures. Taking the exact opposite stance Pipes explicitly states, “the principle causes of the downfall in 1917 (as also in 1991) were political, and not economic or social.” However, Fitzpatrick does write that the economic conflicts in tsarist Russia “were likely to turn political.” While she does concede that the worker strikes in Russia were political, the root of the cause for Fitzpatrick still lies in social conflict. When reading Fitzpatrick there is a sense of inevitability to the collapse of tsarism, however in Pipes’ book he focuses much more on the “accidents” of history. Throughout his explanation he brings up that no one saw the collapse coming, he later goes on to explain the success of the Bolsheviks in this same way. In general Fitzpatrick focuses on larger societal events, trends, and structural problems that faced the tsarist state. Pipes, in contrast, places a greater emphasis on the choices of individuals, blaming both the duma and the tsar for the lack of any “possibility for any kind of compromise to be forged.” Ultimately Pipes sees the revolution and collapse of tsarism as a coup d 'état, while Fitzpatrick interpretes the same events as more fundamentally a popular

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