From this article you will learn detailed information about the revolution of 1905-1907.
The Russian revolution of 1905-1907 goes beyond the framework of the traditional bourgeois revolution. It was the first historical event that revealed a crisis in the country's power structures and caused changes in the whole world.
By the beginning of 1905, the contradictions within the Russian Empire escalated to the limit. The tsarist government was unable to rectify the situation.
Events before the revolution
At that time, the main political directions in Russia were:
- Conservatives, the basis of which were nobles and senior officials. The core of their program was the preservation of the autocracy, supported by the bourgeoisie and the peasantry. It was supposed to create a representative body with legislative activity.
- Liberals, which included, mainly representatives of the middle bourgeoisie, the nobility, employees, professors and advocates. Their political platform was based on the abolition of the monopoly of the nobility, civil rights and freedoms, reforms and cooperation with the authorities.
- Radical democratic forces which included, basically, a radically minded intelligentsia. Representatives of these political parties sought to express the interests of the working class and the peasantry, demanding the abolition of autocratic power and the proclamation of the Democratic Republic.
The revolution of 1905-1907 encompassed the broadest masses of people both in the center of the country and on its outskirts.Discontent
Various sectors of society took part in the events:
- Working class.
- The peasants.
- Representatives of various national communities.
- Soldiers and sailors.
The reasons for the onset of revolutionary events were:
- Evasion of authorities from liberal reforms. The Russian Empire was the only capitalist state without parliament and legal parties.
- The protracted agrarian crisis. Europe began to buy grain from America, as it was cheaper than Russian. This led to a rather difficult situation in Russia, since grain was its main export commodity.
- Industry decline.
- Lack of civil liberties.
- Low living standards of the vast majority of the population. Despite the fact that taxes increased by 5 percent.
- Terror and provocation by the police system.
- Violation of the rights of national minorities, especially of Jewish nationality. The restrictions that extended to the Jews led many young people of this nationality to participate in terrorist activities and rioting.
- The defeat of Russia in the war with the Japanese Empire and the growing state external debt, which has been formed since the time of the war with the Turks. On the eve of the revolution, the basis of revolutionary unrest was peasant riots and strikes of the proletariat.
It was the rural crisis of Russia that became the key point of the 1905 revolution. At the beginning of the 20th century, it caused an increase in the number of "agrarian unrest" throughout the country. Often, peasants organized attacks on the possessions of landowners.
The reasons were the situation of the peasantry:
- During the events described, the estate of peasants in Russia was the most numerous. It amounted to more than 70% of the country's population. This class was the most disenfranchised and impoverished, as requisitions and taxes took about 70% of the income from the peasant economy. In addition, population growth has led to a decrease in land allotments in 1.5-2 times.
- The government's desire to preserve grain exports at all costs, despite crop failures, caused hunger in the late 19th century.
- The purpose of the peasant movement was the redistribution of land allotments due to landowners of the landlords, and the right to free movement.
The exploitation of the working class at that time was also very high:
- With an official 11-hour work day, 13-14 hours work remained the norm.
- Salaries were very low. From each ruble earned by an employee, entrepreneurs took a large part.
- State authorities did not intervene in the relations between capitalists and their workers. Employers could dismiss a worker without explanation only for political views.
The working class organized rallies and pickets demanding higher wages and lower pressure from employers.
Also, students took an active part in the mass skirmishes, who were often expelled from universities for political views and revolutionary activity, sent to soldiers and sent to exile. At the turn of the century, student demonstrations and strikes were the norm. And their dispersal by police and Cossacks led to an even greater politicization of young people.Insurrection
The tsarist government through repressions and suppression of strikes did not solve the problem, but only made them even more acute. All this led to an increase in political tension. It became absolutely obvious that the country needed a radical reform of the work of the authorities.
He pushed for the revolution the shooting by the authorities of a procession of unarmed people, which occurred in St. Petersburg on January 9, 1905. This sad event in history is called "Bloody Sunday."
The main participant in the incident was the largest authorized workers' organization in Russia - the "Assembly of Russian factory workers in St. Petersburg" - under the leadership of Priest George Gapon.Bloody Sunday
A brief chronology of those events:
- At the end of 1904, Gapon and other leaders of the Assembly met with members of the Liberation Union liberal organization. The "Union" was asked to come forward with a political petition calling on the public to participate in the governance of the country and to limit bureaucratic power.
- In December, four members of the Gapon organization were dismissed for political views by the administration of the Putilov Plant.
- Workers demanded that the dismissed be reinstated, but the enterprise administration refused to do so.
- The Putilov workers on 3 January began to strike. Within a few days all city enterprises joined them.
- The priest Gapon was invited to contact the emperor about the needs of the workers with the petition. The Petition also listed a number of demands that were politically charged (free education, shorter working hours, freedom of citizens, etc.). The document was signed by tens of thousands of people. People were invited to gather on Sunday January 9 at the Winter Palace in order to hand the Petition to the Russian Tsar.
- The tsarist government was aware in advance of the contents of the petition and the upcoming procession. A decree was passed to prevent workers from appearing at the Winter Palace. They were ordered to stop, if necessary, by force.
- The authorities pulled into St. Petersburg a military force of about 30 thousand soldiers.
- On Sunday morning, January 9, columns of workers gathered from different city blocks to the center. One column was led by Gapon himself, holding a cross in his hands. The total number of people participating in the procession amounted to 150 thousand people.
- The officers of the tsarist army demanded that the workers stop the movement, threatening them with shots. But people continued on their way to the palace, believing in the humanity of the "king-father".
- The military were forced to disperse the marching shots from rifles, as well as sabers with whips. According to official documents, that day 130 people were killed and 299 injured.
- The whole society was shocked by the shooting of unarmed people. Messages about the incident were quickly distributed by underground newspapers and leaflets. The influence of revolutionary political parties on mass consciousness has increased significantly.
- Opposition forces placed all the responsibility for the bloody events on the emperor of Russia, Nicholas II. The people called for the overthrow of the autocratic system.
Demonstrating violence, government authorities themselves pushed the country to subsequent events. The use of military force against unarmed workers inflicted irreparable damage on the tsar’s authority. The massacre of the peaceful procession stirred up the whole country. Unrest and riots began everywhere. The first revolution in Russia took place in several stages.
1905 - the rise of the rebellious wave
After the terrible events of January 9, the revolutionary movement intensified in Russia. In different cities, workers and students went on strike and staged demonstrations in support of the shot procession. In industrial areas, Soviets of Workers' Deputies were organized.
Emperor Nicholas II signed a decree at the end of January, according to which a special commission was created to study and eliminate the causes of workers' indignation. The commission included representatives of the bureaucratic authorities, factory owners and deputies from workers. Political demands were immediately rejected.
However, it was they who advanced the working class:
- Release of political prisoners.
- Freedom of speech and print.
- The resumption of closed branches of the Assembly.
In late February, the commission was declared unsuccessful and by decree of the king dismissed it.Rebellion
Events of that year unfolded as follows:
- After the decree of Nicholas II to the Senate on permission to submit to the tsar’s name recommendations for improving the improvement of the state, various political organizations and public leaders everywhere discussed the possibility of involving the population in lawmaking.
- In April, the tsarist government issued a decree on religious tolerance, which allowed other religions.
- Political unrest swept not only the civilian population, but also the military - the naval forces of the country. In June of that year, a revolt was raised by sailors on the battleship "Prince Potemkin-Tauride". The rebels sentenced the commander with the doctor to death. In total, seven were killed on the ship. The battleship managed to break into open waters. However, the rioters were forced to surrender to the authorities in Romania, as they lacked supplies of food and fuel.
- In the same month, a major uprising was launched in the cities of Riga, Lodz, and Warsaw.
- The country was swept by a wave of terror against government officials. During this period, many governor-generals, city governors, police chiefs, city police, and gendarmes were killed.
- In August, the Russian emperor approved the State Duma. A.G. Bulygin. The Duma was conceived as the highest legislative legislative body discussing laws, expenses and state revenues, estimates of various ministries. In establishing the Duma, the Russian government counted on the support of conservative, monarchist-minded forces, especially peasants.
- However, soldiers, sailors, women, landless peasants, students and some other social strata of society did not have the right to vote. Therefore, most of the Russian population did not accept Bulygin’s Duma.
- In October, they began to strike in Moscow. This strike quickly became an All-Russian strike, which involved up to 2 million workers in enterprises and the railway. Autocratic power staggered. Nicholas II had to make rebellious concessions. The manifesto, which was signed on October 17, guaranteed the inviolability of the individual, as well as freedom of speech and conscience.
- Reforms were launched by the government, and a representation of the parliament was created. The country's liberal forces cease revolutionary activity and agree to a dialogue with the government.
- But the granted freedoms did not satisfy the demands of radical political parties, oriented not to parliament, but to an armed overthrow of power. Unrest swept not only the workers, but also the military and sailors. The government began a tough battle with the revolution. Repressions by the authorities did not stop. A demonstration of workers was shot in Minsk.
- In autumn, the country was swept by a wave of peasant riots, the purpose of which was the capture of county lands.
- The rebellion of sailors in Sevastopol and Kronstadt.
- In December, riots in large cities of Russia reached the highest level. An armed uprising in Moscow lasted a week. However, the advantage at that time was on the side of the authorities. The uprisings were brutally crushed.
1906 - the extinction of revolutionary unrest
After the end of the Russo-Japanese War, revolutionary unrest begins to subside:
- In the spring, the government allowed the formation of political and trade unions, labor councils.
- The First State Duma, the majority of whose members are cadets, began its work. In July, P.A. Stolypin became its chairman.
- Important legislation has been enacted. They approved the new political system of Russia - the "Duma monarchy".
- Unrest and strikes continue in various fields, including the navy and the army.
- In the summer, a decree is issued on military courts, which were an emergency measure in the struggle of state authorities against acts of terrorism and other revolutionary actions. The hearing was held behind closed doors without a prosecutor or defense counsel. The death sentence was pronounced within two days, and carried out within 24 hours.
- In November, a decree was issued according to which peasants are allowed to leave their community with the land.
- The enterprises set a 10-hour working day. In addition, by decree of the tsarist government, wages are rising.
1907 - the end of the revolution
- In February, the Second State Duma was convened. Due to the increase in qualifications, the majority is not able to take part in the elections.
- The country continues to strike, but the government is able to regain control of the country.
- After the elections of the State Duma I and II, it became apparent that the new government body was unproductive, since it had practically no legislative rights.
- On June 3, 1907, the II State Duma was dissolved by Stolypin. This day is considered the end of the Russian first revolution.
The results of the revolution of 1905-1907
The first Russian revolution, which had a bourgeois-democratic color, played a significant role in the history of the country and its further development. The main achievement was the limitation of autocratic power and the birth of parliamentarism in the country. This was the first step in transforming the political system into a constitutional monarchy.
Rebels achieved many results:
- Abolition of redemption payment for the peasantry.
- Restrictions on the arbitrariness of the zemstvo authority.
- Permits for the free movement of peasants and the choice of place of residence.
- Opportunities for representatives of the bourgeoisie to take part in politics.
- Personal integrity.
- Freedom of press and speech.
- Reduced working hours.
- Legalization of trade unions and some political parties.
- The abolition of censorship restrictions.
- Creating the foundation for agrarian reform.
In addition, the revolution of imperial Russia served as an example for uprisings in other countries:
- Turkey (1908)
- Iran (1909)
- Mexico (1910)
- China (1911)
And although the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia could not solve many internal social problems, it changed the worldview of the masses and made it possible for the proletariat to realize its strength and power. These factors prepared the basis for the revolution in 1917.