1905 'revolution'

Flashcards by harry.vinall, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by harry.vinall over 5 years ago


GCSE History Flashcards on 1905 'revolution', created by harry.vinall on 04/04/2015.

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Question Answer
What was bloody Sunday? January 1905, Father Georgy Gapan, led a peaceful march of workers and their families to the winter palace in St. Petersburg. The aim of the march was to present a petition to the Tsar begging him to use his royal authority to relieve them of their desperate conditions. However the marchers were fired upon by the police and charged by cavalry, killing up to 200 marchers. Although Nicholas was absent from St. Petersburg at the time the event damaged the traditional image of the Tsar.
Why was bloody Sunday so important? It destroyed the myth of a father like good tsar that had sustained the regime for centuries. It also drove liberals to the left creating a more radical opposition
What happened after bloody Sunday? What made the situation worse? Disorder spread. Strikes in all major cities and towns (400,000 took part in January alone). Terrorism against government officials and landlords (much of which was organised by the SRs). Situation worsened by Russia's defeat in the war against Japan. Public building in towns and private country estates were attacked, with peasants seizing land and property and squatting in their landlords houses.
What key government official was killed in 1904 and what was the reaction? The interior minister (Plehve) was killed by SRs. The public was not regretful and in Warsaw his death was celebrated by crowds on the strett
What especially motivated the peasents? Fear that the government was about to repossess the homes of families who had failed to pay off the mortgages taken out in the post-emancipation years
What was the reaction of the minorities within Russia? (2/3 examples) Georgia declared itself independent; Poles demanded autonomy; Jews pressed for equal rights
What was the Union of Unions? Group founded by the Kadets, but joined by the majority of liberal groups. It aimed to create a broad based alliance including the peasants and the factory workers. A declaration was issued which referred to the government as a 'terrible menace' and called for a constituent assembly to replace the 'gang of robbers' now in power
What else occurred in the summer of 1905 that was bad news for the Tsar? Give a specific example Mutinies in the army and navy, caused by the fact rank and file soldiers were peasants who didn't want to fire at striking workers or rebellious peasants. In June the crew of the battleship Prince Potemkin mutinied while at see. What began as a protest at the poor food and water escalated after a man who approached the captain about the issue was immediately shot. In retaliation the crew killed several officers and took over the ship.
Give details about the events that followed the mutiny? The crew were greeted as heroes in Odessa, where strikes were taking place, but this outraged the government and troops serenest in to disperse the crowd, killing thousands. The massacre forced the Potemkin to leave, as no other ships had joined them they looked for a safe place to land and eventually abandoned the ship in a Romanian port.
What was Nicholas's initial reaction? Indifference, didn't believe the protests were a major threat or that concessions were needed
What was the role of Witte? Although Nicholas didn't like Witte (and relieved him of his post as finance minister in 1903) he was forced to ask him for help in June 1905. Witte first negotiated peace terms with Japan. However the end of the war in August did little to ease the situation, and Witte feared the returning troops would join the revolution. Witte then became Chairman of the Council of Ministers but was infuriated by the people around him's inability to understand the crisis Russia was in, referring to government policy as a 'mixture of cowardice, blindness and stupidity'
What was the role of the Soviets? By autumn a general strike had developed and in a number of cities, notably St. Petersburg and Moscow, workers formed elected soviets. These started as representatives of the workers with the aim of improving conditions, but their revolutionary potential was soon spotted. For example the Menshevik, Trotsky became chairman of the St. Petersburg soviet and organised several strikes in the capital.
What crucial action by the government allowed them to recover? By October concession was unavoidable due to the united nation of the opposition, but the government aimed to use that concession to divide the opposition. On Witte's advice the tsar issued the October Manifesto, to placate the liberals
What did the manifesto contain? Creation of a legislative Duma; introduction of a wide range of civil rights (freedom of speech and the legalisation of trade unions). Also legalised political parties. This satisfied the liberal appetite for reform
What did the tsar do in November? What was its impact? Pacified the peasants with an announcement that mortgage repayments were to be progressively reduced and then abolished. Response: drop off in the number of land-seizures and a return to some sort of law and order in the countryside
What was the policy towards the workers? Suppression, as they were now isolated. Troops who had retuned from Japan were loyal enough to be use against the strikes. After a five-day siege the St. Petersburg soviet was stormed and its ringleaders, including Trotsky, were arrested.
How were returning troops kept loyal? Paid all of their back pay and promised better conditions of service
What was the role of Lenin? What happened to Witte after 1905? Lenin arrived in Moscow in December only in time to see the flames of the gutted soviet building, set ablaze by government troops. In the spring of 1906 Witte was dismissed, the fact the tsar believed he could dismiss such a valuable asset showed how out of touch Nicholas was with Russia's true needs.
What were the long term of causes of the unrest in 1905? The living and working conditions of peasants and workers; the lack of reform of the Tsarist system; growth of radical parties
Explain each of these in more detail 80% of the population were peasants and a rapidly expanding population meant smaller plots. In '92, '98 and '01 harvest failures caused famine. The peasants reacted with violence against government officials and by 1905 the Russian countryside was on the verge of revolution Industrialisation of the previous 15 years had created slums full of former peasants, with extremely poor living and working conditions. It was this group that sparked bloody Sunday. Still an autocracy with no national parliament. By 1905 demand for political reform had grown but the reformers were a mixed group with little in common, e.g. whilst the liberals and the SRs wanted change they were so different it was hard to see how they could work together.
Why was the Russo-Japanese war important? Russia had been attempting to expand its empire but in doing so came into conflict with Japan, with whom they fought from 1904-05. Though the Russians saw themselves as far superior they suffered a series of humiliating defeats, that were seen as national disgrace. Further defeats in 1905 made the government and Tsar look even weaker and gave further encouragement to revolutionaries. Moreover the liberals used the bungled military campaign as a patriotic argument for political reform
What characteristics of the opposition helped the Tsarist system to survive? (three) Disunity of opposition: different aims for taking action and were united only by a common cause against Nicholas II Lack of leadership: most revolutionaries (e.g. Lenin) abroad apart from Trotsky. But his Marxist views alienated other groups (liberals) who had no intention of achieving a revolution, since this carried with it the danger of social revolution. Demands formulated as they went along Protests not revolutionary: aimed to force concessions rather than to overthrow the system entirely. Explains why October Manifesto so readily accepted by the Liberals. One Kadet said (following the manifesto): 'Thank God for the Tsar who has saved us from the people'. There was little support for the use of violence amongst the industrial workers.
Why didn't the workers sustain their strike? Workers unable to sustain strikes as they suffered from a lack of wages, and there was little support for the use of violence (other than in Moscow). Pacified by the promise of civil liberties, they began to return to work, forcing Trotsky's soviet to call off the general strike on 21 October. When further general strikes were called in November there was little response.
Why do some argue that the threat of the peasants has been exaggerated? Discontent more prominent in 1902-03, their participation in 1905 added to the alarm, but they were not a major threat and were willing to be brought off by the November manifesto
What was the role of the army? The loyalty of the army was vital in tsarist survival, mutinies within the armed forces did not continue after the war with japan had ended. The fact the soldiers (and the regime) were willing to use such harsh action when tacking the major soviets, killing a number of people and sending thousands to Siberia, ended revolutionary activity in towns. The troops were then used to restore order in the villages so that, by and large, by 1906 Russia was back to business as usual. Revolutionaries who were not arrested fled abroad
What was the role of the Black Hundreds? Right wing group who defended the monarchy and during November and December attacked revolutionaries, students, nationalists but most of all Jews (who had been a prominent group amongst the revolutionaries. At Odessa 500 Jews were killed. In many cases the police and army did nothing to intervene
What was the significance of 1905? No revolution at all, but Russia was now no longer, on paper, an autocracy and though the radicals were defeated a large number of liberals wanted to see the promises of October put into action. Workers took the lead, took place 'in spite of, not because of the revolutionaries'. Significant limited as Nicholas re-established his autocratic control within a year through fierce repression. However the failure of Nicholas to live up to his promises ultimately led to his downfall, with Liberals being responsible for the February 1917 revolution. The events of 1905 have therefore been interpreted as a 'dress rehearsal' for 1917
What were the lessons of 1905? As long as the tsar kept his nerve and the army remained loyal, it would be difficult to mount a serious challenge. Raised questions about the extent liberals wanted change, with few enjoying their experience of mixing with workers. Trotsky argued that 1905 had failure because the protesters were disunited and inexperienced and because the liberals had betrayed the workers. He concluded that the tsarist system 'although with a few broken ribs, had come out of the experience of 1905 alive and strong'.
What was the long-term impact of 1905? What was the impact for the Bolsheviks? People no longer trusted the tsar and had had a taste of freedom; they could not go back to the pre-1905 situation. Formative experience for those who went through it; many of the young comrades in 1905 were the leaders of 1917. Change of attitude in countryside , rise in peasant crime etc. 1905 clearly differentiated the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks and Lenin learned three key things: the bourgeoisie liberals were bankrupt as a force against the autocracy; the revolutionary potential of the peasantry; the capacity of nationalists to destabilise the regime. This led him to the idea that a 'vanguard' of the working class could seize power without having to go through a bourgeoisie democratic one first, so long as they had the support of the peasantry and the nationalities.
What theory did Trotsky come up with following 1905? Permanent revolution. The Russian middle class had shown itself to be to weak to perform a democratic revolution, and its weakness made it possible for the working class to carry out a socialist revolution. Trotsky thought a socialist state would not be able to survive on its own and so the success of the revolution would depend on whether it spread to other nations.
Why, in 1920, did Lenin describe 1905 as the 'dress rehearsal'? Because both him and Trotsky drew their 1917 tactics from 1905 and so without 1905 'the revolutions of 1917'...'would have been impossible'
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