The factors I intend to include are: The large amount of social and economic problems, the Russo- Japanese war and bloody Sunday as I believe these were also key causes of the 1905 revolutions. Reformist groups first came into Russia in the 1860’s. The first reformist group was known as the populists, they disliked the autocratic rule of the Tsar and wanted to change the way the government was run. Obviously the main aim for all reformist groups was to change the way the country governed. Therefore we saw large changes to reformist groups and we saw an increase in popularity in them.
During and after 1898 we saw the emergence of reformist groups such as the socialist revolutionary party and the social democrat party. The socialist revolutionist party believed Russia’s future lay with peasantry and therefore disagreed strongly with the Tsar and the way Russia was governed. The social revolutionists were led by Viktor Chernov who gained support from many industrial workers. But the socialist revolutionists also gained the support of many extremists and even had its own terrorist group similar to ‘peoples will’.
The socialist revolutionary party was an example of how reformist groups led to the 1905 revolution as they would often cause large-scale violence. In the years 1901-1905 the socialist revolutionary’s were responsible for over 2000 assassinations including the Tsar’s uncle and many other political powers. This shows reformist groups such as the socialist revolutionaries were a large cause towards the 1905 revolution as they eliminated many powerful figures in the Russian government and caused a large amount of political unrest. This led to instability in the government and resulted in people seeing reformist groups as an easy way to create change. And therefore people resulted in violence and uprisings put pressure on the Tsar creating a tense revolutionary ready Russia. Another key reformist group was the social democrats they were created in 1898 and believed strongly in western ideas and Marxism. The group also wanted a society that gave power to workers and peasants. Which was the opposite of the Tsar’s views. Therefore in order to achieve this they would need a revolution in Russia and a change in the government. Similar to the socialist revolutionists they believed that creating violence was the best way to achieve this.
But in 1905 it split into two groups these were known as the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. These groups created large widespread unrest to created political change. As we can see the violence and unrest caused by these groups would’ve pressured the Tsar and therefore are a main cause of the revolution. There were also the Liberals in Russia. They were later split up into the Octoborists and the Kadets. The liberals were made up of the middle class who wanted political freedom for Russia and also wanted to see Russia develop along the lines of Western countries.
The liberals only used peaceful means to achieve their aims and therefore created a smaller impact in comparison to more radical reformist groups. Though once again we can see that the Liberals were another reformist group putting pressure on Russia and the Tsar and therefore increasing the chance of revolution. As well as that the large number of reformist groups meant that it was very difficult for the Tsar to keep control of Russia. Therefore once again we can see that the reformist groups did have a large impact on creating the revolution. There were also many other major factors that led to the 1905 revolution.
I believe one of the largest was the social and economic causes. Before 1905 eighty percent of the Russian population was made up of peasants. And to make this even worse the Russian population was rapidly growing. This meant peasants could just about survive if the harvests were successful but for example in 1901 the harvests were unsuccessful and therefore this resulted in violence. Peasants attacked government officials and destroyed government records on land owning’s. This put Russia on the verge of revolution especially in the countryside. As these peasant uprisings had shown the Tsar the damage that the peasants could do