The Grievances Amongst the Russian People

1 January 2017

Assess the extent to which the grievances of the Russian people were addressed by the October Manifesto The grievances amongst the Russian people were addressed to some extent by the passing of the October Manifesto. The laws passed in the October Manifesto were designed to benefit the working class as well as prevent an outbreak of violence and an imminent revolution. Stolypin was appointed as the chairman of ministers for the Duma. Which had been created in the hope to please the working class enough to draw them back to the factories. However while in that position he implemented many controversial laws.

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Consequently Stolypin was assassinated and caused a huge impact on the Russian people. Firstly Tsar Nicholas II was persuaded by his advisers to issue the October Manifesto, because the increasing misery of the Russian people had reached a point where they were willing to take the risk of initiating a revolution. The suffering the Russian people, especially the working class endured around October 1905 was extreme due to the Russo-Japo war. There were severe shortages on everything but most importantly fuel and food which were necessities.

The level of their discontent was increasingly rising and revolution was becoming an imminent possibility. The Tsar was consequently persuaded by his trusted advisors to give up his absolute power and focus on trying to retain a partial power. The passing of the October Manifesto effectively stopped the threat of revolution. The laws passed within this document allowed for the setting up of a Russian parliament called the Duma, gave the people a right to vote, allowed for basic civil rights to be for filled such as free speech and better working and living conditions. The passing of the October Manifesto ended absolute monarchy in Russia.

This also pleased and convinced the workers to go back to working class to go back to work. Secondly a man named Stolypin was appointed by the Tsar to be chairman of the Duma, the new Russian parliament. However this was a tactical move by the Tsar, Stolypin was placed in this position so as to reverse all the changes that had been made in the October Manifesto which the Tsar had to concede to in October 1905. Stolypin implemented many controversial policies such as, punishing the leaders of the revolution through hanging. Which resulted in the death of over two thousand people and around 21,000 being banished to Siberia.

The noose became known as Stolypins neck tie. An upper house of the Duma was created called the State Council. The deputies of this house were also appointed by the Tsar consequently they were answerable to him in preference to the public. The Upper House was put in place so as to stop any law that was not suitable proposed by the Duma. Also in 1907 Stolypin engineered a new electoral law, which was made in favour of the rich. The rule stated that it would take 230 large landowner (nobles), 1000 large business owners (industrialists), 15 000 small business, 60 0000 peasant, and 125 000 factory workers votes to elect one deputy to the Duma.

The new electoral law limited the rights of the poor and working class; basically landing them back to where they began for their fight for basic rights. However during the period of Stolypin, Russia was fairly stable between 1907 and 1911, due to Stolypins wise intelligence. He implemented some legal reforms for peasants and factory workers that did not fully satisfy them but kept them content. Stolypin was very wise in the decisions he made. Stolypin was able to keep the threat of revolution down by passing some legal reforms that satisfied the peasants and working class.

However he did implement many controversial policies that took back the rights of the working class, that they had fought so hard to win. Thirdly the impact of Stolypins downfall and assassination created growing discontent amongst the people. With rising numbers of strikes and demonstrations. After Stolypins assassination in 1911, the middle class dominated Duma, removed the restrictions and overturned Stolypin’s social reforms in order for Russia to more rapidly industrialise. Russia experienced worsening discontent throughout 1912 to 1914.

In 1912 striking miners in the Lena Goldfields in Siberia were massacred by the Cossacks which therefore provoked a wave of more strikes. In July 1914 a general strike began. Violent clashes between the factory workers Cossacks and police ended in mounting causalities. This near revolution only ended due to the out break of WW1. Stolypins assassination had a great impact on the Russian people; it increased discontent amongst the working class which resulted in more strikes, casualties and deaths.

The Russian people were consequently stuck back in the same position they had fought so hard to get out of in 1905. In conclusion the grievances amongst the Russian people were addressed to some extent by the passing of the October Manifesto in 1905. The Manifesto allowed for the creation of a Duma which resulted in a more democratic environment, and allowed for the right to vote. This manifesto also allowed for basic civil rights such as free speech and better working and living conditions, which were the biggest issue behind most of the strikes.

However the commission of Stolypin by the Tsar to fill the place of the chairman of ministers for the Duma created problems. The Russian people were kept content throughout the period of Stolypins power despite the gradual reversal of all changes made by the Tsar in the October Manifesto. After the assassination of Stolypin a general strike broke out, this landed the Russian people back to square one. So to some extent the passing of the October Manifesto in 1905 addressed the grievances amongst the Russian people.

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