Why did the 1905 revolution Fail?

8 August 2016

When looking at why the 1905 revolution failed, we must first consider the state of affairs leading up to the revolution. One key event in the state of affairs was the separation of the Social Democrats who became known as the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks in 1903. This was because some members of the what was to become the Bolsheviks, wanted to have a violent revolution, whereas the other members wanted to wait until the capitalist stage of the Marxist theory was complete as Russia was not ready for a proletarian revolution.

This was the idea of the members who were to become the Mensheviks. However, whilst this was happening, another progressive feature of the state of affairs were in motion, the peasants were becoming radicalised, due to unhappiness, the land issue, and the fear of redemption payments. Looking at these two key features, we can see there is a clear link to a main factor as to why the revolution had failed. There was no uniting idea, each party had its own visions of Russia ‘moving forward’ and each party only looked to achieve these visions.

Why did the 1905 revolution Fail? Essay Example

However, in contrast to this, there was one uniting idea between the parties that was shared, the need for Civil Liberties, and Representation for the people of Russia. This though was seen as a weakness by Sergie Witte, and therefore introduced the October Manifesto. The October Manifesto was introduced by Sergie Witte, who had been reinstated as of June 1905 by the Tsar, to reclaim the Army’s loyalty. This was done by all backpay that was owed , was paid in full to each soldier, and so this gave the Tsar the Armed Forces’ unwavering loyalty once more after the mutiny of the Potemkin by the naval force of Russia .

Also in the October Manifesto, the loyalty of the people was gained again, as Civil Liberties were introduced, along with Free Speech and the promise of a Duma. Another key event for the failure of the revolution of 1905 was The Moscow Uprising, which was centered in Moscow’s Presnia district between December 7 and 17, 1905. This was the climax point of the Revolution of 1905. Thousands of proletariat workers joined in an armed insurrection against the Imperial Government for better socio-democratic conditions.

The uprising ended in defeat for the Bolshevik revolutionaries and provoked a swift counter-revolution that lasted till 1907. The October Manifesto may have satisfied Russia’s liberals with a constitutional monarchy, and freedom of speech, rallies and unions, most left-wing revolutionaries saw it as a cynical move by the Nicholas II to isolate the bourgeoisie from the workers and peasants, whose own social and political demands were still unanswered. Lenin returned from Geneva to St Petersburg on November 8 (21st Gregorian calendar) after months of delaying.

He immediately called for an armed uprising, not really caring whether it succeeded or not: “Victory?!… That for us is not the point at all… We should not harbour any illusions, we are realists, and let no-one imagine that we have to win. For that we are still too weak. The point is not about victory but about giving the regime a shake and attracting the masses to the movement. That is the whole point. And to say that because we cannot win we should not stage an insurrection-that is simply the talk of cowards.

” This links back to the factor of no uniting idea , as he tried to unite the people with the Bolsheviks, after Witte had split them off from the people with the October Manifesto. The attitudes and beliefs of the Tsar Nicholas II, also had an impact on how the revolution failed. This was because he already had a disgust for the Social Revolutionaries, who had previously killed his grandfather. This hatred for them, left Nicholas with the attitude that there would be no concessions of power of liberties, but was soon swayed by Sergie Witte to give SOME concessions.

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