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According to Samuel Huntington, “a revolution is a rapid, fundamental, and violent domestic change in the dominant values and myths of a society, in its institutions, social structure, leadership, and government activity and policies.” The Russian revolutions of 19 were marred by ardent violence and political maneuvering.This article will analyze both revolutions, illustrating that the revolution of 1905 was both a precursor and cause of the 1917 revolution, while having its own precursors and causes.
As a result, worker strikes and general discontent were commonplace.
The workers, in a unitary effort, turned into a formidable force against both factory management and the government. At times, the strikes were for political aims, and other times they were economic.
On Sunday, 9 January 1905, a peaceful protest was organized by Father Gapon to bring social welfare and economic concerns to the attention of the tsar.
As Palmer posits, the crowds chanted, “God save the tsar.” The Tsar was absent, and the panicking troops shot and killed several hundred protesters.
The day was called Bloody Sunday; the Revolution had begun. Constant protesting and striking caused the Tsar to declare the October Manifesto.
In it, he agreed to a new constitution and pledged a nationally elected parliament, which was called the Duma.
As the result of the weak leadership of Tsar Nicholas II, Russia lost the war and suffered humiliation.
Russian people everywhere felt this devastating humiliation and loss of life.
Meanwhile, Rasputin and the Tsarina “began to exercise a disastrous influence over ministerial appointments.” The autocracy became increasingly more strained during the early stages of World War I.
“Food had become scarce…the tsarist administration was too clumsy…too demoralized by graft to institute controls.”With the Tsar away, anger and hunger increased the overall discontent felt and expressed towards the government. Unlike 1905, the people were no longer chanting support for the Tsar.