The 1905 Revolution had various long term and short term causes that lead up to it. Bloody Sunday could be considered to be the most important cause of the revolution, due to its immediate short term effect. However there are various other causes that played in important part.
Bloody Sunday was the name that came to be given to the events of 22 January, 1905, in St Petersburg, Russia, where unarmed demonstrators marching to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard when approaching the city centre and the Winter Palace from several gathering points. Guards killed over 1000 peasants and workers during the demonstration. After the massacre occurred, many of the surviving demonstrators were expelled from Russia. This supports Bloody Sunday as being an important cause of the revolution, as after it only spread the news further and sparked many sympathy strikes in many other parts of Russia. As well as this it also majorly damaged the Tsar’s overall popularity. Before the revolution, many Russian’s referred to the Tsar as ‘Little Father’. They believed to be on their side and would listen to them if they were to petition to him. However, the occurrence of Bloody Sunday abolished this trust. Bloody Sunday was a short tern cause of the revolution. This is due to the fact that it immediately created a reaction from the public, as the Tsar they believed in essentially let them down. This meant that the public no longer attainted faith in the Tsar and his ability to rule over Russia successfully and effectively, sparking the revolution.
The Russo Japanese was also another important cause of the 1905 revolution. Russia wanted more land in Korea but the Japanese also wanted this land, so ultimately didn’t want Russia to get it. Russia believed they were the superior power and wanted a warm water port, ‘Port Arthur’. However the Japanese navy attacked the Russian fleet and Russia lost 25 out of its 35 warships. This shows the Russo Japanese was to be a cause of the revolution as Russia’s lack of organisation and humiliation of being defeated damaged support for the Tsar. Further defeats that followed during the period of 1905 also made the government and Tsar look even weaker and encouraged revolutionaries. The Russo Japanese was a short term cause of the revolution. This is due to the fact that the Russian fleet was so dented by the Japanese essentially due to the Tsar’s poor organisation of the whole event. This lack of organisation would mean the public would question his ability to organise a country, and lost faith in him and his power.
Poor working and living conditions also played a part in the 1905 revolution. The Russian population was rapidly growing over time, from 98 million in 1885 to 125 million by 1905. The size of peasant landholdings fell in an attempt to provide individual plots for each peasant family. In 1901 there were serious harvest failures which led to widespread famine. This also meant peasants were unable to make a living out of selling their crops to provide for themselves. Working conditions were also a serious issue. The increase in the population meant more people attempting to get jobs. Consequently, this means less jobs available for the entire public. There was also this issue of the overall conditions of working, the employees had to work in poor environments and for long hours. Poor working and living conditions were a cause of the revolution due to the fact that peasants reacted with violence. Peasants attacked government officials and destroyed government records on landholdings, especially those documents which referred to unpaid rents on land. By 1905 the Russian countryside seemed on the verge of revolution. This demonstration of violence would encourage others and strongly enforce the negative views towards the Tsar.…