Essay on How Far Were The Divisions Among Its Opponents Responsible For The Survival Of The Tsarist Rule In The Years 1881

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How far were the divisions among its opponents responsible for the survival of the Tsarist rule in the years 1881-1905?
Michael Lynch (2008) ‘From Autocracy to Communism: Russia 1894-1941’
David Evans and Jane Jenkins (2001) ‘Years of Russia and the USSR’
Chris Corin and Terry Fiehn (2002) ‘Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin’
J.N Westwood (1987) ‘Endurance and Endeavour Russian History 1812-1986’

John Etty (2007) ‘Russia’s Climate and Geography’ http://www.historytoday.com/john-etty/russia%E2%80%99s-climate-and-geography John L.H. Keep ‘Pavel Nikolayevich Milyukov’ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/383169/Pavel-Nikolayevich-Milyukov#ref59698 John Simkin (last updated 2014) ‘Segei Witte’ http://spartacus-educational.com/RUSwitte.htm During the period of 1881-1905 the main challenge that Tsarist rule faced was that of the 1905 revolution. It is described by one historian as ‘the first major confrontation of the conflicting forces at work in Russian society’. This therefore means that this must be that main focus of an essay that assesses the reasons for the survival of the Tsarist rule in this period although there were also other events in the years prior to the revolution that contributed to the survival of the regime. The divisions among the regimes political opponents were always a big stumbling block for a revolution to ever be successful but the way in which the regime exploited these potential divisions played a very important part in the survival of the tsarist regime.
Russia as a country has always been seen as a ‘special case’. This refers mainly to its immense size which spanned over 22,400,000 square miles. The immense size of the country made it extremely hard to co-ordinate a large scale revolution that spanned the entire country. It also refers to the large peasant population in Russia during the 19th century. After the 1897 it was estimated that 82% of Russia’s population were peasants. This peasant class was largely uneducated and illiterate this meant that they were far less likely to revolt due to their lack of intelligence and their deluded belief that Tsar was a good ruler who would help their cause if only he knew that their lives were so miserable. Seeing as such a large proportion of the population was so unlikely to revolt it is hardly surprising that Tsarist regime survived for such a long period of time. However the deluded beliefs of the majority of peasants were shattered after bloody Sunday where polices forces fired on peaceful protesters, estimates suggesting that around 200 were killed. Following this event the 1905 revolution broke out which involved many peasant uprisings where they took the land of their landlords. Therefore although the disillusionment of the peasantry can be seen as an important factor for the survival of the tsarist regime but is impossible to view them as responsible due the role they played in support of the 1905 revolution.
The 1905 revolution is widely believed to have been caused accidently. Father Gapon was a strong supporter of the autocracy who was also an Okhrana double agent. The strike that he led on bloody Sunday was marching purely for workers rights. Michael Lynch states ‘the strikes in the pre-1905 period had been a result of economic rather than political factors. This means that the majority of those involved in the 1905 revolution were more concerned about reform more than they were concerned about revolution. This meant that the revolution was always limited as many liberals were very keen to accept the October Manifesto which meant that the revolution could never successfully overthrow the government. This is best summed up by Peter Struve, who joined the Kadets in 1905, he said ‘Thank God for the Tsar who has saved us from the people.’ Also if it hadn’t been for the way that the bloody Sunday demonstrations were handled there would not have been a revolution at all. The initial trigger event was not politically motivated and the…