The extent to which the growth of reformist groups in the years from 1881
Caused that revolution. The assassination of Alexander II in 1881 persuaded
Alexander III and Nicholas II to pursue a policy of repression of all reformists
Groups. It became a criminal offence to oppose the Tsar or his government, and Okhrana spies infiltrated and broke up reformist cells. This policy
Weakened the main reformist groups, the Populists, Socialist Revolutionaries and Social Democrats, but also forced them underground to continue their activities. Linked to this repression was Tsarism’s refusal to change the
System of government in any way, a further incentive to the reformists.
Other factors which led to the 1905 revolution include the impact of Witte’s economic policies in the towns, where poor living and working conditions encouraged the growth of opposition and trade unionism, and encouraged the disastrous demonstration that turned into Bloody Sunday in January 1905. In the countryside there were growing protests over a succession of failed harvests and famines. The Russo-Japanese war saw a series of humiliating defeats for Russia, notably the loss of Port Arthur and military defeats in
Manchuria. A simple outline perhaps focused on the Russo-Japanese war will be marked within Levels 1 and 2, and progression will depend on relevance and range of accurate material. Answers which begin to provide an explanation of the repression of reformist groups will access Level 3, though there may be some sections of narrative material. At Level 4 there will be an explicit attempt to analyse a number of reasons for the outbreak of the 1905 revolution, though the answer may lack balance. At Level 5 will be an attempt to evaluate the significance of relevant factors, and to draw secure conclusions on the question.
How Accurate is it to Say That the Growth of Reformist Groups in The Years from 1881 were the Main Cause of the 1905 Revolution.
Bloody Sunday released the social, economic and political pressure that had been building up for several years. 150,000 workers demonstrated in a peaceful protest led by Father Gapon, triggered by the recent failure in the Russo-Japanese War. It was not organised by the reformist groups. The police openly fired on the protestors, and the number of deaths is estimated to be anywhere between 200-1000 people. Although it was not the tsar that gave the order, many people held him…