The October Manifesto Essay

Submitted By matthogan08
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English II Pre-AP
The October Manifesto

At the climax of the Russian Revolution of 1905, a change in society was desperately needed within Russia’s borders. For the past ten months, the mighty czarist regime had been facing political unrest, devastating strikes, and unruly violence. They needed a way to put an immediate end to the impending revolution and reestablish their power in Mother Russia. Thus, the October Manifesto was born (Alpha 1). The October Manifesto (in Russian: Октябрьский манифест) was a document issued by Czar Nicholas II in mid-October of 1905 (Britannica 1). Previous to the release of this document, Russia had been in turmoil. Nicholas refused to listen to the demands of the revolutionaries and continued on with his autocratic rule. It was only when he was pushed to his breaking point that he even considered changing his attitude. Recent political killings, including within his own blood line, forced Nicholas to ponder changing his dictatorial style into a more democratic way. His thought process is explained within a part of a letter that he sent to his mother: “There were only two ways open...To find an energetic soldier and crush the rebellion by sheer force. There would be time to breathe then but, as likely as not, one would have to use force again in a few months; that would mean rivers of blood and in the end we should be where we had started, [with] no possibility of progress achieved. The other way out would be to give the people their civil rights, freedom of speech and press, [and] also to have all laws confirmed by a State Duma [and] a constitution…” (Alpha 1). In order to appease the angry Russians’ demands, Nicholas grudgingly announced that some changes would be made. With word of this, Russian political parties exploded into a frenzy of suggestions. Every political party drew up manifestos that they believed were the best ideas of reform. These massive debates on reform continued until the czars released the ‘Bulygin Project’, their own plan for reconstruction. This caused even more political debate. The Bulygin Project was widely rejected, and caused opposite effects, as the strikes, unrest, and violence became even more radical. The St. Petersburg Soviet, a group of Russians that opposed the czarist ways, formed in early October due to the increased unrest. Additionally, a massive strike was held in opposition of the czarist regime. Finally, after months of holding out and refusing to change his ways, Nicholas was forced to agree to new terms. The Manifesto on the Improvement of State Order was officially issued on October 17, 1905. It initially held no