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Joe Waygood 12AA/TP History
To what extent was the Russo-Japanese War the main cause of the 1905 revolution?
A verity of different factors were to lead to revolution in Russia, among these were the Russo-Japanese war, a campaign that failed miserably for the Russians, the rejection of other nationalities throughout Russia, the woes faced by the majority of the population, the peasantry and finally the catastrophic events of Bloody Sunday.
The Russo-Japanese war had been a tragedy for the prestigious perception the Russian state wished to convey to its people. The War showed up Russia, not just in terms of the inefficiency of the army, but also for its major lack in industrial and technological advances compared to other western countries such as America. Nicholas II believed that by engaging in war, he could divert his people's increasingly revolutionary thoughts due to Russia's domestic issues and that by showing the power of Russia under the Tsar and autocratic state, he would be able reinstate stability throughout the nation.
However, Nicholas' theory of distraction by a successful war campaign plummeted into an embarrassing failure due to his ignorance and underestimation of Japan. The Battle of Mukden kick-started the decline in Russia's war campaign as they were defeated quickly, although the Russian soldiers were brave enough to fight, 90,000 troops were killed and thousands were imprisoned due to poor leadership in the Tsarist Regime. As a result of this humiliating failure, the Treaty of Portsmouth was signed, giving Port Arthur (a desirable piece of land) to the Japanese further enhancing the scale of Russia's defeat and rather than distracting people from the idea of revolution, it enhanced it and highlighted that the poor organisation of the regime must be eradicated through revolution. Although a clear contributor...