What caused the 1905 Russian uprising?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade April 2006

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The revolution was the outcome of long periods of repression and unrest across the country which started with Peter the Great. Through Peter the Great's tsardom, he forced his will onto the people through force and terror. Alexander II brought reform through the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 which only lead to harsh economic conditions that did not satisfy the needs of the farmers and peasants. These reforms had changed the social and economic structures of society but the political system was left untouched. All attempts were stopped by the monarchy. The expectations of the people were raised but little progress was actually made. Russians rebelled, demanding "land and liberty".

One reason a revolution broke out was the unrest and low morale caused by the outcome of the Russo-Japanese War. The Russo-Japanese war started in 1904 and ended in 1905. This conflict grew because of rivalries in Manchuria and Korea.

The Japanese were victorious and the Russians were left with a devastated navy and army. The people became concerned as to whether or not those in charge knew what they were doing and if they had any aims. The emancipation was re-examined and people were unhappy. Across the country, peasants were burning farms to express their discontent with the current conditions.

The Russian Revolution began in St. Petersburg on January 22nd 1905, otherwise known as "Bloody Sunday". A peaceful demonstration turned violent when unarmed demonstrators were shot at by imperial guards. This demonstration was organized by Father Gapon and they wanted to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II. The striking workers and their family members rallied at six different points across the city. As they made their way towards the Winter Palace, the police did not interfere but soon the army fired warning shots followed by shots...