● His government was weak, didn't want to improve the
● He didn't have an heir to the throne (his son was ill).
● He had a poor education = he lacked many qualities required
for a good ruler.
● He didn't care about the matters of the government.
● He was easy to manipulate.
● Ministers were badly chosen (did not cooperate = no
● Lost prestige after the defeat against Japan and his interests
were revealed to the world.
● State Council had no powers (old members).
● Sergei Witte was one of the officials in Nicholas`s government who supported
reforms. He was convinced that rapid industrialization was the solution to the
country's economic problems. This led to economic and social consequences
which contributed to the causes of the revolution.
● Economic: Increased Taxes, affecting peasants. The country's national debt
● Social Standard of living declined.
● Peasants lived like slaves and earned very little money.
● The Emancipation Reform wasn't able to solve serf
● Too many ethnicities and languages were mixed together
in the nation, lacking a sense of identity and nationality.
● Russian Army felt humiliated.
● War with Japan. Humiliating peace in Treaty
● Working conditions were terrible and trade unionism
● Living conditions were horrendous as developers
struggled to deal with the demand for accommodation.
● Nationalists resented other ethnic groups.
St Petersburg factory
● Ethnic minorities were greatly oppressed by the
policies of Russification
● Jewish people were persecuted by state-sanctioned
● The influence of Zemstvas (provincial governing
bodies) was reduced
● in 1900 officials criticising the government were
● middle class industrialists were unhappy that they
had no say in how the country was governed
● Increased industrialisation and urbanisation had
led to major social and economic problems for
workers and peasants
The aftermath of a pogrom
Minister of the Interior Plehve established a legal trade union.
“Assembly of Russian Factory” and Mill Workers, led by a Russian
priest, Georgy Gapon.
In late 1904, four union members at the Putilov Iron Works Plant
in St Petersburg were dismissed. Gapon called for industrial action.
Over 100 thousand workers in the city went on strike.
Father Gapon organised a petition complaining about working
conditions in the city, calling for change. A march took place to
deliver the petition to the Tsar. This demonstration of factory
workers was brutally put down by Russian soldiers. Up to 200
people were killed by rifle fire and Cossack charges
October Manifesto (1905)
It marked the beginning of the end of the autocratic government established in Russia.
The October Manifesto was a document issued by Nicholas II promising political
reforms. This was the outcome of several months of riots, political strikes, and
violence, discussing the future of the country.
The manifesto promised the formation of a State Duma: a national parliament, elected
by the people of Russia, to participate in the formulation and passing of laws. It also
developed improvements to individual rights and freedoms. The October Manifesto
was met with approval by most reformists, particularly liberals and moderate socialists.
Outcome of the
David Welch, HIstorian
“Whether or not you see the October
Manifesto as a genuine policy of
conciliation, or an attempt to ‘buy off’
the revolutionary movement, it
served to split the opposition. It
proved too much for conservatives
and too little for the Social
Democrats, who continued with their
agitation… Liberals were also divided
between moderates who professed
satisfaction with the concessions, and
‘progressives’ (Kadets) who
continued to demand further
State Duma was one of the promises made in the October Manifesto by Nicholas II
and Sergei Witte. It endured from 1905 till the revolution of 1917. There were actually
four Dumas in total, the first one was established with 500 deputies, most being from
radical left parties. It felt The second one, that lasted around four months, had its
majority made of radicals and bolsheviks, their counterparts. The third Duma (1907-
12) was mainly controlled by businessmen, gentry and landowners. The fourth, which
lasted 5 years, had very poor political distribution.
Duma was a promise from the Tsar that at first satisfied some people, but Nicholas II
still held most of the power. All the four versions of Duma show how unstable and
little distribution was the power in Russia´s government.
Stolypin was the 3rd prime minister of Russia, from 1906 to 1911. All his
time in power was dedicated to stop revolutionary efforts, which clearly
failed at last. He had a strong determination to make new, bold reforms.
His most influential reform was the Stolypin land reform. This gave
peasants the privilege of being able to own land individually. The reform
was able to apeace for a while a part of the population.
Piotr had to face many attempts of assassination that by 1911 would be
successful. He was killed when going to Kiev, despite police warning of
an assassination plot ahead. It was at the Kiev Opera House where the
attempt occurred, and due to heavy injuries, he passed away three days
The aftermath brought about a short-lived
revolution in which the Tsar lost control of large
areas of Russia. The revolution failed but it
served as a serious warning of what might
happen in the future.