By Michael Lynch
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- Edexcel: Russia in Revolution, 1894-1924
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Extra info for Access to History. Reaction and Revolution: Russia 1894-1924
What weakened the tsarist regime in the period before 1917 was not its tyranny but its incompetence. It is certainly true that the crisis that occurred in Russia in 1905 was 34 | Reaction and Revolution 1894–1924 in large measure due to the mishandling of the situation by the tsar and his government. This was shown by the speed with which the government reasserted its authority once it had recovered its nerve. The year 1905 marked the ﬁrst time the tsarist government had been faced by a combination of the three main opposition classes in Russia – the industrial workers, the peasantry, and the reformist middle class.
Key terms The Vyborg appeal Key question Key date The high hopes of the liberals that the granting of the duma marked a real constitutional advance were dashed even before it ﬁrst met. Having survived the challenge of the 1905 Revolution, the tsarist regime quickly recovered its conﬁdence. Early in 1906, it successfully negotiated a substantial loan from France. This lessened the likelihood of the dumas being able to exercise a ﬁnancial hold over the government. A still greater limitation on the duma’s inﬂuence was the tsar’s promulgation of the Fundamental Laws, which was timed to coincide with the opening of the duma.
A Bolshevik daily paper, Pravda (the Truth), was ﬁrst published in 1912. Lenin and the Bolsheviks The later success of Bolshevism in the October Revolution has tempted writers to overstate the importance of Lenin in the period before 1917. For example, Trotsky, who joined Lenin in 1917 after having been a Menshevik, argued in his later writings that the Bolsheviks had been systematically preparing the ground for revolution since 1903. But the fact was that during the years 1904–17 Lenin was largely absent from Russia.
Access to History. Reaction and Revolution: Russia 1894-1924 by Michael Lynch