• The violent smashing of a peaceful worker demonstration in St. Petersburg triggered a nation-wide revolutionThe violent smashing of a peaceful worker demonstration in St. Petersburg triggered a nation-wide revolution
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Revolution of 1905

The Russian revolution in 1905 was the result of longstanding social turmoil that eventually prompted the people to overthrow the government.
After Russia had lost the war against Japan in 1905 the violent smashing of a peaceful worker demonstration in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg triggered a nation-wide revolution. Originally the unarmed demonstrators wanted to render a petition to the czar. These events however stroke the last spark necessary for the people to fight against mass poverty, starvation and political oppression.

Course of events

The „Petersburg Bloody SundaycustomBloody Sunday in January 1905 caused grave consequences for the Tsarist regime, showing disregard for ordinary people which undermined the state” was followed by national labourer strikes in many cities. Mutiny took place on several Russian naval forces, which were bloodily quelled by czaristic troops. Among the numerous revolutionary tendencies the labour movement emerged the strongest. Due to the many riots the government lost control over the population, with the result that public assemblies could be held for the first time ever. After the railroad traffic had been temporarily paralysed by the revolutionist the czar consented and inspired hope for reforms1.

Introduction of the Duma

The October manifestocustomThe October Manifesto served as a precursor to the Russian Empire's first constitution as a response to the Russian Revolution of 1905 contained civil rights as well as the installment of a parliament of elected representatives of the people: the DumacustomThe Duma were council assemblies that were created by the Emperor of Russia. However czar Nikolaus II. hampered political influence of the people over the following years and thus retained his autocratic sole reign.
The revolution’s aim, to introduce a constitutional monarchy was thus thwarted. When the Duma was again dissipated in 1907 and a new election system installed, the old liberal reforms were withdrawn. Peasants and workers were still excluded from political autonomy of decision. As the czar possessed a right of veto concerning all decision made by the Duma, the absolutistic system remained present until 19172.

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