How Far Was The Russo Japanese War Responsible For The Outbreak Of The 1905 Revolution?

1794 words - 8 pages

The Russo-Japanese War lasted from 1904 to 1905, and arose from both Japan and Russia’s desire for expansion and dominance in Korea and Manchuria. Russia suffered many great defeats in this war, against a nation that was considered inferior and was not one of the Great Powers. This humiliated the people of Russia, and caused them to lose confidence in Tsar Nicholas II, as well as causing great military, economic, and political problems for Russia. This therefore caused the Russo-Japanese War to be partly responsible for the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution.
Huge military defeats were caused by the Russo-Japanese War, which highlighted the weakness of the military and caused national ...view middle of the document...

The war, as all wars do, cost an extreme amount of money. As it resulted in failure no money could be gained from the invaded territories. Russia had already had economic problems, and its economy was still far behind that of other Great Powers. Russia needed more money to invest in the economy to enlarge it, to make it more comparable to other Great Powers. The backwardness of Russia compared to these other Great Powers was another source of national humiliation for the people of Russia. Furthermore, the lack of money meant that the government could do nothing about the living and working conditions in towns and cities, or the problems in the rural areas of Russia. Consequently, the economic problems brought about a dent in national pride and by Russia’s being unable to solve any of its other problems due to financial constraints was responsible for the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution.
The political implications of the Russo-Japanese War perhaps were the most important reason as to why this war is considered to be responsible for the outbreak of the Revolution in 1905. The war was fought in the very far eastern reaches of the country, far away from where the majority of the population lived, and hence they must have felt removed from it, especially as news was still slow to travel. There was therefore little public enthusiasm for the war. Many people felt there was little justification for it: public opinion was not on the side of the war. Moreover, the military was very ill-equipped for the war. This showed to the people of Russia the government’s failings, and caused people to turn away from the Tsar as a leader, and look elsewhere, such as to political groups who were prepared to take radical action to achieve their aims. The political implications of the Russo-Japanese War helped cause the 1905 Revolution because it was not supported by the public and people therefore lost faith in the Tsar and looked in other places to groups that could possibly rule instead of the Tsar.
Another reason for the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution was the growth of opposition groups to the Tsar. These groups were gradually becoming more and more organised. The four main groups were the Populists, the Social Democrats, the Social Revolutionaries and the Liberals. These groups were slowly providing more opposition, in particular the Social Revolutionaries. Between 1901 and 1905 this group was responsible for a wave of political assassinations, including Plehve, the Minister of the Interior, in 1904, and Grand Duke Sergei. These opposition groups were becoming more widely known and provided a visible alternative to rule by the Tsar, cause by their dissatisfactions with the Tsar’s methods of ruling.
An additional reason for the occurrence of the 1905 Revolution was the lack of constitutional reform. It was only through extreme measures that the population of Russia could make their views known. These was no elected national parliament and since Alexander III had...

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