Attempts to strengthenTsarism1905-14
Context –Attempted revolution broke out in 1905.Forced Tsar to introduce changes to try and ensure another revolution did not happen.Stolypinmade PM in 1906 – Makes most of changesNote–Background shouldmention that in Oct 1905 at the height of the revolution, Tsar introduced October Manifesto which introduced an electedDumaand improved civil rights – This split the opposition forces as it gave the middle class what they wanted.
RepressionAgriculture reformsIndustrial reformsRelationship with the Dumas
Some measures to strengthen Tsar’s position from 1905-14 were effective in the short term but they were not effective as long term measures of ensuringTsarismsurvived.
Stolypinhad a reputation for being a hard leader and was not scared to use violence.UsedOkhrana, police and army to locate opposition groups – arrested, courtmartialedand executed anyone suspected of revolutionary activity. (KU)1906-1909 : 3000 revolutionaries hanged (KU)
Brutality and publicity of executions scared many people and stopped them revolting - – Worked on ‘fair weather’ revolutionaries (A)Effective in reducing the number of protests and rebellions, especially in rural areasRobert Service states that these hangings “reduced the countryside to quiescence” (A+ - Historiography)
Repression was effective in quickly stopping ordinary people from revolting as it struck fear into many Russians. However, it was not effective in the long term as fanatic revolutionaries continued to oppose the Tsar and repression only hardened their resolve – There is an increase in political assassinations which shows this.
Stolypinalso believed that it was necessary to improve peoples’ conditions in order to protectTsarism– especially peasants (Carrot and Stick)His aim was to create a wealthier class of peasant – kulak – who would have too much to lose if they revolted (KU)
Stolypincancelled redemption payments – 49 year mortgages (KU)Peasants were now allowed to leave their village commune and could own their own land (KU)Peasant land bank was created to give loans to peasants who wished to buy their own land (KU)
Agricultural Reforms - Analysis
Some peasants bought into the reforms and were happy that they could own their own land. Therefore, the reforms were successful to some extent in the short term. (A)However, many were resistant to change and did not like the new reforms – preferred idea of the village commune (A+ - Counterargument)Also,Stolypindid not deal with the real issues facing peasants – land hunger and outdated farming tools meant there was no real improvement in agriculture (A+ - Counterargument)
Stolypinknew it would take at least 20 years for his reforms to work. A new wealthy class of peasant would not develop overnight. He hoped over time this would be the case. However, he was assassinated in 1911 and his reforms did not get the 20 years to work. Therefore, they were not effective in the long term in strengtheningTsarism.
Stolypinalso knew that he could not neglect the workers in the cities.He encouraged further industrialisation to create jobs and boost Russia’s economy (KU)He also introduced reforms that slightly improved working conditions and introduced a system of national insurance. (KU)TheOkhranawere still used to find any revolutionary activity in Russian cities/factories (KU)
Industrial Reforms - Analysis
His focus on industrialisation created jobs in Russia which was beneficial for many and made them less likely to revolt. (A)However, this put even more strain on the cities in terms of housing and conditions as more people came to the cities looking for work (A+ - Counterargument)By 1911, strikes and protests in cities had fell suggesting a happier workforce (A)However, it could be argued that this was due to a ban on strike funds which made it nearly impossible to properly strike (A+ - Counterargument)McColgansuggests this drop in strikes is purely coincidental and not necessarily because of industrial reform. (A+ - Historiography)
Industrial reform was a double edged sword. It provided work but the strain put on the cities made it a hot bed for revolution. Mainly, in order to industrialise effectively, Russia had to borrow money from France. This tied them to the French and forced them to enter into WW1 which ultimately caused the Tsar’s downfall. Therefore, industrialisation actually proved to be counterproductive in the long term.
Relationship with the Dumas
The wayStolypindealt with the Dumas has to be examined too. The October Manifesto created an electedDumato, supposedly, give more say to the middle classes.Stolypinworked with these Dumas as long as they served the Tsar.He advised the Tsar to dissolve them if they went against him and then illegally altered who could vote – His aim was to make sure that full power still resided with the Tsar.
Bicameral – Two chambersLower chamber – Made up of elected deputies – They could propose law.Upper chamber – Made up of people appointed by Tsar – Could veto any proposed laws.Tsar could dissolveDumaand order new elections under Fundamental Laws.Ultimately, this meant the Tsar still controlled the laws and running of the country.
Mixture of left and right wing deputies elected.Proposed land reform, military funding and amendment to Fundamental Laws.Too radical – Tsar dissolves them in June 1906.
The Tsar also never agreed with what thisDumawas asking for.June 1907 – Dissolved
Stolypinalters electoral role
Stolypinknew that theDumahad to work ifTsarismwas to survive.He also realised that this would require pro-Tsar deputies to be on theDuma.He therefore decided to illegally change who could vote to only the richest in Russia – 1 in 6 men.This led to aDumamade up of pro-Tsar deputies.
More successful – Worked with the Tsar and some reforms were passed in agriculture, education and industry.Dumaran for it’s full 5 year term.
Dumas - Analysis
The creation of the Dumas worked in general because it created the illusion that the middle class would have some more political say which made them happy. (A)The thirdDumahelped to strengthenTsarismas it showed that the Tsarist system was not totally opposed to change but reaffirmed the Tsar’s authority and made people realise he was in charge. (A)
Dumas and the wayStolypinand the Tsar dealt with them would help to keep people at bay in the short term. However, in the long term the people of Russia would realise thatStolypinhad illegally changed who could vote and would therefore become angry at the Tsar once again and more likely to revolt.
The attempts to strengthenTsarismfrom 1905-14 were unsuccessful in the long term. Achieved some short term success as repression kept the fair weather revolutionaries at bay and the creation of aDumamade some believe they were having more say in how the country was run. However, in the long termTsarismwas not strengthened as industrial reform created a ripe situation for revolution and the peasants did not buy intoStolypin’sagriculture reforms. Crucially,Stolypinand the Tsar did not deal with the fundamental issues facing the Russian people so in reality their situation and lives were not really improved which therefore drove them to revolution by the end of WW1.