How far were divisions among its opponents responsible for the survival of Tsarist rule in 1881-1905?

Topics: Socialism, Russian Empire, Bolshevik Pages: 3 (1091 words) Published: April 1, 2014
“How far were divisions among its opponents responsible for the survival of Tsarist rule in 1881-1905?”

It is apparent that there existed divisions of the parties opposing the Tsarist government, i.e. the Social Democrats became the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in 1903; the Social Revolutionaries had many factions including the revolutionaries and the anarchists; and the Liberals didn’t develop individual parties until after 1905. However, the factors of the nobility, the Russian Army, the Okhrana (secret police) and the Russian Orthodox Church all supported the Tsar, working towards keeping him in power were more important.

The Russian nobility was the least important factor contributing to keeping the Tsar in power. Despite including leading members of the Russian Orthodox Church and comprising of the ruling elite who possessed considerable social and political power, ‘the Court’ nobility had begun to question some of the decisions made by the Tsar. Some nobles had relatives or were themselves involved in anti-tsarist organisations, for example Sophia Perovskaya, daughter of Lev Perovsky (governor-general of St. Petersburg), was involved in several unsuccessful and the one successful attempt to assassinate Tsar Alexander II. This shows that though the majority of the nobility supported the Tsar as he protected their interests by taxing the poor and repressing revolutionaries who would make Russia’s government more fair, which wouldn’t benefit the nobility as theu would lose land and profit made from the tenants on the land.

The divisions in the political opposition to the Tsarist rule were the next most important factor. The Populists were a socialist party, supported by peasants and urban workers, who wanted a socialist democracy for a Russian republic. Their assassination tactic strengthened other revolutionaries who opposed the tsarist government and attracted intelligentsia therefore depriving the government of them. This, it can be argued,...
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