‘After 1905, many reformist and revolutionary groups began to gain influence in the community’ Discuss the range of groups wanting change in Russia and the ways in which they went about this.
During the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, tensions grew within Russia. Many reformist and revolutionary groups formed, advocating change in Russia and after 1905, these groups began to gain influence in the community. The Populists, one of the first revolutionary groups, called for a peasant based revolution. By the 1890s, this group had evolved into the Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) who became the largest revolutionary group in Russia until it was outlawed by the Bolsheviks, post 1917. The Socialist Revolutionaries advocated violence and represented the peasants, as well as the working class. Their largest aim was to provide land ownership for peasants. In 1898, the Social Democratic Worker’s Party (SDs) was established. This group followed the ideas of Karl Marx and eventually divided into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks (1903). The Liberals were mainly comprised of the Octobrists and the Kadets. The Octobrists formed in 1905 after the October Manifesto and argued for reform by establishing a duma, yet still wanted preservation of tsarism. The Kadets, also established in October 1905, argued for a constitutional monarchy which restricted the Tsar’s powers. These groups, all advocated change within Russia, and went about it in a variety of ways.
Populism dated from the 1870s. They focused their ideas on the peasants, believing the future of Russia lay in the hands of the peasants. The populist leaders were from the middle and upper classes. They believed their duty was to educate the uninformed peasantry into an awareness of its revolutionary potential. The populists ‘going to the people’ policy was used as propaganda. It involved educated Populists from the universities going into the countryside to live for a period of time with the peasants to incite them to...
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