The 1905 Revolution failed because of the weakness of the Revolutionary movement rather than from the strength of the Tsar. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
The 1905 revolution failed as a result of a combination of the success of state authority retaining control as well as a weakened revolutionary movement. The revolutionary movement however, was ultimately the reason for the failure of the 1905 revolution.
Apart from the Tsarist system remaining strong, there was a problem with the revolution itself. The Revolution lacked a real sense of purpose, direction and unity. It had no real leaders, and the Tsar's government was able to silence protests using his troops. Trotsky stated, “although with a few broken ribs, (the Tsarist system) had come out of the experience of 1905 alive and strong.” It is evident that the revolt unsettled the government, however wasn’t actually strong enough to break it. The spontaneity of the revolutionary outbreaks meant that the movement could have easily been suppressed by armed forces and the police.
Not only was there a problem with the Tsar’s control over military forces, the revolt’s lack of direction also contributed to the downfall of the revolution. The revolutionaries had many different aims. The liberals wanted to share power with the Tsar, while the social democrats, who were divided between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, wanted to completely change society and remove the Tsar.
As well as the unorganised nature of the revolt, another reason for its failure was the ease in which the government managed to appease the revolutionaries. Through the October Manifesto, the Tsar promised to set up a state duma, a range of civil rights, including “freedom of conscience, speech, assembly and associations” and universal suffrage, which many liberals in particular saw as enough of a success to abort the revolution.
This meant that through a combination of concession and repression the Tsarist’s...