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The 1905 Revolution

Author: Tamara Eidelman
Translation: Nora Seligman Favorov

July/Aug 2015
Page 23   ( 1 pages)

Summary: 110 years ago, the 1905 revolution set Russia on a course that would lead to war and revolution.


Revolution flared in Russia after a peaceful protest came under fire by imperial troops in St. Petersburg in January 1905. But another factor in the unrest was the Russo-Japanese War, which by then had been underway for almost a year.

Russia had gone to war against Japan with high hopes for success. As Minister of Internal Affairs Vyacheslav Plehve cynically put it, “What we need to stave off revolution is a triumphant little war.” Instead of triumph, Russia was facing catastrophe in the Far East. The surrender of Port Arthur in December 1904 provoked a great outburst of anger against the government. Caught off guard by both the burgeoning revolution and the danger of defeat at the empire’s eastern end, the imperial authorities struggled to find solutions.

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