The Revolution of 1905 Authority restored

The causes of this failure are thoroughly and convincingly set out by the author in the final chapters of this monumental work on an important turning point in modern Russian history.

The Revolution of 1905  Authority restored

Though it has been conventional to see the revolution as ending with the suppression of the Moscow Uprising in December 1905, the author argues that Russians at the time certainly did not see it that way. Sporadic unrest and lawlessness continued into 1907, and many expected that new disorders comparable to those of 1905 would break out. Everything hinged on the Duma, which the Tsar had promised to convene in his October Manifesto. Would the Tsar honor his commitment? What would the Duma's composition be? What might it accomplish, and what transformations might it achieve in the Russian system of government? Russians of every station and political orientation had their own ideas about the Duma. The Kadets (Constitutional Democrats) planned to use it to continue the struggle against autocracy through constitutional means; the peasants hoped it would give them land; revolutionaries feared it would undercut their appeal among urban workers and organized a campaign to boycott the elections to it; and the Tsar and his supporters had deep misgivings about it and tried in every way to sabotage it. The author convincingly argues that the final skirmishes of the revolution took place not on the barricades but in the halls of the Tauride Palace, where the Duma met, argued, was dissolved, and then met again. The struggles were now often procedural - for example, whether the Duma had the right to discuss legislative proposals before the government had devoted a full month to examining them - but the issues were fundamental if Russia was to experience a lasting transformation. The eventual failure of the Duma experiment of 1906 and 1907 had many causes. As the author shows, radicals on the left eventually turned against it with the same ferocity as those on the extreme right who had wanted it abolished all along. The tragedy of 1906-7 lay in the failure of the moderate parties of the center to forge a working relationship with the Tsar and his ministers. The causes of this failure are thoroughly and convincingly set out by the author in the final chapters of this monumental work on an important turning point in modern Russian history. The second and final volume of the author's definitive study of the Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath focuses on the years 1906 and 1907, and in particular on the struggle over the Duma, the elected legislature that was the principal fruit of the events of 1905.

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