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Ben Dunn TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU AGREE WITH TROTSKYS ASSESSMENT OF THE 1905 REVOLUTION Trotsky wrote Although with a few broken ribs Tsarism came out of the experience of 1905 alive and strong Russia in 1905 under the autocratic rule of Tsar Nicholas ll was becoming increasingly unstable and the government was unable or unwilling to tackle the peoples grievances Lower class people in the industrial centres and in rural Russia had an awful way of life living under emergency legislation Pointless censorship was rife and brutally enforced ranks of secret police Okhrana pursued people who opposed the tsarist regime the Russian people were being crushed by the autocracy of the Tsar In cities and industrial centres soldiers equipped with live ammunition kept order The rural population on whom the economy was so dependent was close to starving The social structure was feudal the upper classes were rich and the peasants were crushingly poor There was a general fear among the peasants that the government was planning to seize back lands where there had been default on mortgages being paid Many had been unable to repay the mortgages which they had taken out to pay the high cost of their land particularly as they had been hit by bad harvest and severe famines in during the last decade of the 19th century It was against this backdrop that the Tsar chose to pick an expensive fight with Japan He believed it was a quick way to a sure victory which would help distract attention from troubles at home and raise morale Japan was chosen as pretexts for war were not hard to find as there was an ongoing territorial dispute over Korea and Manchuria Russia rejected Japanese proposals to settle the dispute over Korea in the hope that this would incite hostilities and this proved successful and Japan attacked the Russian fleet in 1904 However Russia
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