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... for another, Russian ships were sunk or critically damaged by Japanese torpedoes. 18 Russian strategy was foiled by the early death of a series of admirals. The patriotic mood of the Russian people did not last long when the truth of the war became clear. Witte, the ex-Minister of the Interior, was called upon to negotiate a settlement with the Japanese.
He managed to end Russia's humiliation quickly, with only a minor loss of territory to the Japanese. Rural peasants remained indifferent to national affairs. They could not be made to hate anything that they could not see. Revolutionaries were forced to recognize that revolution from below, from the unanimous uprising of the dark masses, would be impossible. Lenin realized that the workers in the cities were his only hope. He toiled to accomplish the revolution by any means possible, even if it meant sacrificing ideals in the short term.
Discontent with the Czar's leadership increased greatly in the cities, during the Russo-Japanese war. The largely defunct Bolshevik organization in St. Petersburg blossomed with new members. Most dramatic, however, was the incredible development of the movement lead by a monk, known as Father Gapon.
Beginning in 1902, the police had been trying to promote the organization of unions. Trepov, the police chief, theorized that by focusing the attention of the workers against capitalists and bourgeoisie, anti-government sentiment would be quelled. Father Gapon began his career as a pawn of the police. After the war, his movement gathered enough strength to exist without police support. When four members of Gapon's union were fired and the company refused to negotiate, a massive strike snowballed through St. Petersburg.
Gapon instantly became the movement's charismatic and independent leader. Between January 3 rd and 7 th, 1905, St. Petersburg was paralyzed by Gapon's strike, involving between 140, 000 and 150, 000 people. Socialist parties were still met with skepticism by the workers, however Gapon allowed them to espouse their ideas in his meetings.
The demands of the strikers grew to include political goals, in addition to the standard union demands. Father Gapon decided that the most effective means of delivering their petition to the Czar was by assembling in mass, in front of the Winter Palace. Gapon drew up the worker's petition with a moving description of the suffering of the workers. It stated that their main goal was to obtain public representation in the government. The petition also asked for freedom of the press, the establishment of a public education system, improved working conditions, the legalization of labor unions, and a minimum wage. It ended with a sadly prophetic final paragraph, 19...
We have only two roads open to us: one leading to freedom and happiness, the other to the grave. Let our life be a sacrifice for suffering Russia. We do not regret this sacrifice. We offer it willingly. George Gapon, Priest Ivan V asimov, Worker Perhaps as many as 50, 000 people assembled in various parts of St. Petersburg, before sunrise, on the chilly morning of January 22, 1905.
Father Gapon's group, in the lead, bore a large portrait of the Czar and smaller ones of his family, as well as an assortment of religious banners and icons. In large, prominent letters, a banner read, ''Do not fire on the people!' ' They sang, as they walked, ''Save us, Oh Lord, Thy People. '' Gapon met no resistance until they arrived at the Narva gates to the palace. Alerted of the rally, officials panicked, fearing a replay of the French Revolution. A bugle sounded.
Calvary stormed through the gate, swinging around, dividing the crowd into two halves. Confused, the procession proceeded slowly towards the gates. Without warning, a second bugle sounded, and infantry stationed on an adjacent bridge fired on the crowd. Horrified and unbelieving, a police officer named Zhultrevich shouted, ''What are you doing? How can you fire on a holy pilgrimage and portrait of the Czar?' ' A moment later he too was struck down by a bullet. The elderly workers carrying the portraits fell.
Gapon himself fell to the street, struck by the body of one killed beside him. The crowd dispersed in a confused panic, some standing firm in defiance, while others fled towards the surrounding streets. 20 Other such groups throughout St. Petersburg met similar action, that morning. Everywhere, the words ''ready... aim... fire'' were repeated, and unbelieving, horrified crowds broke apart.
A slogan from the previous night's rally must have been echoing in many minds, ''If the Czar does not receive us... Then we have no Czar!' ' 21 Between 800 and 1000 people had been killed the morning of January 22 nd. 22 The Russians had finally been awakened; the Czar's historical momentum, his only support, was exhausted. Through the following months, universities closed down. Many government officials were assassinated, with little popular counter-revolutionary disgust. In Poland, the Russian language was successfully boycotted.
In the Caucasus, Christian Armenians and Tartar Moslems joined in civil war against the Russians. 23 Mutinies within the military occurred. Most notably, the crew of the pride of the Black Sea fleet, the Potemkin threw their officers overboard, and attempted to help revolutionaries in St. Petersburg. The Czar remained as isolated in his own world as each peasant commune was to its own.
In his diary, Nicholas wrote, ''A terrible day. Troops had to fire in many places of the city, there were many killed and wounded... '', unknowing that the people had actually amassed to meet him. Likewise, Lenin remained out of touch with Russia through the summer and into the autumn. In October, the country erupted into a unanimous strike against the Czar. Over the course of a few weeks, everyone from stock brokers to the Mariinsky corps de ballet quit working.
The strike radiated out from St. Petersburg, to every large city, crippling the country. The police and military were powerless to operate, because no trains were in operation. By October 17 th, Nicholas II's leadership was frantic. 24 Suppressing the unanimous revolt of an entire nation was impossible.
On October 30 th, the Czar signed the October Manifesto, a document drafted by Witte, granting freedom of speech and assembly, and the creation of the State Duma, an elected legislature with veto power over the Czar. 25 The revolution was complete; the autocratic rule by the Romanov's, almost three hundred years long, had come to an end. Through the following years, the Duma became a stage for the legal publication of Marxist ideas. The population returned to quiescence, but each year brought an increase to the representation of revolutionary parties in the Duma. History shows us that any great event or revolution can not be the result of any single person or happening.
The Revolution of 1905 was the result of the sum of Russia's history. As such, it becomes more than the mere installment of a constitution, (which was never obeyed, anyway) it was the awakening of a people to a world that had passed them by. In the cities, a spark of light was racing through the Dark People. The Revolution of 1905 awoke the sleeping population of Russia, paving the way for the Revolution of Bibliography:
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Research essay sample on Revolution Of 1905 000 People