To What Extent Did the Russo-Japanese War of 1904/5 Contribute to the Causes of the 1905 Revolution?

To what extent did the Russo-Japanese war of 1904/5 contribute to the causes of the 1905 Revolution?

The 1905 Russian Revolution was the result of various issues that plagued the Russian Empire during the years leading up to 1905. The key cause of these problems stemmed from Tsar Nicholas II’s poor leadership, triggering to social and political uprisings. The industrialization of Russia and the poor working conditions manifested social discontent, paving many opportunities for political opposition to grow. Furthermore, due to the humiliation of the Russo-Japanese War and the social outrage of the Bloody Sunday massacre, the Tsar’s unpopularity exacerbated. Hence, the prime cause of the 1905 Russian Revolution was the prolonging discontent of the Russian population.

The most fundamental cause of the 1905 Russian Revolution was the weak and indecisive personality of Tsar Nicholas II. He did not encompass the leadership attributes which were vital to relieve Russia from its problems and also ignored the fact that the Russian population were starting to lose faith in him. The Tsar lacked self confidence as he once stated, “I am not prepared to be a Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling.” (Romanov, 1894). According to Andrew Verner (1990), the tutor of Nicholas II and the previous Tsars, Konstantin Pobedonostsev believed that only a sole ruler could have the greatest impact on the people and government. Hence, only a leader who understood his role in an autocratic system “could restrain the disruptive and discordant tendencies and lack of unity inherent in this system and impose on it a sense of direction and coherence.” Tsar Nicholas II was also jealous of ministers who became powerful, and instead he chose his governmental members based on their loyalty and appearances instead of their qualifications or accomplishments (Wade, 2000). This led to public fury as the nation was aware to the lacking government. Therefore,...