Timeline of the 1905 Russian Revolution

Submitted by martin on 14 May, 2010 - 8:50

Timeline of the 1905 revolution in Russia. Adapted with thanks from Robert Wilde.

• January 3-8: 120,000 workers strike in St. Petersburg; government warns against any organised marches.
• January 9: Bloody Sunday. 150,000 striking workers and their families march through St. Petersburg to deliver a protest to the Tsar, but are shot and ridden down on multiple occasions by the army.
• January: Reaction to the massacre spreads across neighbouring regions, especially the industrial centres where workers strike.

February
• February: The strike movement spreads down to the Caucasus.
• February: Trotsky returns to Russia from exile, and quickly becomes the leading Marxist figure on the spot.
• February 4: Grand-Duke Sergei Alexandrovich is killed by an SR assassin as protests grow.
• February 6: Notably large rural disorder, especially in Kursk.
• February 18: Reacting to the growing troubles, Nicholas II orders the creation of a consultative assembly to report on constitutional reform; the move is less than the revolutionaries want, but it gives them impetus.

March
• March: The strike movement and unrest reaches Siberia and the Urals.

April
• April 2: The second National Congress of Zemstvos again demands a constitutional assembly; the Union of Unions formed.

May
• May: Russia's Baltic Fleet is easily sunk, having spent 7 months sailing round to Japan.

June
• June: Soldiers used against strikers in Lodz.
• June 18: Odessa is halted by a large strike.
• June 14-24: Sailors mutiny on the Battleship Potemkin.

August
• August: Moscow holds the first Conference of the Peasants union; Nizhnii holds the First Congress of the Muslim Union, one of many groups pushing for regional - often national - autonomy.
• August 6: Tsar issues a manifesto on the creation of a state Duma; this plan, created by Bulygin and nicknamed the Bulygin Duma, is rejected by revolutionaries for being too weak and having a tiny electorate.
• August 23: Treaty of Portsmouth ends the Russo-Japanese war; Russia has been beaten by an opponent it expected to defeat.

September
• September 23: Printers strike in Moscow, the start of Russia's first General Strike.

October
• October 1905 - July 1906: The Peasant Union of the Volokolamsk District creates the independent Markovo Republic; it survives, 80 miles from Moscow, until the government crushes it in July 1906.
• October 6: Rail workers join the strike.
• October 9: As telegraph workers join the strike, Witte warns the Tsar that to save Russia he must make great reforms or impose a dictatorship.
• October 12: Strike action has developed into a General Strike.
• October 13: A council is formed to represent striking workers: the St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers Deputies; it functions as an alternative government. Trotsky is a leading figure. The Bolsheviks initially boycott it "officially", though rank and file Bolsheviks take part, and Lenin soon persuades the Bolsheviks to participate "officially". Similar soviets are soon created in other cities.
• October 17: Nicholas II issues the October Manifesto, a liberal scheme proposed by Witte. It grants civil liberties, the need for Duma consent before passing laws and a widening of the Duma electorate to include all Russians; mass celebrations follow; political parties form and rebels return, but acceptance of the Manifesto pushes the liberals and socialists apart. The St. Petersburg soviet prints its first issue of the newsheet Izvestia; left and right groups clash in streetfights.
• October: Lvov joins the Constitutional Democrat (Kadet) party, which includes the more radical zemstvo men, nobles and scholars; conservative liberals form the Octobrist Party.
• October 18: N. E. Bauman, a Bolshevik activist, is beaten to death by the Black Hundreds when they attack a Bolshevik demonstration in Moscow. This triggers a street war between the Tsar-supporting right and the revolutionary left.
• October 19: The Council of Ministers is created, a government cabinet under Witte; leading Kadets are offered posts, but refuse.
• October 20: Bauman's funeral is the focus of major demonstrations and violence.
• October 21: The General Strike is ended by the St. Petersburg Soviet.
• October 26-27: The Kronstadt mutiny.
• October 30-31: The Vladivostok Mutiny.

November
• November 6-12: The Peasants Union holds a conference in Moscow, demanding a constituent assembly, land redistribution and political union between peasants and urban workers.
• November 8: The Union of Russian People (Black Hundreds) is formally launched. This early fascist group aims to fight against the left and is funded by government officials.
• November 14: The Moscow branch of the Peasants Union is arrested by the government.
• November 16: Telephone/telegraph workers strike.
• November 24: Tsar introduces 'Provisional Rules', which at once abolish some aspects of censorship, but introduce harsher penalties for those praising 'criminal acts'.
• November 26: Head of the St. Petersburg Soviet, Khrustalev-Nosar, arrested.
• November 27: The St. Petersburg Soviet appeals to the armed forces and elects a triumvirate to replace Nosar; it includes Trotsky.

December
• December 3: The St. Petersburg Soviet is arrested en masse.
• December 10-15: The Moscow Uprising, where rebels and militias try to take the city through armed struggle; it fails. No other major rebellions take place, but the Tsar and the right react: the police regime returns and the army sweeps across Russia crushing dissent.
• December 11: Russia's urban population and workers are enfranchised by electoral changes.
• December: Nicholas II and his son given honorary membership of the Union of the Russian People (Black Hundreds); they accept.

Ferment continued into 1906; only in hindsight did it become clear that the arrest of the St Petersburg Soviet and the defeat of the Moscow uprising marked the ebb of the revolution.

Repression escalated, under interior minister Pyotr Stolypin. Over 3000 people were arrested and put to death for political activity.

In July 1906 Stolypin became prime minister and dissolved the First Duma (sort-of Parliament).

Stolypin moved simultaneously to eliminate remnants of democracy from 1905 and to push land reforms, aiming to create a class of well-off peasants who would be supporters of the existing social order.

After dissolving the Second Duma in June 1907 Stolypin changed the weight of votes in favour of the nobility and wealthy, reducing the value of lower class votes.