Why were the peasantry so important to the plans of the Populists?
To what social group did members of the Populist movement belong?
Explain the Populist scheme of ‘going to the people’. Why wasn’t it successful?
What was the ‘propaganda of the deed’?
When was the ‘People’s Will’ formed? What activities was it involved in (try to be specific)
Why was a peasant-based revolution unlikely to occur in Russia?
What was the lasting important of the Populist movement?
2. The Social Revolutionaries (SR’s) The Social Revolutionary Party grew directly out of the Populist movement. It extended the concept of ‘people’ beyond the peasantry to incorporate a growing urban workforce and all those wishing to see the end of the tsarist system. The SR Party was formed in 1901 with Victor Chernov as its leader. However, as with all the revolutionary groups in tsarist Russia, the SR’s were weakened by disagreements amongst themselves. There soon emerged a ‘left’ and ‘right’ wing of the party. The former were the faction who wanted to continue the policy of terror inherited from the ‘People’s Will’. The latter were the more moderate element, who, believing in revolution as their ultimate goal, were prepared to work with other parties in working for an immediate improvement in the conditions of workers and peasants. Between 1901 and 1905, it was the terrorist faction of the SR Party that dominated. During those years the SR’s were responsible for over 2000 assassinations, including Plehve, the interior minister, and the Tsar’s uncle, Grand Duke Sergei.
However, the 1905 Revolution brought more gains to the liberals than the revolutionaries. One effect this had upon the SR’s was that the more moderate of its members gained greater influence over party policy. From 1906, the SR Party experienced growing support from the professional classes, from the trade unions (which had previously been banned) and the All-Russian Union of Peasants, which had been set up in 1905. At its first congress in 1906, disagreements within the Party came to a head and the left wing broke away. Chernov tried to hold the factions together, but from 1906 onwards the SR’s were a collection of radical groups rather than a genuinely co-ordinated party.
How did the SR Party adapt and extend the ideology of the Populists?
When was the SR Party formed and who was its leader?
Explain the disagreement that arose between the ‘left’ and ‘right’ sections of the Party. (A reasonable amount of detail will be necessary)
How many people were assassinated by left wing SR’s? Name some individuals that were killed.
What effect did the 1905 Revolution have upon the SR Party?
What happened at the first party congress of the SR’s?
CONSIDER: HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WERE EITHER THE POPULISTS OR THE SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARIES TO THE TSARIST REGIME?