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Russia: The Revolution of 1905

3. The Industrial Revolution

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In this module, we consider the extent to which Russia's rapid industrialisation contributed to the events of 1905. In particular, we focus on why Russia chose to industrialise when it did, the barriers to industrialisation in Russia (social, political, geographical, etc.), and the problems caused by industrialisation that helped to foment revolution in 1905.


In this course, Dr Jonathan Smele (Queen Mary, University of London) explores the (so-called) Revolution of 1905. We begin in the first module by considering whether this was a revolution at all and – if so – whether we should see events as being confined to 1905. After that, we consider the immediate background to the events of 1905, focusing in particular on the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, as well as its immediate consequences. In the second module, we consider the extent to which dissatisfaction among the peasantry contributed to the events of the period, before turning in the third module to the impact of Russia's rapid industrialisation – especially in the last decade of the nineteenth century In the fourth module, we think about the political opposition to the regime – especially that of the liberals and the socialists (and the various 'parties' within each of these groups), before turning in the fifth and final module to the longer-term consequences of the events of 1905. Were the reforms made in the aftermath of the 1905 Revolution doomed to failure, or was there potential for Russia's development into a modern, industrial, democratic state?


Dr Jonathan Smele is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Queen Mary University of London. He is a specialist in the history of Russian revolutions and civil wars. His recent publications include (as editor) The Russian Revolution of 1905: Centenary Perspectives (2005) and The Russian Civil Wars, 1916-26: Ten Years that Shook the World (2016).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Smele, J. (2019, January 16). Russia: The Revolution of 1905 - The Industrial Revolution [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Smele, J. "Russia: The Revolution of 1905 – The Industrial Revolution." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 16 Jan 2019,

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