Although Russia was in desperate need of a revolution, the 1905 revolution ultimately failed. At the time, much of the Russian population was unhappy with the government and demanded reforms. On the other hand, Nicholas II believed reforms would undermine his autocratic power and would not allow them (at least not without a fight). Russia's people's discontent grew and grew from every level of society until 9 th January when the revolution of 1905 began. Considering the people's huge discontent due to political, social and economic problems, it would seem inevitable that the necessary revolution would succeed. However, other factors need to be considered, such as Nicholas II as an autocrat and his reaction to the revolution.
Although there was discontent from all levels of society, one of the driving forces behind the revolution was the urban workers. They demanded reforms regarding the terrible conditions they worked under. Due to the fact they worked under the two-shift system, often two workers had to share the rights to a single bunk bed, and that's if they were lucky. Many slept next to their workbenches. They worked in overcrowded factories in unhygienic and uncomfortable conditions. The urban workers had to endure 12-hour working days and had no trade unions.
They had no representation, but wanted 8 hours working days. The workers participated in riots, demonstrations and strikes hoping to get the reforms they wanted, but the Tsar would not allow them. Considering the Tsar was unwilling to grant the much needed reforms the urban workers desperately wanted, revolution seems necessary (and likely to succeed) based on this factor alone. Like the urban workers, the rest of Russian society also demanded reform. The peasants demanded reform in relation to their poor living conditions. This is due to the problem of poverty among peasants.
Even after they were emancipated in 1861, they still had to make redemption payments, keeping them financially crippled. The middle class were fed up with the control on the viewpoints they expressed, and the fact they had no say in the running of the country. They wanted freedom of speech and a constitution. The non-Russians also resented the government. They were strongly against their Russia fication policy as it didn't allow them speak their own language, let alone practice their own beliefs and traditions. It is this discontent from every level of society that suggests the revolution would be likely to succeed.
Almost everybody in Russia was not happy with the government, yet the government seemed very reluctant to budge. The only solution, it seemed, was a revolution. The main reason why the revolution of 1905 was destined to fail was the fact Nicholas II was a firm believer in Russia staying as an autocracy. As an autocrat, the Tsar had absolute power.
He felt he had a divine right to rule Russia and unlimited control over the people of Russia. He made the law, and because of his pro-military attitude, enforced it harshly. He believed reforms would undermine him as an autocrat, so he would not allow it. His personal attributes give reason to believe that it was inevitable that the revolution of 1905 would fail, simply because he would not allow it to happen. Another reason that would suggest it was inevitable that revolution would fail is the backing the Tsar had. The Russian Orthodox Church supported the Tsar and his right to rule Russia.
The taught propaganda, telling the Russian people the Tsar had a divine right to rule. The Church suggested the people should look up to him and do what Nicholas II ordered without question. Nicholas II also had a very powerful backing through military force. If any revolts did occur, the Tsar's army could be moved to anywhere in the country to crush the uprising. Nicholas II's Okhrana (the secret police) played a huge role in making the failure of the revolution inevitable. They pretended they were normal workers in factories, but actually spied on the workers.
If anyone was plotting against the Tsar, they would be arrested and taken to prison camps. This made a successful revolution very difficult. The way Nicholas reacted to the revolution is a significant factor in why the revolution would not succeed. He found a way to satisfy the majority of the people, without compromising too much of his power, and that was the Duma.
It was just enough to keep them satisfied, but didn't really give the people the power they needed. Rich land owners were appointed ministers and the Tsar closed the Duma when things were not going his way. This factor helped to make it inevitable the revolution would fail. There are strong reasons why the revolution of 1905 should have succeeded, such as the poor working conditions, poverty and a general feeling of discontent from all levels of society. There was the want for revolution from the people and actions were taken to create the much needed revolution. When only these factors are considered, the revolution should have succeeded, but Nicholas II and his autocracy cannot be ignored.
Nicholas II would not allow any significant loss of his power as an autocrat, and took measures to make sure the revolution would fail. Although not inevitable, it was reasonably likely the revolution would fail considering the Tsars autocratic power.