Three Strikes and….then more strikes


The years leading up to the 1905 Russian revolution was full of growth and conflict.  Russia was experiencing remarkable industrial growth around the turn of the century.  However this progress lead to some major dissatisfaction among the middle class workers there.  This disatisfaction lead to unrest and additional conflict all over Russia.  Moscow and St. Petersburg were some of the main locations unrest could be seen.  This unrest lead to a large increase in strkes starting into the1890s.  It wasnt until after 1900 that the number of strikes sky-rocketed.

Years       Average annual strikes[32]

1862-69    = 6

1870-84   =20

1885-94  = 33

1895-1905  = 176

There were many reasons for these strikes.  As in most cases some were political and some were economic .  Workers in the newly industialized cities were dissatisfied with their political signifigance and wanted a more democratic system.( Meaning there would be limits on the Tsarist rule).  Workers also wanted increased wages and union recognition.  According to Rosa Luxemburg, these strikes over economics combined with the oppression in the politics of the country lead to a huge increase of the revolutionary movement.

The signifigance of these strikes in Russia has been debated widely.  Some historians belive these massive strikes were so well organized that they were actually an early success of russian marxism.  Some however, say the strikes were soley over economics and unrelated to marxism since the RSDWP didnt form until 1898.  For the most part historians agree that these strikes were a major warning sign for the russian government as well as a major movement in one aspect or the other for the workers.  These strikes opened the eyes of many political figures including Sergei Witte.  As a result, legislation was put into the place that legally shortened the work day, and by 1906 would leagalize labor unions.  Labor policy was still a major conflict after these improvements.

Freeze, Gregory. Russia a History. Vol. 3rd. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.