In the beginning of the 20th Century Russia was caught in a precarious situation. The Homefront was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, after the “Bloody Sunday” in which the the Tsar Nicholas ordered the military to fire on the peaceful demonstrations the people were waiting for any excuse to revolt. After “Bloody Sunday” the government did nothing to ease the situation or they did too little too late. The workers across the nation were gathering and in September 1905 the workers initiated a nation wide strike beginning in St. Petersburg and spreading from there. This strike effected all industries of the government, this completely paralyzed the infrastructure and the working mechanics of the government.
Close to the same time Russia and Japan were in a heated debate for the control of Manchuria and Korea. Russia wanted permanent access to all-year round ocean ports for their Asian Navy. Japan wanted recognition of control over Korea and parts of Manchuria. Within Manchuria is also a series of rail lines that interconnect Korea, Russia, and mainland China- this is also what makes this area a valuable piece of territory.
The Russo-Japanese War resulted in the defeat of the Russian military, their military was outdated and they were in reality caught with their pants down in the situation. The Japanese forces surprised the Russian navy in the Port of Arthur resulting in the loss of Russian’s Naval superiority. The Japanese then launched their armies against the Russian forces and generally for most of the war the Russians were either retreating or in the defensive.
The aftermath of the war brought serious repercussions to the status of Russian authority and the outlook of the government on both the homefront and in the International sphere. On top of that it left East Asia with one growing superior power-Japan. Japan was then able to build on its victory and in years to come leading to WWII build a power base in Asia over China and the various nations.
On the homefront the revolution had been picking up speed because the Tsar Nicholas did not have the military at his command to dispose of the revolution. This played a key factor with the growth of the revolution movement and gave the various leaders time to build a base of support that would last even if the revolution had to go underground. After the war though the military was used to round up and arrest and put down the various uprisings.Nicholas further loses power over his people and from this point on until 1917 their would be a decline in his ability to rule effectively.
On the international sphere Russia was looked down upon as a great power, which led to Germany and Austria not thinking twice about the involvement of Russian forces WWI.
HALLETT ABEND Special Correspondence of THE NEW YORK TIMESBy,HALLETT ABEND. “GRIM STRUGGLE ON TO RULE MANCHURIA.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 2. Nov 13 1927. ProQuest. Web. 8 Sep. 2013 .
“The Russo-Japanese War Research Society.” The Russo-Japanese War Research Society. N.p., 2002. Web. 08 Sept. 2013. http://www.russojapanesewar.com/