Interior Minister Vyacheslav Plehve


(1) 1904: Prelude to Revolution


Liberals.
==Jan.16-17 > The liberal Union of Liberation is formally established in secret meetings in St. Petersburg

Peasants.Czarist Regime.
==Jan.21 > An Imperial decree calls for the reform of peasant laws by provincial conferences, which are tightly controlled by the regime - the conferences meet May-Jun.

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Jan.29 > Interior Minister Plehve suspends the entire zemstvo board for Tver in a crackdown on liberals, provoking an angry public reaction

Rasputin.
==Jan.--- > In St. Petersburg, rumors of sexual excess begin to tarnish the reputation of the newly popular holy man Rasputin

Bolsheviks.Mensheviks.
==Jan.--- > After having broken with Lenin in 1903, the Mensheviks are openly squabbling with him over his centralizing tendencies

Russo-Japanese War.
==Feb.08 (Jan.26.OS) > The Russo-Japanese War, to Sep.1905

Czarist Regime.
==Feb.11 > A Committee of Ministers confirms the extraordinary powers that have been granted to Governor of Vilna - in the next few years, nearly every governor will be given comparable authority

Czarist Regime.
==Feb.12 > The war with Japan inspires a great spontaneous pro-government demonstration in St. Petersburg - ~patriotic rallies are sweeping Russia - the high point of Nicholas II’s popularity

Labor.
==Feb.28 > Interior Minister Plehve sanctions Father Gapon’s proposed ‘Assembly’ labor union, which is supposedly under government control

Far Left.
==Mar.14 > The Finnish leftist Zilliacus is the first to predict rising resistance to the war and to suggest that opposition groups form a broad front to exploit anti-war sentiment

Bolsheviks.Mensheviks.
==late.Mar. > The socialist RSDRP condemns the war as capitalist profit-hunting

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Mar.--- > Interior Minister Plehve makes trivial concessions to the zemstvos
==mid.Apr. > Zemstvos organize to aid wounded soldiers, despite Plehve’s opposition

International.
==Apr.20 > German Chief of Staff Schlieffen reports that the Russian army in Europe is in disarray due to mobilization for the Russian-Japanese War - ~Russian international influence is beginning to weaken

Labor.
==Apr.24 > Father Gapon’s labor union is formally established; Gapon has already secretly drafted a set of radical goals - in May (OS), the union begins to operate, and rapidly spreads

Russo-Japanese War.
==Apr.30-May.01 > Japanese forces defeat Russia in the Battle of the Yalu and push into Manchuria from Korea

Mensheviks.
==Apr.--- (OS) > The leading Marxist Plekhanov writes that the war “promises to shatter to its foundations the regime of Nicholas II.” - but overall, the Russian left pays little attention to the conflict

Press.
==spring > The Russian press is beginning to grow apprehensive about the war

Liberals.Radicalized Military.
==spring > Army officers contact the liberal Union of Liberation, offering to overthrow the Czar - the Union refuses

Bolsheviks.
==spring > Lenin’s speeches to the RSDRP Party Council clarifies his position - ~he begins setting up his own faction: the origins of Bolshevism

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==May.03 > The government overturns the election of the moderate Shipov to the Moscow zemstvo board - the liberal truce with the government is wearing thin

Russo-Japanese War.
==May.05-Jan.02.1905 > The grueling Port Arthur campaign in Manchuria

Economy.
==May.--- > The Russian economy is being seriously impacted by the disruption of trade brought on by the war

Ethnic Unrest.Central Asia.
==May.--- > In Central Asia, the primitive Altai followers of the anti-Russian ‘white faith’ are dispersed by Russian militia

Labor.
==Jun.02 > Father Gapon’s labor union presents the Czar with a resolution of loyalty

Peasants.Czarist Regime.
==Jun.19 > A Resettlement Law allows some peasant emigration, but only under strict government control

Russo-Japanese War.
==Jun.20 > The Russian government decides to send the Baltic Fleet to retrieve the crumbling naval situation in the Far East

Czarist Regime.
==Jun.20 > The government increases gendarmes’ authority to detain suspects

Far Left.
==Jun.--- > The Latvian Social Democratic Party is established

Press.
==mid.1904 > The Russian press is growing more daring in its criticism of the government

Radicalized Military.
==mid.1904 > Low morale is evident in Black Sea Fleet

Labor.
==Jul.02 > Father Gapon begins traveling through Russia in an attempt to establish a national labor union - the government is growing suspicious of his activities

Bolsheviks.Far Left.
==late.Jul. > Japanese intelligence chief Akashi meets with Russian revolutionaries in Switzerland - ~the Japanese subsidize Lenin

Left-wing violence.Socialist Revolutionaries.
==Jul.28 (Jul.15.OS) > Reactionary Interior Minister Plehve is blown up by order of the SR terrorist leader / covert police agent Azef - there is virtually no sign of public regret over Plehve's death

Jews.
==Jul.--- (OS) > Restrictions are removed on Jewish settlement near the western border

Russo-Japanese War.
==Aug.10 > The Battle of the Yellow Sea: the Japanese Navy bottles up the Russian Far East Fleet in Port Arthur

Czarist Regime.
==Aug.12 (Jul.31.OS) > The birth of the Czarevitch Alexis, Imperial heir

Peasants.Czarist Regime.
==Aug.24 > Cantonal courts loose the power to inflict corporal punishment on peasants - ~other slight reforms are made in an attempt to appease the restive liberals

Russo-Japanese War.
==Aug.26-Sep.04 > Russia is defeated in the enormous Battle of Liaoyang in Manchuria

Unrest.
==Aug.30 > French Ambassador Bompard warns Paris that “a general explosion... a revolution” is quite possible in Russia

Bolsheviks.
==Aug.--- > Lenin’s supporters hold a conference in Geneva, financed by Japanese intelligence, and begin to form a separate party apparatus: ~the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks have in fact become two separate parties - ~Lenin is effectively ousted from the RSDRP Central Committee
==Aug.--- > Trotsky’s Our Political Tasks strongly critiques Lenin’s What Is to be Done?

Socialist Revolutionaries.
==Aug.--- > The terrorist ‘Combat Organization’ renders itself nearly autonomous from the SR central party and confirms Yevno Azef as its leader, not suspecting that he’s a police agent

Jews.
==Sep.02 > The Czar lifts some restrictions on the Jews

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Sep.08 or Sep.07 > The moderate-liberal Mirsky is appointed Interior Minister
==mid.Sep. > Plans are made for a public zemstvo congress, initially supported by Mirsky - ~liberals temporarily believe that the government is ready to accept a constitution

Czarist Regime.
==Sep.21 > The first signs of hemophilia appear in the Czarevitch

Miscellaneous.Siberia.
==Sep.25 (Sep.12.OS) > The Trans-Siberian Railroad is completed after thirteen years of construction

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Sep.29 > Interior Minister Mirsky says that he’s guided by “confidence in the public” - liberals are further encouraged

Liberals.Far Left.
==Sep.30-Oct.09 > Liberal and revolutionary groups (including the Union of Liberation, the SR, Polish and Finnish nationalists - but not the RSDRP) secretly meet in Paris to form a united front, encouraged by Japanese intelligence officer Akashi - ~rising agitation in Russia

Peasants.
==early.fall > ~Poor harvests throughout Russia

Russo-Japanese War.
==Oct.15 > The Russian Baltic Fleet sets out for the Far East

European Relations.
==Oct.22 (Oct.09.OS) > The Dogger Bank Incident: the inept Russian Baltic fleet fires on English fishing boats - short, sharp crisis with Britain to Oct.28

Far Left.Education.
==Oct.24 > St. Petersburg students call for a constitution and an end to the war - the start of student agitation

European Relations.
==Oct.27-Dec.21 > German overtures to Russia for a defense pact, in hopes of splitting the French-Russian alliance

Bolsheviks.
==Oct.--- > Trotsky breaks with the Mensheviks and forms a third RSDRP faction

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==fall > The Zemstvos are unable to care for the rising numbers of indigents - the government ignores calls for assistance

Liberals.
==Nov.02-04 > The Second Congress of the Union of Liberation calls for a constitution
==Nov.07 > The liberal journal Pravo predicts violent revolution if reforms aren’t promptly enacted: “On the sea of blood and tears the reforms will be swept away and on the stormy waves there will arise the spirit of destruction and revenge.”
==Nov.13 > Interior Minister Mirsky permits a Zemstvo Congress in St. Petersburg
==Nov.18 > Liberals begin holding public banquets throughout Russia to press for a constituent assembly - on Dec.03, one in St. Petersburg is attended by 600 guests
==Nov.19-22 (Nov.06-09.OS) > The first Zemstvo Congress is held in St. Petersburg: effectively the first national assembly in Russian history - it calls for a constitution and a parliament

Labor.
==Nov.--- (OS) > Father Gapon begins discussing the idea of submitting a workers’ petition to the Czar

Left-wing violence.Socialist Revolutionaries.Maximalists.
==Nov.--- > An SR group in Geneva endorses a campaign of rural terror, despite opposition from party leaders - the origins of the extreme Maximalist faction

Bolsheviks.Caucasus.
==Nov.--- > Kamenev establishes a Bolshevik group in Georgia - ~Stalin aligns with the Bolsheviks

Bolsheviks.Siberia.
==Nov.--- (OS) > In Tomsk in Siberia, 18-year-old Sergei Kirov (Kostrikov) formally joins the RSDRP and soon supports the Bolsheviks

Radicalized Military.
==late.1904 > Sailors form a revolutionary group in Sebastopol

Bolsheviks.Mensheviks.
==Dec.03 > The Mensheviks support the Zemstvo Congress’ call for reforms - ~Lenin briefly disagrees and calls for armed revolt

Bolsheviks.
==Dec.06 > Lenin tells a fellow revolutionary: “Everything that is done in the interest of the proletariat cause is honest.”

Czarist violence.Bolsheviks.Mensheviks.
==Dec.11 > Police attack student demonstrators in St. Petersburg - the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks blame each other for the fiasco

Liberals.
==Dec.13 > The Moscow City Council endorses the Zemstvo Congress’ call for a constitution

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.24 > Mirsky’s proposed mild reforms are debated in a stormy Imperial Conference - the arch-reactionary Pobedonostsev vehemently opposes allowing the public the right to elect officials to the State Council - the Czar seemingly agrees to reforms
==Dec.25 (Dec.12.OS) > The Czar signs a weak reform decree vaguely pledging rule by law, with greater press and religious freedom, but he drops the partially elective State Council and outlaws all assemblies: the government adopts a hard line against reform - ~the disillusioned Mirsky says “Everything has failed.  Let us build jails.”

Bolsheviks.
==Dec.25 > Litvinov writes Lenin that the Bolshevik situation in St. Petersburg “...is impossibly rickety and precarious” - ~there are only a couple hundred Bolsheviks in the city, mostly intellectuals and students, almost no workers

Labor Unrest.
==Dec.26-Jan.12 > A successful oil workers’ strike in Baku ends in the first collective agreement between workers and employers in Russian history - the start of labor unrest

Bolsheviks.
==Dec.--- > The embittered Lenin writes of the Mensheviks’ “reptilian vileness”

Economy.
==1904-1905 > Russia surpasses America as a grain exporter

Far Left.
==1904 > Liberal leader Milyukov observes that nearly all educated young Russians are socialists

Ethnic.Baltic.
==1904 > Estonians first gain political control of a major city by securing a majority in the Reval (Tallinn) city council

Military.
==1904 > The first Russian submarine is built, on the Baltic


 

Russia: Introduction   ///   (2)  Jan-Sep.1905: Russia in Chaos
(3)  Oct-Dec.1905: The Crisis of the Revolution   ///  (4)  1906: Repression and Terror
(5)  1907-1908: The Defeat of the Liberals   ///   (6)  1909-1911: Order Restored
(7)  1912-Jul.1914: Renewed Unrest   ///   Biographies and Glossary

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