Leon Trotsky

(3) Oct-Dec, 1905: The Crisis of the Revolution

Labor Unrest.
Printers’ strike in Moscow:
==Oct.03 (Sep.20.OS) > A strike at Sytin Publishers sets off a great wave of strikes in Moscow through the middle of Oct - renewed unrest, street clashes
==early.Oct. > Moscow workers are forming armed squads
==Oct.09 > Cossacks fire on Moscow demonstrators, killing ten - all Moscow publishers have been shut down by strikes
==Oct.14 > The Moscow Okhrana (security police) reports that the strike movement is under control - by Oct.18, the printers’ strike is clearly weakening

Liberals.Czarist violence.
==Oct.16 > Thousands march in the Moscow funeral of the liberal leader S. N. Trubetskoy - students are attacked by Cossacks

Czarist violence.Baltic.
==Oct.16 (OS?) > Troops fire on a mass meeting in Reval, killing 150

Left-wing violence.Bolsheviks.
==Oct.16 > From exile, Lenin urges the Bolsheviks in Russia to make bombs and “form fighting squads at once everywhere.”

==Oct.16 > Printers in St. Petersburg strike - strikes spread rapidly in the city

Right-wing violence.Siberia.
==Oct.20 > Hundreds are killed or injured in a clash between revolutionaries and Black Hundreds at Tomsk in Siberia - the young Kirov participates

October Crisis.
==Oct.17 > False rumors circulate that the government has arrested the railroad pension delegates at a St. Petersburg conference - the railroad union calls a general strike
==Oct.19 (Oct.06.OS) > The Moscow-Kazan railroad goes out on strike - the strike quickly spreads through Moscow - THE START OF AN IMMENSE WAVE OF STRIKES - THE CRISIS OF THE 1905 REVOLUTION, TO OCT.30
==Oct.21 > The rail strike reaches Nizhnii-Novgorod, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Kursk, and the Urals - telephone and telegraph service shuts down in central Russia - the Union of Unions is setting up strike committees throughout Russia in support of the rail strike
==Oct.22 > The rail strike reaches Kiev and Voronezh - Assistant Interior Minister Trepov is urging “the most drastic measures” to end the strike
==Oct.22-23 (Oct.09-10.OS) > Witte confronts the Czar, and demands either a constitutional government or a military dictatorship; he misinforms the Czar that under a constitution the crown could still revoke any law
==Oct.23 (Oct.10.OS) > The rail strike reaches Kharkov and Reval - all Moscow rail service is shut down; a general strike is called in the city - St. Petersburg communications and service employees strike - Menshevik youths urge St. Petersburg workers to form a soviet (a strike committee) - the Moscow Bolsheviks belatedly come out in favor of the general strike - general strike in Batum
==Oct.24 > The rail strike reaches Smolensk, Koslov, Lodz, and Ekaterinoslav, where there is bloody street fighting to Oct.27 - Moscow rail workers present demands to Witte, including a call for a constituent assembly - a mass meeting in St. Petersburg calls for a nation-wide rail strike
==Oct.25 > The rail strike reaches Kursk, Samara and Poltava - St. Petersburg is utterly paralyzed by a general strike; all rail service to the Czar’s palace is shut down; troops are moving into the city - after days of inactivity, the Czar orders Trepov to deal vigorously with the unrest: Trepov orders provincial police to “act in the most drastic manner...not stopping at the direct application of force.”
==Oct.25 (Oct.12.OS) > The Liberal Kadet Party is established by the Union of Unions and Zemstvo groups - it holds its First Congress in Moscow to Oct.30
==Oct.25-26.[night] > The St. Petersburg Bolsheviks belatedly come out in favor of the general strike
==Oct.26 > The rail strike reaches Minsk, Kremenchug and Simferopol - rail traffic and telegraphs are shut down throughout European Russia - Moscow hospitals strike - Moscow industrialists and bankers urge stern measures against the general strike - Trepov orders the suppression of illegal Moscow meetings by force if necessary
==Oct.26 > The Czar asks Witte to “coordinate...ministers”; in effect, to be prime minister - Witte refuses unless the Czar adopts Witte’s reform program
==Oct.26 (Oct.13.OS) > The first meeting of the St. Petersburg Soviet [evening], which is established to direct strikes; it urges the use of force against strikebreakers
==Oct.27 > The rail strike reaches into Siberia, Central Asia, and Georgia - European Russia is paralyzed - only one newspaper is being printed in the entire Russian Empire (in Kiev) - electricity is off in St. Petersburg - St. Petersburg lawyers, doctors, and civil servants strike - Trotsky returns to St. Petersburg (or Oct.28) - the St. Petersburg Soviet presents radical demands to the startled city council: the St. Petersburg Soviet quickly begins to act as a shadow government - Trepov publicly orders the St. Petersburg garrison: “Spare no cartridges and use no blanks”: the police and the army ignore the order - War Minister Rediger is concerned about the army’s loyalty - bloody clashes in Odessa between troops and strikers
==Oct.27.[evening] > Witte’s assistant draws up the October Manifesto, based on the demands of the Zemstvo Congress in Sep.
==Oct.28 > St. Petersburg bank, post and telegraph workers, ballet dancers, servants, janitors, cab drivers, and retail clerks strike - Trepov surrounds the University of St. Petersburg, forbids rallies, and threatens to clear the campus by force
==Oct.28 > Witte presents the October Manifesto to the Czar and refuses to participate in a military dictatorship [1100 AM] - discussions are held on the possible need to evacuate the Imperial family abroad
==Oct.29 > The general strike reaches Zhitomir - all Russian rail lines are shut down by strikes - Trepov warns the Czar that order can’t be forcibly restored without very heavy bloodshed
==Oct.30 > The St. Petersburg Soviet elects a non-partisan Executive Committee and a chairman - the first issue of the Soviet’s secretly printed newspaper Izvestia is published - the government is forced to use soldiers to print its official gazette
==Oct.30 (Oct.17.OS) > The Grand Duke Nicholas allegedly threatens to shoot himself in front of the Czar unless the Czar signs the October Manifesto [afternoon] - after crossing himself, a hesitant, shaken CZAR NICHOLAS SIGNS THE OCTOBER MANIFESTO, pledging a constitution, an extended franchise, and civil liberties [500.PM]: THE END OF UNLIMITED CZARIST AUTOCRACY - Witte becomes Premier [evening], and urges an amnesty for political prisoners - ~rumors of Witte’s imminent fall from power almost immediately begin to circulate - the October Manifesto is publicized to widespread liberal acclaim [near midnight] - ‘the Days of Liberty’ to mid.Dec: unrestrained political activity, rising extremism - ~the rapid rise of trade unions, soviets, and revolutionary parties
==Oct.30 > Lenin writes “Czarism is no longer able to suppress the revolution; the revolution is still unable to destroy Czarism.”

==Oct.31.[morning] > In his first public speech, Trotsky denounces the October Manifesto to a huge crowd in St. Petersburg

Labor.Far Left.
==Oct.31 > The St. Petersburg Soviet and the RSDRP order the general strike to continue, but strikers are returning to work en masse - Moscow calls off its strike

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Oct.31 to early.Nov > Witte fails to gain liberal support in a series of meetings - ~liberals are aghast at the appointment of the reactionary Interior Minister Durnovo

Right-wing violence.
Right-wing violence sweeps Russia:
==Oct.31 (Oct.18.OS) > Giant demonstrations for and against the October Manifesto in St. Petersburg and Moscow - right-wing violence begins to erupt throughout Russia - attacks on workers, students, and intellectuals and pogroms against Jews (690 pogroms are recorded by mid.Nov) - the Bolshevik organizer Bauman is killed in Moscow
==Oct.31 > A bloody pogrom breaks out in Odessa - the police stand by while 500 Jews are murdered, and intervene only against Jewish self-defense units
==Nov.01-02 > Street fighting in St. Petersburg between Black Hundreds and workers
==Nov.04 > Black Hundred outrages in Moscow: two dozen workers and students are killed
==Nov.04 > Witte vigorously condemns right-wing violence
==Nov.05 > The murderer of the Bolshevik leader Bauman is released after threats from a Black Hundred mob
==Nov.07 > The first wave of reactionary violence begins to ease off

==Oct.--- (OS?) > Armenians and Azerbaijanis reach agreement, which soon collapses in renewed fighting

==Oct.--- > Baltic Germans form the Constitutional Party

Czarist Regime.
==Oct.--- > Czar Nicholas has the French spiritualist Papus conjure up the spirit of his father, Alexander III

Labor.Far Left.
==fall > Gapon briefly returns to St. Petersburg in an attempt to revive his labor union, but he is soon co-opted by Witte and breaks with left

Far Left.
==fall > ~The veteran revolutionary Vera Zasulich returns to St. Petersburg from foreign exile, but largely retires from politics

Czarist Regime.
==Nov.01 > Witte revives and empowers the Council of Ministers - the Czar calls Witte’s government “a lot of frightened hens”

Press.Far Left.
==Nov.01 > The St. Petersburg Soviet proclaims freedom of the press, but outlaws government newspapers - the Soviet votes to end its general strike on Nov.03

Police.Far Left.
==beginning.Nov. > ~The St. Petersburg Soviet establishes a workers’ militia, which competes with the regular police

==Nov.02 > Immense armed funeral processions for the slain Bolshevik Bauman in Moscow and for slain demonstrators in Revel - the Bolsheviks are becoming a significant political force in Moscow

Police.Czarist Regime.
==Nov.02 > The police are directed to avoid using the emergency powers that were granted to them earlier

Labor.Far Left.
==Nov.03 > The St. Petersburg Soviet formally ends the general strike - strikers return to work in disciplined ranks

Czarist Regime.
==Nov.03 > Witte revokes many sentences of political exile
==Nov.04 > Witte dismisses most ministers and department heads - the fall of the arch-conservative Pobedonostsev - ~the reactionary Durnovo replaces Bulygin as Interior Minister to Apr.1906
==early.Nov. > ~The Czar appoints Trepov Commandant of the Court without consulting Premier Witte - Trepov continues to advise hard-line policies

Far Left.
==Nov.04 > The St. Petersburg Soviet cancels a mass funeral/demonstration that was set for Nov.05, for fear of police action

Peasant Unrest.
==Nov.05 > Peasant rising in Chernigov province - peasant unrest is reaching a crescendo, with increasing violence

==early.Nov. (late.Oct.OS) > The start of widespread military mutinies: there are 211 incidents in the army alone by late Dec, involving a third of all infantry units

Police.Far Left.
==Nov.06 > The St. Petersburg City Council authorizes a popular civic guard to replace the police

==Nov.06 > The Association of Manufacturers is formed in St. Petersburg - it adopts a hard line policy against strikers

Police.Far Left.
==Nov.07 > Fearful of handing police powers over to the left, the Moscow city government refuses to authorize a popular militia

Far Right.
==Nov.08 (Oct.26.OS) > The proto-fascist Union of the Russian People (URP) forms - an attempt at a right-wing mass party, led by the unbalanced anti-Semite A. I. Dubrovin

==Nov.08-09 > On their own initiative, St. Petersburg factory workers begin introducing eight-hour workdays - ~the workers’ expanding demands are beginning to isolate them from bourgeois liberals

==Nov.08-09 > Mutineers sack Kronstadt naval base

Czarist Regime.
==Nov.09 > The Czar writes to his mother: “Nine-tenths of the troublemakers are yids, the people’s whole anger turned against them.  That’s how the pogroms happened.”
==Nov.09 > Witte establishes the Ministry of Industry and Trade

==Nov.09 > The first issue of the Bolshevik newspaper Novaya zhizn

==Nov.11 > St. Petersburg workers are frantically arming themselves in response to rumors of a pogrom

==Nov.11 > With some doubts, the St. Petersburg Soviet proclaims an eight-hour working day - employers respond with massive lock-outs

==Nov.12 > Mutinous soldiers and sailors destroy much of Vladivostok

Peasant Unrest.
==Nov.13-Jul.18.1906 > Peasants in the ‘Markovo Republic’ near Moscow declare themselves independent of Russia

==Nov.14 > The St. Petersburg Soviet calls a second general strike to protest lock-outs and government repression in Kronstadt and in Poland - weak response from the exhausted workers

Rasputin.Czarist Regime.
==Nov.14 > Rasputin meets the Czar for the first time, but makes little impression

Czarist Regime.Bolsheviks.
==Nov.15 > Premier Witte attempts to prevent a general strike with a telegram beginning “Brother workers!” - Trotsky responds “The proletariat is in no way related to Count Witte.”

==Nov.15 > Police arrest the staff of the Bolshevik Novaya zhizn, but within six days the paper reappears unchanged

Czarist violence.Peasants.
==mid.Nov. > The first small punitive raids are launched by the government against unruly peasants, in south central Russia

Labor.Far Left.
==mid.Nov. > Area-based soviets begin to form in Moscow workers’ districts

Peasant Unrest.
==Nov.16 > The government desperately calls on peasants to cease their disorders, and halves their redemption payments for 1906 - ~the height of rural unrest

Labor.Far Left.Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Nov.17-18 > The St. Petersburg Soviet calls off its second general strike (it is ended by Nov.20) - ~the radical-liberal alliance is weakened - stronger ties form between the government and the leading industrialists

==Nov.19-26 > Moscow Zemstvo Congress: reformers vigorously debate whether to work with Witte, to align with the revolutionary left, or to pursue centrist policies - in the end, centrism prevails

Labor.Far Left.
==Nov.19-25 > The St. Petersburg Soviet abandons the struggle for an eight-hour workday

Socialist Revolutionaries.
==Nov.19-25 > The Second Congress of the Peasants’ Union  - SR leader Chernov splits with the violent Savinkov faction and denounces terrorism - the congress calls for nationalizing land, and for peasant strikes against landowners

==Nov.21 > Lenin finally arrives in St. Petersburg

Czarist Regime.
==Nov.23 > The Czar is frustrated that the October Manifesto hasn’t curbed violence

European Relations.
==Nov.23 (Nov.10.OS) > The Czar tells the Kaiser that the Björkö Treaty is subordinate to the Russian-French alliance - the supposed German-Russian alliance is effectively dead; the decline of German influence in Russia - the Czar is alienated from the Kaiser - Russia is drawn closer to France

==Nov.24-29 > Disorders in Army and Navy units at Sebastopol

Czarist Regime.
==Nov.24 > Martial law is declared in Tambov, Chernigov and Saratov Provinces - ~requests for martial law are sent from many other provinces

Labor.Far Left.
==late.Nov > All major revolutionary parties are represented in the St. Petersburg Soviet’s Executive Committee
==late.Nov > The St. Petersburg Soviet is attempting to achieve leadership status among Russian Soviets

==late.Nov > Trotsky urges workers to prepare for an armed revolt and to ally with peasants and soldiers - he ignores liberals

Labor.Far Left.
==late.Nov to early.Dec > Russian postal workers’ strike - ~the breakdown in communications makes it impossible for revolutionary groups to coordinate armed revolts

Peasants.Czarist Regime.
==Nov.27 > The government arrests the Peasants’ Union central body

Left-wing revolt.
==Nov.27 > The German consul in Moscow predicts that a revolutionary uprising is imminent

Mutiny.Radicalized Military.
==Nov.27 > The charismatic Lieutenant Schmidt leads a naval mutiny at Sebastopol, and makes plans to seize the Black Sea Fleet
==Nov.28-29 > The government crushes the Sebastopol mutiny - the rebellious cruiser Ochakov is burnt in the fighting

Mutiny.Labor Unrest.Far Left.Siberia.
==Nov.29-Jan.25.06 > Serious unrest among soldiers and workers in Chita in southeastern Siberia - ~the area is soon fully controlled by the RSDRP

==Nov.29 > The leading liberal E. N. Trubetskoy warns that a successful armed revolt will lead to civil war and mass destruction; he urges liberals to use pressure to extract reform from the government

==Nov.--- > ~The moderate conservative Octobrist Party begins to emerge as a loose political group

==Nov.--- > Stalin’s first article in Russian is printed in a Tiflis journal

==Nov.--- > A Congress of Yenisey Turks of south Siberia is held - the idea of a union of Siberian natives is discussed

Ethnic Unrest.Baltic.
==Nov.--- > The Governor-General of Latvia declares martial law, provoking further unrest

==Nov.--- > The Lithuanian National Congress in Vilna demands autonomy
==Dec.02 > A Latvian Congress of local officials in Riga demands autonomy

==Dec.03 > St. Petersburg janitors protest being forced to act as police informers

Mutiny.Labor Unrest.Siberia.
==Dec.03-Jan.02.1906 > Serious unrest by workers and soldiers in Irkutsk

Labor.Far Left.
==Dec.04 > A city-wide Moscow Soviet is formed

==early.Dec > The government eases restrictions on Jews, allowing them to reside in 133 more towns

Labor.Far Left.Siberia.
==early.Dec-Jan.06.1906 > A radical Soviet controls Krasnoiarsk in south central Siberia

==early.Dec > An Estonian Congress is held in Reval

Press.Czarist Regime.
==Dec.07 (Nov.24.OS) > Russian press censorship is effectively ended

Labor.Far Left.Bolsheviks.
==Dec.09.[noon] > The government arrests the head of the St. Petersburg Soviet - Trotsky becomes the president of the Soviet, to Dec. 16

Left-wing revolt.
==Dec.10 > The St. Petersburg Soviet calls for preparation for an armed revolt

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.10 > ~Witte’s support among influential conservatives is crumbling

==Dec.11-13 > Arrests of  Moscow labor activists

Czarist Regime.Baltic.
==Dec.11 > A court conference appoints the hard-liner Solloglub as the Governor of the Baltic region

Liberals.Czarist Regime.
==Dec.12 > Witte rejects the Zemstvo Congress’ reform proposals

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.12 > The Czar authorizes local officials to impose martial law in the event of a communications breakdown: tough government response to the failed postal strike

==Dec.13 > American Ambassador Meyer reports that the “Russian nation appears to have gone temporarily insane.”

==Dec.13 > A mass armed demonstration occurs in Irkutsk

Labor.Far Left.
==Dec.15 > A ‘Financial Manifesto’ is issued by the St. Petersburg Soviet, calling on the public to withdraw bank savings and to refuse tax payments in order to block a foreign loan to the Russian government

==Dec.15-17 > An army mutiny in Moscow soon fizzles

Ethnic Unrest.Baltic.
==Dec.15 > The Governor of Latvia reports the nearly complete breakdown of government authority

==end.1905 > Mensheviks and Bolsheviks establish a joint ‘Party Executive Committee’ to prepare a unification congress

Labor.Far Left.Bolsheviks.
==Dec.16 (Dec.03.OS) > The government arrests 250 members of the St. Petersburg Soviet, including Trotsky and most of the executive committee - revolutionary newspapers are closed

==Dec.19 > The government makes concessions to military personnel - ~military unrest eases

Right-wing violence.Peasants.
==Dec.19 > The Czar allows landowners the right to form their own militias to combat rural unrest

Labor.Far Left.
==Dec.19 > An improvised St. Petersburg Soviet calls for a third general strike

Moscow Revolt.
The early stages of the Moscow revolt:
==Dec.18 > Moscow Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, and SR decide on an armed uprising
==Dec.20 (Dec.07.OS) > A general strike in Moscow [noon] soon paralyzes the city
==Dec.21-22.[night] > Troops confront a radical mass rally in Moscow
==Dec.22 (Dec.09.OS) > Government troops attack and shell the Fiedler Academy in Moscow [1000.PM-300.AM.Dec.23] - open revolt in Moscow to Jan.01 - about 2000 insurrectionists armed with about 200 weapons man the barricades
==Dec.23.[evening] > The SR stage a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Moscow Okhrana - the Governor-General of Moscow orders “the most severe measures to put down the uprising”
==Dec.24 > The Moscow RSDRP issues a handbook on street fighting tactics
==Dec.25 > Rebels control all the Moscow railroad stations and several districts of the city - government troops are ordered to shoot down any group of more than three people

Left-wing revolt.
==Dec.21-28 > An uprising is attempted in Aleksandrov

Left-wing revolt.
Revolt in Rostov-on-Don:
==Dec.21 > A general strike in Rostov-on-Don soon leads to a serious local revolt
==Dec.29 > Government forces turn artillery on insurgent workers in the city
==Jan.02 > Rostov-on-Don is ‘pacified’

Left-wing revolt.Siberia.
==Dec.22-Jan.Aug.06 > The local Soviet briefly seizes control in Novorossiisk, and proclaims a radical republic

Labor Unrest.Caucasus.
==Dec.23-mid Jan > A general strike grips Tiflis in Georgia

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.24 (Dec.11.OS) > The government introduces a complicated electoral law that grants widespread but indirect male suffrage

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.25 > Tough penalties are decreed for striking government workers

==Dec.25-30 > The Bolshevik Tammerfors Conference decides on a joint RSDRP Congress for reuniting with the Mensheviks - Lenin meets Stalin for the first time: neither is impressed

Left-wing revolt.
==late.Dec. > Street fighting in Kharkov, Nizhnii-Novgorod, and other cities

Czarist violence.Peasants.
==Dec.26 > The Czar orders General Rennenkampf to lead a punitive expedition west from Harbin along the Trans-Siberian Railroad - ~large-scale punitive expeditions ruthlessly suppress rural unrest into 1908 - about 15,000 executions have taken place by spring 1906 - ~Interior Minister Durnovo writes governors: “Arrests alone will not achieve our goals.  It is impossible to judge hundreds of thousands of people.  I propose to shoot the rioters and in cases of resistance to burn their homes.”

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.28 > Witte informs the Czar that the army will now be used aggressively to suppress disorder - ~the government adopts a hard-line policy against unrest, with tough crackdowns on radical activists and the press - ~the last chances at reconciliation between liberals and the regime vanish

Moscow Revolt.
The end of the Moscow revolt:
==Dec.28 > Rebels execute the chief of the Moscow Okhrana - by this date, the revolt has been confined to the working-class Presnia district - the elite Semyonov Guards arrive in Moscow - the last meeting of Moscow Soviet - government troops ring the Presnia district in Moscow with artillery [evening]
==Dec.29 (Dec.16.OS) > Government forces open a full-scale artillery barrage on the working-class Presnia district [morning]; the entire area is ablaze by nightfall - the artillery fire continues until Dec.31
==Dec.31 > General Min gives his final orders to the troops crushing the revolt in Moscow: “Act without mercy.  There will be no arrests.” [morning] - the Executive Committee of the Moscow Soviet capitulates
==Jan.01 (Dec.19.1905.OS) > The last remnants of the Moscow revolt are crushed - ~many summary executions by government troops; widespread brutality

Czarist Regime.
==Dec.29 > Interior Minister Durnovo orders the mass dismissal of all “politically unreliable” local government employees

Peasant Unrest.Baltic.
==Dec.--- to 1906 > A bloody Latvian civil war is underway between peasants and landowners - ‘forest brothers’ (guerilla bands) are active through 1906, destroying many rural estates - the revolutionaries briefly seize Tukkum and kill half the garrison


Russia: Introduction   ///   (1)  1904: Prelude to Revolution
(2)  Jan-Sep.1905: Russia in Chaos   ///   (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