UPSC Important Notes Background, Provisions, Impact & More


October Manifesto: The first constitution of the Russian Empire, adopted in 1906, had its roots in the October Manifesto. In response to the Russian Revolution of 1905, Nicholas II, with the help of Sergei Witte, issued the Manifesto on October 30, 1905.

October Manifesto The impact of the U.S. would have far-reaching consequences in the history of Russia.

October Manifesto, Balfour Declaration Subjects like, and other topics related to revolutions in European countries, USA and Russia, form an important part of UPSC Mains exam, which comes under World History section of General Studies-I.

Let us discuss the background, provisions and far-reaching impact of October Manifesto on Russian Empire in a detailed manner for UPSC CSE preparation.

Table of Contents

October Manifesto – Background

  • Father Gapon led a large crowd to the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg in January 1905, known as Bloody Sunday, where he presented a petition to the Tsar.
  • Hundreds were killed when Cossacks opened fire on the procession near the palace.
  • The massacre so infuriated the Russian population that a general strike was called for the establishment of a democratic republic, which led to the Russian Revolution of 1905.
  • Most of the cities saw the rise of the Soviet (Council of Workers) to oversee revolutionary activity.
  • Tsar Nicholas reluctantly issued the infamous October Declaration in October 1905, establishing a National Duma (legislature), the right to vote and accepting the principle that no law could be enforced without the Duma’s approval. .
  • Moderate groups accepted the concessions, but the Socialists deemed them inadequate and attempted to plan new strikes.
  • By the end of 1905, the reformers were divided, and the position of the Tsar was temporarily strengthened.

October Manifesto – Major Provisions

  • In response to the unrest in the Russian Empire, the October Declaration promised to guarantee fundamental civil liberties, including
  • Giving the public access to fundamental civil liberties based on the principles of true individual violence, freedom of conscience, speech, assembly and association
  • Without delaying the scheduled State Duma elections, allow all sections of the population who are currently completely deprived of voting rights to participate in the Duma (as long as possible before it is called), and ahead of a general The statute on election for a future legislative order to skip the development of.
  • To make this inexhaustible law that no law can be passed without the approval of the State Duma and that the elected representatives of the people always have the opportunity to monitor the legality of the actions of our appointed officials.
  • The manifesto also brought universal masculinity suffrage to Russia, which had already become widespread in some Western countries such as France, Germany, and the US.
  • The manifesto also called for the establishment of the Duma, a legislative body whose purpose was to restrict the power of the nobility in favor of the Russian people.
  • The above clause was inherently flawed as the Tsar retained the right to deem any law inappropriate. In the event of a dispute between the Duma and the Tsar, he could even dissolve the legislature altogether.

October Manifesto – Impact

  • The strike and violence almost stopped soon after the manifesto was made public. As the people realized their newfound independence and the belief that their demands could be represented in government, celebrations were held throughout the Russian Empire.
  • The initial success of the manifesto was fleeting as Russian autocracy quickly took hold. Within a few months, the government began suppressing political parties and expedited the execution process. From 1906–1907 much of Russia was under martial law. Rather than serving as a tool for reform, the manifesto, in the eyes of the Tsar’s opponents, served only as an instrument
    Nicholas II to retake power in Russia. As far as the revolution was concerned, it was not over.
  • The failure of the October Manifesto exposed the Tsar’s complete lack of interest in reform. This would have far-reaching implications for years to come as it paved the way for popular unrest, the defeat in World War I, and the Russian Revolution of 1917.


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