Witte was smart enough to realize that Russia needed foreign investment to advance, so he invited Western Europeans to build their factories in Russia. Finally, Russia began to catch up to the industrialization of the rest of Europe.
Build your factory in Russia, eh?
However, in order to continue progress, Russia needed more land. Following Alexander III’s rule, Nicholas II began expansion into areas including Eastern Asia.
This area was also being contested by another imperial power-Japan. Japan’s peaceful protest of Russian expansion in the area eventually escalated into a war in which Russia was forced to surrender. This defeat caused new conflict within the country.
In 1905, many working class families and individuals such as the Priest Father Gapon gathered in St. Petersburg to peacefully propose a petition. However, government soldiers suddenly fired on them in an infamous event known as the Bloody Sunday Massacre.
Rights for the people!
Reactions to this event were widespread and severe. Workers went on strike across Russia, forcing the tsar to act and issue the October Manifesto, granting civil rights and creating a popularly elected parliament, or Duma.
Fine then. Take this!
Although the Duma was soon dissolved, reforms were made to benefit the lower class, such as more independent land ownership. Though it had many failures in the past, Russia was now a partially industrialized country with a working constitutional monarchy.
Yay! We can finally choose to own property or even move to work in the city!