Some 90% of the Russia people were non-landlords, and those who made up the noble class were even fewer in number. Yet these noblemen and landlords held all of the right to political power, determination and the best parts of the land. The common people were seen as superstitious and ignorant serfs who only understood force and brutal oppression. Though Czar Alexander the II (1855-1881) attempted at reform, as seen in his Emancipation Edict of March 3, 1861, which abolished serfdom and guaranteed the right to own land, the liberty of the peasants was still out of reach. The annual sums of the government to be paid in exchange for 'ownership' of the land were oftentimes greater than the dues that the peasants had formerly paid to the serfs. Furthermore, the land of the village communities designated to the people was most likely infertile because the nobles were allowed to only give the worst parts of their estates to the people and the village communities kept village land as collective property, which meant that no private ownership on the part of the actual farmers was possible. With the formation of an intellectual class, industrialization which concentrated the population and revolutionary societies that could now see the discrepancy between other democratic nations, people became more aware of what kind of living standards they should be entitled to. Nicholas II (1894-1917) only fanned the flame of discontent with his dictatorial and imprudent ruling style and his German wife, Princess Alexandra, who was more than eager to guard the full autocratic power for her husband. A revolution was the only way to alter the social.
Of many immediate events that spurred the revolution on, the Bloody Sunday massacre of January 22. Workers on strike, along with their families, had started out marching towards the palace as a quiet hymn singing procession. Women and children were placed at the front of the demonstrating throng in hopes of deterring violence, but after a few warning shots, Czar's soldiers shot directly at the crowd and as a result, an estimate of 1000 people died. Not only did the event demonstrate the government's ruthless indiscriminant approach in the shooting, killing the strong along with the physically weak, it also displayed the fact that protest alone can never help bring about a paradigm shift within the political structure. As shown in the film Battleship Potempkin, many of the protestors were vets from the Russo-Japanese war, who had lost limbs and became crippled for the czar. The treatment they receive in return for such a thankless service, displayed in the shooting, sparked further disillusionment among the mass of fighting men. It is believed that this event capsized the remaining faith the people had in the government and triggered the revolution of 1905.
The massacre could not have happened in Russia, however, considering the sheer vastness of the country, without the rapid growth of a proletariat class in the industrial towns, which began in the Russian Industrialization initiated by Alexander II's. Even though Russia had