The causes of the 1905 revolution in Russia can be traced back as far as 1861. The Tsars who ruled in Russia were firm autocrats in an era where the nearby Europe was transforming to liberalism and republicanism. The influence of these groups, as well as internal problems and foreign policy were all causes of the revolution.
In the 19th century, Russia was very much Medieval in its ways, and this is especially highlighted by the fact that Serfdom still existed. The Serfs were little more than slaves of the Tsars and had no rights. Alexander II was the first to recognise this and in 1861 he granted Emancipation to the Serfs. He felt it "better to abolish Serfdom from above than to wait for the Serfs to liberate themselves from below." ALthoughwith hindsight it cacn be said that this action caused more problems than it solved, it was a major step in dragging Russia forward from Medievalism. This granting of limited freedom to the Serfs lead to growing unrest as they called for further rights, and so it can be said it was a long term cause of the revolution.
Alexander also set up limited local authorities known as Zemstva. The main action of these groups was to draw up reports on agricultural conditions. This lead to greater awareness and a liveral class of Intelligencia was set up. They opposed the autocracy and later became known as 'the Kadets'. The opposition of the Kadets to the sar was also a long term cause of Revolution.
During Alexander's reign extremist opposition to the autocracy also fermented. The Narodniks attempted to rally the peasants against the Tsar, but failed because of classes differences. However, the Narodniks were to progress desipte this initial failure and they became very influencial in the 20th centruy in the form of he Bolsheviks.
Alexander III did not agree with his fathers reforms and when he came to power in 1881, he set about suppressing the peasants and all opposition to the Tsars.