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The February Revolution 1917 - Sources Questions

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The February Revolution 1917 By Maryam Shakiba 11N 1.Study source A. What can you learn about events in Petrograd in early 1917? By looking at source A, I can see that in early 1917, there was a lot of tension in Petrograd. People in Petrograd were mostly peasants and workers, and so very poor. Knowing that the cost of living had trebled means that the majority of people were living in poverty as they could not afford to live well. We also know that the people were having to queue hours for food. This means there were lots of food shortages in Petrograd which inevitably meant people were starving. There was a lot of hostility in Petrograd as well. We are sure about this as we are told that the 'slightest explosion' will cause riots. Military units had a very pivotal role, as everything depended on whether they sided with the Tsar or working class. Their choice would tell us if there was going to be a revolution or everything simply subside. Having the information that the protests began without any discussions first means that everything was unplanned and very spontaneous. ...read more.


Source C is a photo of a march in Petrograd on 'International Women's Day'. It is similar to source A because both show people protesting against food shortages in this case. The difference from source A is that source C shows a planned protest and this goes against A, because source A tells us that nothing was planned. We know it was a planned event because the people are carrying banners and so we know what they were doing. Source C shows a planned peaceful protest and not a riot. I think that source B supports source A more strongly than C. this is because it confirmed a lot of what was said in source A about food shortages and riots that started off very easily and spontaneously. 3. Study sources C, D and E. How useful are these sources as evidence of growing unrest in Petrograd in February 1917? Unrest was growing rapidly in Petrograd in February 1917 and sources C, D and E all show growing unrest in some way. Source C doesn't directly show growing unrest in Petrograd, as it was an organised march for a worldwide event that was 'National Women's Day'. ...read more.


We know this because they are 'exchanging friendly words' with the women. This helps us to identify who the people protesting are. We also see in source E, how the protest has turned from just wanting 'bread' to a political protest. The slogans have turned from 'bread' to 'down with autocracy'. This shows us how much the people have turned against the Tsar and his way of running the country. The problem with this source however, is that it is extremely biased. The person who wrote it worked very closely with Lenin who was against the Tsar and the autocracy. He was a leading revolutionary and so he would want to make it look like the autocracy wasn't working. I think that the strongest source to show growing unrest in Petrograd is source D. This is because it shows us just how quickly people were going on strike and how in just a few days this number rose extremely quickly. Although the source is not completely reliable as it was made a long time after and the numbers are rounded, the source was made by a historian so it shows he must have done a lot of research to get these numbers and they must have been based on reality. ...read more.

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