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What can you learn from Source A about the reactions in Russiato the outbreak of war in 1914?

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Introduction

Russian Coursework. Study Source A What can you learn from Source A about the reactions in Russia to the outbreak of war in 1914? Source A was written by the daughter of the British Ambassador to Russia, describing the events in August 1914 just after war was declared. Before this the Tsar's popularity was declining because of the lack of trust the people had in the Tsar's leadership skills. Now instead the people were having 'processions in the streets' carrying 'the Tsar's portrait' as if now he was some kind of hero to them. They now put 'a trusting faith in the little Father', as he was known. This showed a dear sense of unity behind the Tsar most probably due to the overwhelming feeling of patriotism. This was na�ve of them and patriotism and 'enthusiasm' was clouding their judgement of thinking that this would be an easy war to win. This is shown by how they 'dreamt dreams of triumph and victory' and thought how 'the war would be over by Christmas' but of course it wasn't. Another point that shows their confidence would be how they said about 'The Russian steamroller! The British Navy!' and 'The French guns.' and how each of the allies had their strong points but due to the new advances in weaponry they did not fully realise the dangers and this lead to their failures in the war. ...read more.

Middle

But source F doesn't show what he was like but that he had no more power than the rest of the Russian population. But curiously, source F doesn't mention how many of these 'petitions' actually got the go ahead, creating a feel of uncertainty in the source. Study Sources G, H and I How useful are these sources for explaining how Rasputin's influence made the Tsar and Tsarina unpopular? The unpopularity of the Tsar and Tsarina was due to many things but it was known that Rasputin was a cause of this unrest. His influence over the Tsarina and the Tsar made them unpopular and an easy target for abuse. All this is shown in the following sources. Source G is a cartoon that was published in Russia in 1916. It depicts Rasputin, the Tsar and the Tsarina. There are several main focal points of this picture and one is that that Rasputin is much larger than the Tsar and his wife, even though they are royalty. Also, Rasputin's left hand is placed around the Tsarina representing their 'relationship', which is also interesting because the Tsar is sitting right next to her and him but has his eyes closed and is like he is blind to their affair. The Tsar also seems quite smug with himself and is rubbing up against Rasputin like he is a father figure to him or a kind of confidant that he trusts so much and suggests that the influence over the Tsar and Tsarina was huge. ...read more.

Conclusion

This gave away little of his power due to his control over the Duma but even so he disbanded the Duma often and during the war there no exception. This made the people angry and led to the 1917 revolutions. Another problem was the poor living conditions and the shortage of supplies to the main cities. Russia had always been a backward country with poorest living conditions the lowest of wages and the most horrid diseases. The shortage of supplies however was not because of the backwardness of the country but because of the war effort. Most of the trains that usually brought the food and raw materials to the cities, now took soldiers to the front line so that the cities were restricted from buying as much food as they could. So instead they were rationed and this made the people even angrier and made them attack the food storage areas even though they were heavily guarded. In conclusion the death of Rasputin did change little and the war movement was the main cause of unrest in Russia in1917. Rasputin admittedly only had some influence but it was minimal and other major factors were more important e.g. the war. The Tsar did more things that led to his own demise than Rasputin could have ever done therefore actually proving the Tsar was the main cause of unrest in Russia. James Spicer, 11W2. History Coursework, Ms Stamp. 1 ...read more.

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