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What happened to the Romanov family? - Study Sources A and B. Sources A and B give similar accounts. Does this mean they are reliable?

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Introduction

GCSE HISTORY COURSEWORK: What happened to the Romanov family? (a) Study Sources A and B. Sources A and B give similar accounts. Does this mean they are reliable? Grippingly, it is true that both Sources A and B give similar accounts as they are both different perspectives of the same information which comes from Judge Sergeyev who was the first investigator appointed of the Romanov family murder case by the Whites. He was a supporter of the Provisional Government which was got rid of by the Bolscheviks. Source A is an opinionated and subjective account from an American Newspaper whereas Source B is a generalised extract from Sir Charles's report to the British government. Both nations - America and Britain were against the Bolscheviks suspected of the murder of the Russian Royal Family so the reliability of both sources can be questioned in the context of its author and purpose, tone and content as well as their origin. Clearly, source A and B agree to some extent as they both imply that the Tsarina and her five children were not shot there in the basement of the Ipatiev house where the Romanovs had been captivated but only the Tsar himself. This is evident as Source A mentions, "all the people, the Tsar, his family and those with him, were not shot there and that "the Tsar's son and the four children were not shot in that house." Meanwhile, Source B explains, "Tsar is supposed to have been shot" with "Dr Botkin, the Empress's maid and two servants". The reason for this agreement between the two sources is that the authors of both these sources have based their findings from gathering information from a main source - the same person - Judge Sergeyev. However, the extent of their reliability can be questioned by two ways. The first method is by cross-referencing them with other sources to see if their details agree with the information conveyed in other accounts. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, the Whites were military supporters of the Tsar and were main rivals of the Reds whom they had lost the civil war to. Source D may be distorted as it is from the interview of Pavel Medvedev by White Russians" and the fact that "he was probably tortured by the Whites" hence it can be assumed that it was exaggerated in the disfavour of the Reds with the intention of proving them guilty so the Whites could fulfil their intention of declaring the cruel murder of the whole family by the Reds to get support across Russia. This would have allowed them to degrade the Bolscheviks as many already devastated Russians and foreign governments as that of Germany's would be horrified, petrified and mortified to hear that the Royal family had been murdered by the Reds whom they had trusted and supported - people who promised to give them peace, land and food. With all factors considered, I believe although Source D is the nearest we have to an eye-witness account, it is still very unreliable to a large extent as Medvedev's version of the execution events in the Ipatiev House on 17th July contradict strongly with other sources more than they agree with them. The hidden component of fallibility in this source is further emphasised by Source E when Medvedev's own wife admits to Medvedev's blatant involvement in the execution of the Tsar and his family which he denied when he was interviewed by the White Russians as he may have felt that the Whites will pursue him if they found out he also contributed in murdering the captivated Russian Royal family whom a large number of the Whites were fanatic supporters of. (d) Study Sources F,G and H. Which one of these sources is most useful to an historian studying the deaths of the Tsar and his family? A modern historian would know from his background knowledge on the deaths of the Tsar and his family that in 1991, archaeologists found ...read more.

Conclusion

- the potential rivals of the Reds, he had probably distorted the truth to create an extremely negative impression of the Bolscheviks as callous murderers not worthy of the Russian support they had. Because at the beginning of Source C it is stated, "the entire Romanov family had been massacred", we can assume that the "bodies" it talks about being transported to the Four Brothers mine were of the each of the massacred Romanovs. This is again a contradiction to Source J which conveys us, "Two of the imperial family's five children were missing when archaeologists opened a shallow burial pit near Ekaterinburg in 1991". Moreover, Sources D and E have similar disagreements with Source J as they also indicate that all the members of the Romanovs were shot. Source D by Medvedev includes, "all the members of the Tsar's family lying on the floor" and that "The corpses" presumably the Tsars therefore "were carried out to the lorry." Likewise, Source E whose purpose is mainly to emphasise on how killed the Tsar also backs up Source D by adding, "they killed them all". Alternatively, though I believe the pictorial Sources of F,G and H don't relate to any information in Source J, I still consider them useful as they all depict the manner in which the victims of 17th July were shot in the basement of the Ipatiev house. In conclusion, I believe that Source J is not confirmed by other sources on the topic of what happened to the Tsar and his family to a very large extent although there are several similarities between Source J and other sources. Nevertheless, I still consider this source to be the most reliable because it backs up its report by extremely reliable and accurate scientific methods as that of DNA and Dental records. Therefore, as mentioned before, the element of reliability or the hint of untrustworthiness in other sources are the basis of how much they agree or disagree with Source J. Akshat Krishna 11TS ...read more.

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