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Why Did ‘Bloody Sunday’ Take Place? (Russian History Sources Question)

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Introduction

Why did 'Bloody Sunday' take place? a) A historian studying Bloody Sunday would probably find these two sources equally useful, depending on what they wanted to find out. Source A is an extract from the Tsar's diary on the 21st and 22nd of January 1905. It shows the historian the Tsar's perspective and opinion about what is happening at the time of this event. That the Tsar is either unaware of the situation in St Petersburg, or that he doesn't appreciate the significance of it, or he could have been uninformed of the situation. "Since yesterday all the factories and workshops in St Petersburg have been on strike. Troops have been brought in to strengthen the garrison. The workers have conducted themselves calmly hitherto. At the head of the workers is some socialist priest: Father Gapon." This was written by the Tsar on the 21st of January. It shows that the Tsar knew little about what was happening in St Petersburg, but is aware that something is happening and that the workers are on strike and are being lead by 'some' socialist priest: Father Gapon. This also shows that he isn't in touch with his people, as he has never heard of Father Gapon before and Father Gapon is reasonably well known as he took over the running of the St Petersburg Zubatov union in May 1903 and also formed the 'Assembly of Russian Factory Workers of St Petersburg' in 1904. This scheme helped the poor, sick and the elderly. It is useful for the historian as it shows the Tsar's opinion and what he knew about the crisis that was happening in St Petersburg whilst he was away. ...read more.

Middle

They expected to win. They assumed that with the population three times the size of that of Japan and with the resources of a huge empire they would defeat the Japanese. " This shows how the Tsar wasn't particularly interested, and was very laid back about this situation. People lost confidence in the Tsar , and were angry about all the lives that were lost, and about how badly they did in the war. "The war became a nightmare for the Tsarist autocracy. Instead of being a diversion from the problems in Russia, it added immeasurably to them" This quote sums up the problems which the war caused for Russia, adding to their many problems, as they entered expecting an easy victory. Source H is a cartoon showing the Tsarist system, which was published in Switzerland by exiled opponents of the Tsar. This source could be biased as it is drawn by opponents of the Tsar, however, it is somebody's opinion of the hierarchy system in Russia. There are five tiers, with the royal family on the top with a comment of: "We rule you", then underneath are the church with "We mislead you", followed by the army with "We shoot you" and then the capitalists with "We do the eating", and at the very bottom are the workers, supporting the whole pile. This cartoon suggests that the many workers are holding up the whole of Russia, with the small royal family at the top giving out the orders, and everybody underneath obeys. There are also some workers that are starting to walk away, there are some carrying banners and flags, trying to revolt. ...read more.

Conclusion

The cities soon became overcrowded and the living and working conditions rapidly decreased. For example in 1890 there were 1,883,000 tons of petroleum being sold in Russia and by 1900 there were 10,385,000 tons of petroleum being sold in Russia. That's a huge increase of 449%, which had the impact on the workers, which had the impact on the living and working conditions. Source J is part of Tsar Nicholas II's coronation speech. He talks about the zemstva and how the people have made their voices heard, and he goes onto say that he "will devote all my strength to the welfare of the people". He does not mention the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by bad living and working conditions. Source K is a map to show Russia in 1910. I don't think this source either agrees or disagrees with the statement of Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions. I don't think that this source is closely linked to Bloody Sunday. Overall, I think that I can conclude that the sources C, D, H and I all support the statement of 'Bloody Sunday was caused by bad living and working conditions' well, however source A, B, E, F, J and K don't either agree or disagree with the statement, but don't give enough, if any information about the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions. Although source G isn't directly linked with Bloody Sunday, it does give an alternative reason why Bloody Sunday was caused. ?? ?? ?? ?? G.C.S.E HISTORY COURSEWORK-ASSIGNMENT 2 Study unit: Russia 1905-1941 Amanda Hilsdon 10V ...read more.

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