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Why did ‘Bloody Sunday’ take place Assignment

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.

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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. It is also a primary source, so it is his true perspective, and nobody else’s. However, it is not particularly useful as it doesn’t explain the events that actually took place during the march of Bloody Sunday, or why it happened.

Source B however, is useful as it too is a primary source, and is a first hand and eyewitness account. It describes the peaceful intentions that the marchers had, and how the Cossacks shot at the marchers and people were seen dead, dying and wounded on the street. But, the article, which appears in The Weekly Times, 27 January 1905, doesn’t explain what the marchers want, or what their aim is to achieve from this march. Also, the historian would be unaware whether this article was biased, and which party the journalist supported.

Another point is that the journalist could have dramatised the event:

“The snow on the streets and pavements covered with blood, cried aloud for vengeance.” The journalist could have been dramatising the event to attract a larger audience to the magazine they were writing in.

Overall, I think that a historian studying ‘Bloody Sunday’ would find both sources as equally useful, just in different areas.

b) Source D is a painting, painted in 1910, and it shows many poor men, women and children, that look frightened, helpless, scared and intimidated by the soldiers that are armed and have shot other members of the congregation (shown in the left of the picture). There are also people in the background carrying religious banners. The peasants look filthy and are mostly dressed in rags. This shows that they are suffering from poverty.

Source C describes how the men, women and children are helpless and come to the Tsar for help and protection. They claim that they “are beggars, that they are oppressed, and overburdened with work, that they are insulted, and not regarded as human beings, but treated as slaves who must suffer their bitter lot in silence.” This could be a biased opinion as it is an extract from the marcher’s petition, however it does agree with the image that source D portrays.

Source C describes what the peasants actually want, whereas from the painting you don’t know what they want, but both sources describe and show that they have come in peace. The painting shows this because the petioners are not armed and have come waving banners, and the article does not describe acts of violence, but they show respect for the Tsar.

I think that the impression source D gives does agree in many ways with source C and the statements source C projects.

c) Source E isn’t necessarily reliable because its an eyewitness account.

It is direct information from somebody who was in the crowd on Bloody Sunday, but that doesn’t make it automatically a reliable source. This source was written by a man called Maxim Gorky . He was a pedlar, scullery boy, gardener, dock hand and tramp. He also joined the Bolesheviks in 1905. Maxim Gorky therefore could have over exaggerated the event because he supports the rights of the peasants. I don’t think that this source is particularly reliable as I think that Maxim Gorky dramatised the event.

“I remember the strangely enlarged eyes of the worker and the murderer’s face, blushed from the cold and the excitement, his teeth clenched in a grin and the hairs of his moustache standing up on his lip.” I think that if a supporter of the Tsar wrote the article, or a ‘non-supporter wrote the article then the write up would be totally different. The person might then just say that they remember a worker being shot. I don’t that all the excess detail about the worker’s eyes or the murderer’s face are necessary, they just make you feel sorry for the victim.

I think that this is probably a bit melodramatic, this may have happened, but not to the extent that Maxim Gorky seems to suggest.

d) This source is a painting that was created shortly after ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1905 by a French artist. It shows the Arc D’ Triumph in the background, with the soldiers just in front, and opposite the soldiers are the peasants who are trying to improve the situations that they are having to work in.

The Arc D’ Triumph represents the French revolution and freedom for the French. The picture puts across an image that the soldiers are trying to stop the peasants from starting a revolution, from producing freedom, and from making Russia into a republic.

The French republicans would be proud to be associated with freedom and the breakdown of the autocracy as they want and believe that every country should be a republic. They don’t like the monarchy, and agree that the republic way of life is more adequate, and they would benefit from that way of life.

Although most French people would support the painting, some wouldn’t as they may have a conservative view and resent being associated with the Russian revolution. They may have felt offended that the Russians were using their symbol of revolution and freedom, and that it belonged to them.

e) Although these sources aren’t directly linked with Bloody Sunday they have some relevance as they are based on the economy and society from that time.

Source G shows how the Tsar deals with international affairs and how he was not worried about the problems that Russia was facing in the War. From this source there are reasons why the workers and peasants of Russia dislike the way they are being treated.

” At first the Tsar and his advisers were not too worried about the war with Japan. 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. These workers and peasants are fed up of holding up the whole country, and working in such terrible conditions.

This source is linked to Bloody Sunday by showing how tired and fed up all the workers are of the consistent labour and hard work they have to do in poor conditions, whilst others do nothing and are well off.

Source I is a diagram showing the growth of industrial production in Russia from 1890-1900. This source shows the economic boom, and that peasants would have moved to the cities to find work. The cities would then rapidly increase in size, and they then couldn’t provide good housing and working conditions. This source shows the increase in the amount of workers between 1890 and 1900, and these workers are all likely to feel angry and annoyed about the disgusting working conditions that they are having to work through.

Even though these sources aren’t directly related to the event of Bloody Sunday, they are all useful and give reasons why the peasants would want to revolt against their working conditions.

f) Some of these sources strongly support the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions in St Petersburg, but others don’t really have an opinion.

Source A is from the Tsar’s diary and describes what he did on a daily basis. He does mention that “there has been strikes in all the factories and workshops in St Petersburg”, and that “the workers have conducted themselves calmly”. However, he doesn’t mention any reason why the workers and peasants have gone on strike. He also mentions that “troops had to open fire in several places in the city; there were many killed and wounded”. Yet he still doesn’t mention why the workers were on strike.

Source B also doesn’t say very much about the fact that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions. It says about the Cossacks shooting the marchers, and that people were dead and dying in all directions, but it doesn’t mention why the marchers were there, and what caused Bloody Sunday.

Source C is an extract from the marcher’s petition and does support the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions.

“We have suffered but are driven further and further into the abyss of poverty, injustice and ignorance; we are strangled by depostism and tyranny, so that we can breathe no longer… our patience is at an end…”

This small part of the marcher’s petition suggests that the marcher’s are fed up with the poor living and working conditions that they are having to live with and can breathe no longer, and their patience is at an end and they are now showing the autocracy what they want, and what they have suffered in a peaceful, harmless way.

Source D also supports the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions. It is a painting of the march, containing many poor people, beggars, tramps, most people are dressed in rags and are filthy. Some are crawling along the ground, which is covered in snow, whilst others are dead or are lying injured. This painting shows the devastation that the peasants went through and the state that they were in when they went to the Tsar for help.

Source E doesn’t agree with the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living in working conditions. This source just describes the trauma that a worker went through whilst being shot by a Cossack. It describes in detail the murderer’s face and the victims eyes, but it doesn’t give any reason why Bloody Sunday happened.

Source F does not disagree, or agree with the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions. It is a picture by a French artist of Bloody Sunday and shows how the French revolution and the Russian revolution are closely linked. It too does not give a reason why Bloody Sunday was caused.

Source G is not closely related to Bloody Sunday but could have been a contribution to why Bloody Sunday happened. This source is about the Russian Japanese war an how the Tsar felt positive that they were easily going to win. The war was a disaster and Russia’s problems rapidly increased, making the situations worse. People began to lose confidence in the Tsar. Although this isn’t directly related to Bloody Sunday, this source could be against the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by bad living and working conditions, but by people losing faith and confidence in the autocracy.

Source H does suggest that the view of poor living and working conditions caused Bloody Sunday. This source is a cartoon of the hierarchy system in Russia and was illustrated by an opponent of the Tsar. It shows that the workers are holding up the whole of Russia, but some workers are slowly walking away. Now this could suggest that they are fed up with the hierarchy system, and that they are tired of doing all the hard work and earning little money whilst the royal family do nothing and extremely well off, or that they are annoyed because they are living in such poor conditions, and others are living in enormous houses and have a great deal of power.

Either way, I think that source H, although it may be a biased source, it agrees with the statement that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions.

Source I also agrees with the view that Bloody Sunday was caused by poor living and working conditions. It is a diagram of the growth of the industrial production in Russia from 1890-1900. It shows that there was a huge influx of workers into the cities as there was a huge economic boom and the workers rushed to the cities for employment. 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.

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