1) This question is about Russia before 1914. Look carefully at sources (A) to (F) and then answer questions (a) to (d) below.
a) Study source A.
What can you learn from source A about the situation in Russia before 1914?
From source A we can learn that the situation in Russia before 1914 was very alarming. Strikes went up from 2000 in 1912 to 4000 in 1914. Some strikers demanded trade union rights and more and more people were becoming involved with fights with the government. 270 miners were shot dead during the strikes in Lena goldfields.
b) Study sources A, B and C.
i) Does source C support the evidence of sources A and B about the situation in Russia before 1914? Explain your answer.
Source C supports the evidence of source A by saying that there was an increase of tension. This is shown in source a by the increasing amount of strikes and the fact that many people had been shot during the Lena goldfield massacre. Source C also supports source A because it shows that more and more people were involved in fights with the government, as source C says, ‘People can be heard speaking of the government in the sharpest of tones.’ Source C supports the evidence of source B because the number of strikes and strikers in factories increased during 1910 and 1914, again, as source C says, ‘People can be heard speaking of the government in the sharpest of tones.’
ii) Why were there many strikers in Russia in the years 1910-1914? Use sources A, B and C, and your own knowledge, to explain your answer.
There were there many strikers in Russia in the years 1910-1914 because people were firstly becoming less scared of the Okhrana, so they were not very afraid to voice their opinion. A lot of people may not have liked how the government was running Russia; the only way they would be heard would have been through a strike. More people were also coming together, as most of them worked in horrible working conditions, with very little pay, long hours and a disturbing working environment, they must have decided to go on strike. Sales of vodka, food and fuel dropped drastically, this may have also cased many strikes as many people would have needed the money from these sales. Also, from source B we see that in 1910 the number of strikers in factories was 222, in 1914 the number of strikers in factories was 3534. The increase in strikers in factories from 1910 to 1914 may have been caused by the increased size of the factories. The factories must have employed more people thought 1910 and 1914, so the number of strikers must obviously increase.
C) Study sources D and E.
How useful are sources D and E as evidence of support for the Russian monarchy?
Source D shows that the ordinary people of Russia supported the Tsar wherever he went, although the public may have been doing this so the Tsar and his people will not give them a hard time, it was dangerous for the public to express their true feelings. The support shown was only a small percentage of the population, it was emotional support. The country saw the monarchy as a religion, so they have always been told to worship it. Source D is a reliable source because firstly the writer is the Tsar’s sister, she was an eyewitness. Secondly, she was writing in her private diary, there would be no reason for her to lie or exaggerate anything. Also, she would have written about these events a night (after they had happened) and so she may have only been picking out the good bits and forgetting the bad bits.
Source E is useful in showing support for the Russian monarchy. It shows that faith in the government is decreasing and that a revolution is becoming more likely. The writer of this source, Alexander Guchkov was the leader of the Octobrists, a party basically loyal to the Tsar and his government. If the leader of a loyal party to the Tsar and his government saw and said that faith in the government was decreasing and revolution was very likely, then it would have been true. Source E’s writer, Alexander Guchkov is a more objective person than the writer of source D, the Tsar’s sister who was sheltered in Russian courts and biased in the Tsar’s favor.
d) Study all the sources.
‘There was widespread support in Russia for the Tsar before 1914.’
Use the sources, and your own knowledge, to explain whether you agree with this view.
Sources A and B show that there was an increase in strikes and strikes in factories during 1910 to 1914. However, it gives a limited answer to the statement above as it mainly looks at the industrial sector.
Sources C and E show that even a reporter of the Okhrana and a leader of the Octobrists (both loyal parties to the Tsar) think that the support for the Tsar is decreasing. This makes a revolution more and more likely.
Sources D and F show that many people came out to see the Tsar, however, they may have done this out of curiosity as the Tsar would have been something to see, not because they supported the Tsar. They also may have come out to see the Tsar because they were scared that if they did not come out to see and appear to be supporting the Tsar, they might get into trouble with the government. Sometimes people feel loyalty to the institution, but the may not like how the government was running the country, a lot of people would have been in this possession during this time.
I do not think there was widespread support in Russia for the Tsar before 1914. This is because as sources D and F shows that the ordinary people of Russia appeared supported the Tsar wherever he went, although I think that the public may have been doing this so the Tsar and his people will not give them a hard time, I believe that it was dangerous for the public to express their true feelings. Sources D and E also only a small percentage of the population of Russia, it cannot be mistaken for the majority of the Russian population.
The Tsar also failed to face the peasants, poverty and workers. As the 3 categories were fitted by most of Russia’s population, the Tsar was not very popular. The Tsar mainly supported the rich landowning class that was a very small percentage of the Russian population who did not need the Tsar very much. The people who needed the Tsar were the poor peasants with large hungry families (most of the Russian population), however the Tsar did not help them. This made a lot of people not to want to support the Tsar as he did not help the people in need. The Tsar was a autocratic ruler, this meant that he had complete and absolute power of Russia. A lot of people would not have liked this so the would not have really supported the Tsar.
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