The Russian Revolutions of 1917 


Study Sources A to E and then answer all the questions which follow.

In your answers, you should refer to the Sources by their letters. 

Source A

The effects of World War One on Russia

Every day of fighting in 1915 required an expenditure of 25.7 million roubles. In 1916 this sum had jumped to 41.7 million roubles. Agriculture and industry were badly hit by conscription. Eighteen million men, nearly half of the adult working population, were called up.

From Lenin, DAVID SHUB, 1948

Question 1a

Explain what you can learn from Source A about the effects of World War One on Russian agriculture and industry(5 marks)




Source B

Mutiny among the troops in Petrograd

Serious mutiny has broken out among the troops. All the men we saw who had been sent to restore order, after firing a few shots, joined with the mutineers. All the units sent to fight the mutiny are changing sides, one after another.

From the diary of a French visitor, Louis de Robien, early March 1917.

Source C

Chaos in Petrograd

Terrible things are happening in Petrograd . Gunfire never stops in our part of the city. The officers cannot go into the streets because the crowd disarms them, attacks them, and even kills them.

From an account by Dmitri Shakhovskoi, a 14 year-old eyewitness.

Question 1b

Do Sources B and C agree about what was happening in Petrograd in early 1917?   Explain your answer using Sources B and C. (6 marks)



Source E

The influence of Rasputin

A cartoon showing Rasputin with the Tsar and his wife, published in 1916.

The words on the cartoon mean 'The Russian Tsars at home'.

Question 1c

How useful is the cartoon (Source E) to an historian studying the influence of Rasputin on the Russian royal family.  Use Source E and your own knowledge to explain your answer. (9 marks)




Source D

The unplanned revolution of March 1917

The unplanned combination of several factors in Petrograd had the unexpected result of toppling the Tsar from his throne. After 300 years of power, the Romanovs disappeared so quickly that even the revolutionary parties were taken by surprise. The Tsar realised he had lost the support of his troops, even of some of his generals, and so abdicated. The only things missing were actual revolutionaries.

From A History of the Modern World, RICHARD POULTON, 1980 This was a textbook written for use in British schools.

Question 1d

How accurate an interpretation is Source D of the events of the Russian Revolution of March 1917?   Use Source D and your own knowledge to explain your answer. (10 marks)



Question 1e

Later in 1917 there was a second revolution when the Bolsheviks were able to gain control.   

Use your own knowledge to explain why the Bolsheviks were able to seize control in October/November 1917. (15 marks)



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