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© Boardworks Ltd 2004 1 of 22 This icon indicates that detailed teachers notes are available in the Notes Page. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. The February 1917 Revolution – Why did Nicholas II Fall from Power? Russia
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 2 of 22 Lets revise what state Russia was in at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Do you think that Nicholas II was about to lose power anyway, even without the war?
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© Boardworks Ltd 2004 4 of 22 The effects of World War I on Russia Food prices were increasing rapidly as food supplies needed to go to the soldiers at the front. Peasants began to hide surplus food and were then tortured and killed by the army as a punishment. Rations of food went down as each month passed and this led to discontent in the towns, cities and countryside.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 5 of 22 A wave of patriotism and support for the tsar as our Holy Father spread across Russia at the start of the war. By the end of 1914 there were 6.5 million soldiers in the Russian army. In 1915 Nicholas assumed supreme command of the army – which meant he wasnt in Russia. What effect do you think this news had on people in Russia? Was the Russian army ready for the war? But there were only four million rifles, not all of which had any bullets. A soldier would have to wait for the man in front of him to be killed, and then he would take his rifle from him.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 6 of 22 Russian newspapers were heavily censored and couldnt have printed anything against the government. But if they hadnt been, you would certainly have seen headlines like those on the following slides appearing as the months went on.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 7 of 22 Noble supporters of the tsar murder the drunken, lecherous monk who has influenced the tsarina and brought shame on the tsar. What effect do you think news of events such as this would have on the way people felt about the government? Russian Officers Murder Lecherous Monk December 1916
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 8 of 22 Russian troops have been forced out of Poland. Polish refugees are making the food shortage situation even worse. What effect do you think news of events such as this would have on the way people felt about the government? Russian Troops Suffer Disastrous Defeat at Battle Of Tannenberg 1914
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 9 of 22 What effect do you think news of events such as this would have on the way people felt about the government? A soldiers home was destroyed and his family killed by government forces, it was reported yesterday. The family withheld food to prevent his little sister from starving to death. Heroic soldier returns to see his home destroyed.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 10 of 22 What effect do you think news of events such as this would have on the way people felt about the government? People queuing for hours, yesterday, for a loaf of bread. When they find that there is none left they starve for another day. Bread queues lengthen in Petrograd February 1917
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 11 of 22 What effect do you think news of events such as this would have on the way people felt about the government? Sacked Petrograd steel workers have been demonstrating in the streets after being locked out of work for going on strike. Their families starve in bread queues that have no bread. 30,000 men locked out of the Pitilov Steel Works for asking for a pay rise
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 12 of 22 What effect do you think news of events such as this would have on the way people felt about the government? Revolutionary ideas being spread by soldiers and workers distributing leaflets encouraging people to rebel against the tsar. Soldiers are deserting from the army in their thousands. Revolutionary Ideas Spreading Among the People February 1917
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 13 of 22 On 26 February 1917 there were massive street demonstrations in Petrograd. How do you think Nicholas responded to the worsening situation? Rodzyanko, chairman of the State Duma, in Petrograd. Tsar Nicholas II, commanding the Russian Army from Mogilev. The riots are getting out of hand, I dont think I can control them. You are exaggerating! Dont panic, just use the troops to put the riots down.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 14 of 22 The soldiers refused to fire on the crowds. The chairman of the Duma told Nicholas that a change of government was needed. The crowd were refusing to disperse and they could not be controlled. Which of these things would you have done if you were Nicholas II, and why would you have done this? Order the troops to fire on the crowds Return to Petrograd and take control Give the crowd some of their demands © David King Collection
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 15 of 22 Nicholas was not a cruel man. He knew that the people were genuinely suffering. He was also realistic enough to realize that the troops would probably not have obeyed the orders, so he did not make this choice. Order the troops to fire on the crowds?
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 16 of 22 This would probably have been the sensible thing to do if hed done it on the 26 February. Nicholas might have been able to restore some order and show himself to the people as a concerned leader. Return to Petrograd and take control?
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 17 of 22 This was almost impossible. Their simply wasnt enough food to go around, and even if there was, there werent good enough methods of distribution. Nicholas also didnt want to be seen to be giving in. Give the crowd some of their demands? But Nicholas didnt do any of these things. Look at the next slide to see the decision that he made.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 18 of 22 The Result? On the 26 February the members of the Duma disobeyed the tsar and met anyway. The Russian Revolution had begun. Mr Rodzyanko, chairman of the Duma: Im going to close you down and rule by myself. Im not having the Duma or the people telling me what to do. 25,000 troops mutinied and marched towards the Tauride Palace where the Duma was meeting, not to attack the Duma but to support it in its stand against the tsar. © David King Collection
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 19 of 22 The Provisional Government takes over
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 20 of 22 Nicholas tried to return to Petrograd by train to take control of the situation on 2 March. A group of army generals stopped the train and told him it wasnt safe for him to return as the troops might fire on him. They said he would have to give up power and hand it over to his son Alexi. Nicholas said Alexi was too ill and suggested his own brother the Grand Duke Michael. Nicholas II attempts to return The generals refused and so the tsar abdicated (gave up his power). The Romanov Dynasty, which had lasted for over 400 years in Russia, had come to an end in a few days.
© Boardworks Ltd 2004 21 of 22 Below are some reasons why Nicholas fell from power in February 1917. Rearrange them into order of importance and then add evidence to back up each one.
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The February 1917 Revolution – Why did Nicholas II Fall from Power?
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© Boardworks Ltd of 19 © Boardworks Ltd of 19 These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes.
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© Boardworks Ltd of 22 © Boardworks Ltd of 22 These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes.
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