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Russia Museum Exhibit
Transcript of Russia Museum Exhibit
Czar Nicholas II and the Romanov Family
On January 19, 1905, Father Georgy Apllonovich Gapon lead a march on the Winter palace. Gapon and his members had begun their movement in early 1905, when four workers in the union were fired. They began by leading a series of worker and general strikes in St. Petersburg. However, they realized that they would never be able to affect any change this way because of the laws of the government. Instead, Gapon planned to lead a march to the Winter Palace and present the Czar with a petition. Gapon and his band of followers simply wanted to peacefully request more rights be given to them. Unfortunately, as the peaceful group of 120,000 approached the palace, the Czar's police fired on them. There were over 200 killed and 800 wounded.
Bloody Sunday 1905
Russia’s involvement in World War I, corrupt government, and struggling economy had left the people in a severely devastated environment by the start of 1917. These factors along with the recent bread shortage brought many Russian protestors to the streets of Petrograd on March 8, 1917. Approximately 90,000 men and women joined to resist police force while workers destroyed police stations and factories. On March 11, the czar instructed the Petrograd army garrison to control the masses through open fire. Though several protestors were killed, the people continued to strike and refused to depart from the city streets. A majority of the Russian army switched their support to the protestors or entirely ignored the demands of their officers. The imperial government, forced to resign, was then replaced by a provisional government and Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne.
February Revolution 1917
October Revolution 1917
Vladmir Lenin is best known for leading the Bolshevik Revolution, founding the Russian Communist Party, and becoming the first head of the Soviet State. He was born as Vladimir Ilick Ulyanov in 1870 and grew up in a very well-educated family. After seeing and disputing the Provisional Government in 1917, Lenin pushed for a Soviet government that would be run by peasants, workers, and soldiers. He then went on to lead a coup d’état known as the 1917 October Revolution and launch the Red Terror, a campaign of mass killings and torture. On January 21, 1924, Lenin experienced a severe decline in his health and passed away.
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Czar Nicholas II was the eldest son of Czar Alexander III, born on May 18, 1868. He came to power in 1894 with little experience. Also that year, he married German Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt. Together they sired five children, four girls and one boy. The youngest, Alexis, was born in 1918 with hemophilia, a disease in which the blood lacks the ability to clot. The three eldest children were Olga, Tatiana, and Maria. Next, came the famous Anastasia. There was a controversy over a possible escape, as the burial location of her and Alexis was a kept a secret during the Communist rule. The family was shot by a dozen armed guards in the cellar of the house they were being held in. Modern Science and DNA testing has verified the identities of all seven members of the Romanov family.
There were two major revolutions in Russia during the dawn of the twentieth century. The first revolution, the February Revolution left Russia in a state of dual power, in which both the Provisional Government and the local Soviets were in some form of control. However, seemingly overnight, the Bolshevik Party and Vladimir Lenin rose to power, eradicating both the Provisional Government and the Soviets without bloodshed. They distributed weapons among workers in Petrograd and controlled many of the soldiers, and took important locations throughout the city. Lastly, the Bolsheviks arrested most of the leaders of the Provisional Government.