January 9, 1905, now known by most as ‘Bloody Sunday,’ was a significant moment in Russia that amplified the unrest of the people in the empire. On this day in history, a petition for Tsar Nicholas was marched to his Winter Palace by a mass from St. Petersburg (Freeze, 251). The petition was asking for higher wages, shorter hours, a constitution and free elections (Freeze, 251). With the march unarmed and including women and children, the Tsar’s response was to have his military open fire on the masses, killing over a hundred people (Freeze, 251).
The Chicago Daily Tribune described this event as making “the deepest impression here upon all the classes.” It included Germany’s foreign office’s opinion that considering the lack of leadership and the difficulty of communication due to the empire’s large geographic area, the chances of this event evolving to a full fledged revolution was unlikely. But to give the opposite opinion, a Russian refugee in a cable to the Tribune warned that this initial bloodshed is just the beginning of what will happen to take this Tsar from the throne. This shows how strongly the revolutionists feel about getting what they want, and that maybe Germany and others are wrong to assume that communication troubles would be enough to stop a revolution. If the masses have enough determination, the revolution could spread throughout the empire.
Just like the refugee had warned, strikes broke out in more places around the empire, with Moscow being one of them. In Moscow, a march was carried out that closed down plants, factories, and mills along their travel, with each stop gaining more workers in joining. More and more workmen were feeling motivated to join the uprising. Bloody Sunday acted as a model for other cities with masses on the verge of uprise, igniting uprisings around the empire, creating the Revolution of 1905.
“Flame of Revolt Sweeping Empire.” 1905. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1922), Jan 24, 1. http://ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/173243534?accountid=14826.
“Revolution, Says Vienna.” 1905. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1922), Jan 24, 2. http://ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/173299138?accountid=14826.
Freeze, Gregory L. Russia: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Image retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1905)