In January 1905, men, women, and children, marched on the Tsar’s Winter Palahttps://aposplendourseries.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/bloody_sunday.jpgce. However, the Tsar was not there and the march ended in the military shooting into the unarmed protesters, killing over a hundred unarmed people (Freeze 250-251).
Out of all the aspects of the 1905 revolution, Bloody Sunday interested me the most. I think it did because I don’t understand why the Tsar would inflame an already agitated situation by allowing his military to kill unarmed people, especially women and children. Something I found interesting was that one site implied that the Tsar was the one that authorized the military to shoot into the crowd (Freeze 251-252) while another site claimed it was the his ministers that authorized the actions.
One of the major players that led to the protests that day was Georgii Gapon, an Orthodox priest. He inspired thousands to join his “Assembly of Russian Factory Workers”, something that was originally encouraged by the Russian police because they thought it would deter the people away from the radicals and more violent protests (Freeze 250). Gapon lead the march to the Winter Palace and was one the first to respond to the shooting that occurred. He began to call out to the people to lie down in hopes they would not be shot (A). You can find his partial story about that day here.
The pivotal moment that would led to the march on the Winter Palace would take place in December 1904. During this month, several members of Gapon’s Assembly were dismissed from their factory without warning or reason (Freeze 251). This was the event that set in motion the groundwork for the next year. As Freeze says, “the year of 1905 defies succinct summary, in part because the situation changed so radically from moth to month, even from week to week” (Freeze 252).
Bloody Sunday may have been one of the first events in the 1905 Revolution, but many other revolts, manifestos, and documents would come out of this year.
I also found an interesting blog about Bloody Sunday (and the decline of the Romanov dynasty) from Illinois University that had several videos and other various links in relation to Bloody Sunday if you want to check it out!
Freeze, Gregory L. Russia: a history. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.