Author Topic: 1905 Bloody Sunday  (Read 149005 times)

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #525 on: February 22, 2007, 10:40:49 AM »
Bev,

Newton said "equal and opposite"  He did not equal and equal.

This seems a bit of a "chicken and egg" debate.  Yes, the tsarist government was reacting to the actions of the marchers.  But the marchers were reacting to the conditions in their factories and lives.

The fact remains that the workers in St. Petersburg were behaving pretty much the same as workers from Chicago to Moscow in that era when confronted with similar conditions.  The variable in the equation that produced a Bloody Sunday only in Russia was not the behavior of the workers.  It was the behavior of the government.

Well, one more "teensy" variable in the equation.  The government in the US was a freely elected democracy (spare me the obvious other issues, am talking basics), where the 1st Amendment gave the workers the freedom of speech to challenge the authority.  The government in Russia was an autocracy, where the Emperor was God's chosen representative, to lead the people both politically/governmentally as well as being the head of the Church.  All power to Nicholas flowed from God, as it were, and on January 9 1905, his word was law and none in the land had the authority to challenge it legally by word or deed.

Thats not quite apples to apples in my book.

 

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #526 on: February 22, 2007, 10:54:49 AM »
But even a tsarist autocratic government had the same choices as a democractic government of how to handle street demonstrations and political protest.  Both forms of government could grant or deny march permits.  Both forms of government had choices about crowd control tactics.  Both forms of government could decide to call up troops or not.  Both forms of government could decide whether or not to let people mass in front of public buildings.  Both forms of government could decide whether or not to receive a petition or enter into a discussion outside of normal government channels (think Bush and Cindy Sheehan).  And both forms of government could decide whether or not to use force to protect property (think shoot-to-kill orders regarding looting in New Orleans).

The theory and forms of government might have been apples and oranges.  But the specific tactical and public relations dilemmas confronting the tsar that weekend would have felt very familiar to, say, southern governors in the U.S. during the 1960's.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #527 on: February 22, 2007, 11:34:20 AM »
...[in part]....
The fact remains that the workers in St. Petersburg were behaving pretty much the same as workers from Chicago to Moscow in that era when confronted with similar conditions.  The variable in the equation that produced a Bloody Sunday only in Russia was not the behavior of the workers.  It was the behavior of the government.

Let me give you,  I'm not just ref. to  Tsarfan,  an example of how a parents, in this case "Little Father's"  or "Little Mother's" authority doesn't always work.

Let's say, you are standing on a street corner with three  children and waiting to cross safely to the other side. You have three children but only two hands.  You hold the hands of the two youngest and sternly tell the older child that he or she must stay close to your as as they stand there waiting and as you cross a street.  The child gives you one of those,  "I know" looks.  Along comes an older child, a stranger,  who just can't wait for the light to change and starts to cross the street between cars.     Your older child, who is old enough to know better, but for some reasons reacts and rushes after the stranger.  As a parent all you can do is call out a warning not to cross but the child doesn't stop....  A car comes along, it's can't stop  and hit's your child and the stranger.  Of course,  all the cars are stopping as you rush out with the other two children and find your child is dead.  But the stranger was just slightly injured.

Who do you blame for the death of the child?

Please, humor me on this,  because,  I'd like to know how you'd answer this simple example. Your answers   will help me understand where some of you are coming from as you post about Gapon, the leader, the Workers, the followers,  Nicholas II, "Little Father" and the guards, who had the weapons that could kill and injure people, no matter their ages.

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« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 11:41:57 AM by AGRBear »
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Offline Bev

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #528 on: February 22, 2007, 11:38:17 AM »
Alix, Newton's third law of motion, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" is one of the great principles of symmetry in the universe.  Newton did mean equal and equal - for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size but opposite in direction.  Whenever an object pushes another object it gets pushed back in the opposite direction equally hard. F = F.  If a semi truck hits a pickup truck head on the force exerted on both trucks is exactly the same.  But which truck would you like to be riding in?  

However, Newton's laws of motion are natural laws, they do not apply to human endeavors.  (Although I might be able to make a case for the first law as it applies to Tsarist Russia...just kidding)   If  the two trucks collided and the driver of the semi got out of his cab and shot the driver of the pickup that is not an equal and opposite reaction.  When the city of Birmingham met the civil rights marchers with truncheons and fire hoses, that was not an equal and opposite reaction.  Those reactions are excessive and out of proportion to the events.  

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #529 on: February 22, 2007, 12:14:50 PM »
When the city of Birmingham met the civil rights marchers with truncheons and fire hoses, that was not an equal and opposite reaction.  Those reactions are excessive and out of proportion to the events.  

Well, it depends on one's interpretation of the events.  The people swinging the truncheons and aiming the fire hoses in Alabama did not just see a march.  They saw an attack on their way of life -- a way of life that told them that blacks existed to clean their houses and wash their cars; that blacks were too ignorant and too unwise to vote; that blacks, once unfettered socially, would demand to date their daughters (or worse); that blacks, once full participants in civil society, would bring it crashing down.  They truly believed this.  I know.  I was there (well, next state over, anyway).

And, frankly, I think this was much the manner in which Nicholas and Alexandra interpreted Gapon's march.  To them, it was not a march to ask for reform.  It was an open assault on their worldview and way of life.

We have been analyzing Bloody Sunday at the granular level of who did what in which hour of what day in the run-up to the march on January 9.  In fact, Bloody Sunday was a colossal clash of worldviews, similar to what was happening in the U.S. and other western nations as the effects of industrialization were lapping at the foundation piers of society.  The difference was that western societies had the shock absorbers (in the form of constitutions and representative institutions in the U.S., France, and England, and in the form of a more pragmatic monarchy in Germany) to cushion the blows.  In the west, the 1900's were butting heads with the 1850's.  In Russia, the 1900's were butting heads with the 1700's.  And, in typical Russian fashion, the butting of heads was considerably more theatrical.

Over the span of an epoch, these things eventually get resolved on the numbers.  70 million people angry about their lot in life compared to 10 million people satisifed with it is not the winning set.  The only long-term solution was to give more of the 70 million people a reason to prefer that things not change too much.  (This is akin to the political philosophy stated in the U.S. as, "a nation of mortgage holders will never mount a revolution".)  The jawboning reflected in Nicholas I's creed of Autocracy/Orthodoxy/Nationality might work in an agrarian economy with a strong tsar.  It was not robust enough to weather the stains of a more demographically-concentrated industrial economy, especially with a weak tsar.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 12:30:54 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #530 on: February 22, 2007, 12:22:56 PM »
...[in part]...

As it bears on this thread, it seems that Gapon's demand in his petition for compulsory public eduction squared rather nicely with the charge given to the government by the ukase of 1721 to be responsible for the education of the people.

......
Gapon was formally educated as a priest (although he apparently did not attend to his studies all that assiduously).  Perhaps his view that the tsar should be presented with the plight of the workers and take responsibility for it derived, at least in part, from taking the ukase of 1721 seriously?

Just a thought.

Education:

The Russian language requirment was demanded first under Alex. III and was continued into Nicholas II's reign. 

In 1892 all school were placed under the control of the Russian school inspectors and it was they who hired and fired the teachers.

In the years which followed:
"It must, however, be admitted that the colonists were indebted to the Russian officals for their well-intentioned efforts to raise the standard of education in the village schools." p. 215  of Joseph Height's PARADISE ON THE STEPPE. Height was an historian on German-Russian living in colonies in Russia from the late 1700s to WW II.

In the GR [German-Russian] colonies, the teaching of the German language was limited to twelve hours a week in schools.

All teachers were required to take an exaime proving they could speak Russian before they were given a "teaching license".

By 1896 the improved schools were producing more and better secondary educated which in turn produced more and better  "teachers, businessmen, administrative personnel, as well as theologians, pilologists and architects" p. 266.

Showing the changes in attitude of the Russian about education can be found on p. 44 of VILLAGE LIFE IN LATE TSARIST RUSSIA by Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia:
>>Ivan is sent off to school when he is ten.  "He'll be better paid if he can read and write." say the peasants.  Howadays, in view of the wages paid in Moscow, more and more peasants are endeavoring to have their sons learn reading and writing.  They say such things as: "In Moscow it is more important than here to know reading and writing, and you are judged by your knowledge of it," and "it is harder to cheat a literate person."<<

AGRBear


It appears that the education was becoming better in the years that Nicholas II rule.

Looking at the education in the mid-western states of the US were about the same,  accept, the children were being taught in English.

In the early 1900s,  most of the farm kids   were taken out of school when needed at home and / or for farm work such as harvest time.

The children who lived in towns and cities attended school without the same kind of interruptions as the children who lived on the farms and ranches in the US mid-west and western states.

And,  most of their teachers were very young and had not attended a college or university to earn their degree in education.

And, yes, of course,  every child should have the chance of education at all levels.  In those days,  education wasn't high on a lot of people's list here in the USA or in Russia.

See Gapon's Petition #3.

>>3. Universal and compulsory public education at state expense.<<



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« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 12:32:11 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #531 on: February 22, 2007, 12:47:30 PM »
In addition to post above:

.....[in part]....
 By 1914, Imperial Russia had 8 million young people enrolled at all educational levels; 112 thousand students were enrolled in ninety-one institutions of higher education; there were reckoned to be 12,586 public libraries in Russia with 8,900,000 volumes; and the daily circulation of newspapers equalled 2,729,000 copies. In 1920, 73 percent of the urban population and 44 percent of the total population (aged nine to forty-nine) were literate. Although the events of World War 1, the revolutions of 1917, foreign interventions, and civil war between Whites and Reds all imposed huge costs in terms of loss of life and property, by 1925 there still remained millions of persons with primary education and hundreds of thousands with secondary education.8 Thus, while there is no gainsaying the formidable expansion that has taken place in the Soviet period, it is important to recognize the substantial base from which it all began.[/i][/b]

Perhaps someone out their knows,  what was the average worker's education up to this point in time?

Bev,

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"  Newton.

The workers chose an action and were destined (in Russia at that time) to experience the reaction of the Tsar and his ministers.

I think what we question is, why did Gapon still insist on the march even after he had been refused a permit.  He must have known that without that permit, the marchers were breaking the law (whether it was a good or bad law is not the point).

Did the marchers know that they were breaking the law?  Did they believe that Gapon, one man in front of 120,000 could protect them?  Did Gapon tell them that they had no permit and that they would be liable to actions against them?

No one is suggesting that they were sub-human.  Just undereducated and semi-literate.  And maybe unaware of just what Gapon was leading them into.

Good questions:
1) Did the marchers know that they were breaking the law?
2) Did they believe that Gapon, one man in front of 120,000 could protect them? 
3)Did Gapon tell them that they had no permit and that they would be liable to actions against them?

Was ther lack of understanding due to their lack of education or,  was it because their leader Gapon whipped them up into a frenzy that anything seemed possible and everyone moved toward the palace without having thought out completely what might happen when they reached the palace?
AGRBear
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 01:17:09 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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Offline James1941

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #532 on: February 22, 2007, 01:07:08 PM »
The elected representatives that refused to meet with Senator Shidlovskii's Commission were recognized as new leaders of the workers. This was to have consequences. In the months that followed these would form a new organizational framework that would become famous in history. In October of 1905 they heled form The Soviet, or the Council of Workers' Representatives of St. Petersburg.
It might have been wise of the government to have compromised a little with them in light of what would come. One step backward (from absolute autocracy), two steps forward (to representational government and stability) might have become the monarchy's mantra instead of the Bolsheviks.

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #533 on: February 22, 2007, 01:27:40 PM »
Well I certainly agree with your assessment of the civil rights marches, but my point was that the civil rights marchers were not equally armed with fire hoses and truncheons and so it was not an equal but opposite reaction.  

This is just my opinion, but I believe that Russia was undergoing a great paradigm shift, and as you pointed out, it did not have the safety valves that the other nations had to let off the pressure.  I really don't like historical parallels because I don't think they are very accurate, but I do see some comparisons between what is happening in the middle east and what happened in Russia.  Abrupt shifts in a culture are always met with a visceral reaction from the power structure.  They see the change, they feel the loss of control and they look outside the culture to assign fault for that change.  Their first impulse (and usually their last) is to try to stop or prevent change and that is impossible, no one person or institution can control all the variables all the time and that is the only way to stop change.  It's the Pillsbury Doughboy effect - if you press one area, it will just pop up someplace else.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #534 on: February 22, 2007, 01:45:43 PM »
Well I certainly agree with your assessment of the civil rights marches, but my point was that the civil rights marchers were not equally armed with fire hoses and truncheons and so it was not an equal but opposite reaction.

I agree with you, Bev. And we should also remember that while truncheons and fire hoses were indeed very bad, and could in some circumstances even be deadly, at least they were not bullets.

And please correct me if I'm wrong (I might very well be), but wasn't it a general, unspoken rule even among monarchs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that Napoleon's advice to use "a whiff of grapeshot" to disperse a crowd really only applied when the crowd was rioting, or behaving in some other similarly violent fashion, which necessitated the use of force to control it?
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Offline Tsarfan

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #535 on: February 22, 2007, 02:20:40 PM »
Lest anyone wonder otherwise, I certainly do not condone the force used against the marchers on Bloody Sunday.  My only point was that, from Nicholas's perspective, it was a lot more than a building being encroached upon.  It was the essence of his right to rule without answerability to any mortal.

Mind you, I think he was rather dull, shall we way, for thinking that he could sustain that position in the conditions that were evolving in Russia.  And downright dimwitted for participating in that farce that Trepov staged for him in the Winter Palace.  But I really cannot condemn him any more than I can condemn Bush for standing on a ship under a banner that said "mission accomplished" when the war had barely begun.  By both utterly misunderstanding the nature of the opposition, they both confused the end of the opening salvo with the end of the war.  And by both choosing intransigence instead of reasoned examination of what was really afoot, they plunged two countries into chaos, with neither a path forward nor a path backward.

There's a rather funny American comedian who has a showed called "You Can't Fix Stupid."  Only it's not so funny, now that I think of it.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 02:27:10 PM by Tsarfan »

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #536 on: February 22, 2007, 02:36:22 PM »
Tsarfan said:

"And, frankly, I think this was much the manner in which Nicholas and Alexandra interpreted Gapon's march.  To them, it was not a march to ask for reform.  It was an open assault on their worldview and way of life."

Yes, yes and yes again!  That is what I have been saying all along!  Or trying to say.

And Bev,

You, too, are right about Newton.  I was concentrating on the word "opposite" which is what the reaction was.  It was an unequal reaction, but they must have expected some reaction.  What do we say to our children as they grow?  And I am not saying that the Russian workers were child like.  We say, "Make your decision and chose your options, but be ready to accept the consequences of your actions."  

(Either that or sue - I'm not sure if I'm kidding about that or not   ::)  )

I am surprised that no one picked up on the reaction part.  As Nicholas and his government were considered "reactionary".

Nicholas's education may have included Russian history, but no where have I seen that it included the Russian equivalent of Political Science.  Not even to the point of discussing his ancestors to see what they had done in what would become his place.




« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 02:48:44 PM by Alixz »

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #537 on: February 22, 2007, 02:49:43 PM »

Nicholas's education may have included Russian history, but no where have I seen that it included the Russian equivalent of Political Science.  Not even to the point of discussing his ancestors to see what they had done in what would become his place.


Well, he knew enough to know that his Liberal Grandfather, who gave the peasants rights, freedoms and reforms was blown up by the revolutionaries when he had what would become Nicholas's place.

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #538 on: February 22, 2007, 02:56:03 PM »
True, but that was because he was there at the time.  And then saw his father crush all of Alexander II's intended reforms.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: 1905 Bloody Sunday
« Reply #539 on: February 22, 2007, 02:59:20 PM »
Tsarfan said:
Nicholas's education may have included Russian history, but no where have I seen that it included the Russian equivalent of Political Science.  Not even to the point of discussing his ancestors to see what they had done in what would become his place.

According to Robert Warth, Nicholas was taught "science and mathematics, political economy, history, geography, literature, law, and military science. Such distinguished savants as Vasily Klyuchevsky, Russia's greatest historian, Nikolai Bunge, the minister of finance, Mikhail Kapustin, a professor of international law at Moscow University, and the omnipresent Pobedonostsev tutored Nicholas in their specialities, as did an array of prominent generals on arcane matters of tactics, fortifications, and military history" (p. 6).

Warth notes that Nicholas, after "graduating" from this program of study, should have been the "best-educated heir to the throne in the annals of the dyansty." The reasons he was not were pretty obvious: his own lack of intellectual curiosity and discipline, the demand by his teachers for rote learning (this is traditional amongst Russian teachers), and the overall obsequiousness of the imperial tutors to the imperial heir - apparently in deference to imperial rules of pedagogy, they never once gave him an exam on any subject after the age of fifteen!

But I think you can see from the above list what great opportunities the young Nicholas had to pick the brains of the leading experts of the Russian empire. The fact that he didn't bother is testimony to his own lack of intellect, not their lack of talent or willingness to help. Can you imagine what a Napoleon or even an Alexander II would have made of such opportunities? It just goes to show you, education is a two-way street.
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