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  1. starter activity Who are the characters in this cartoon? What message is the artist trying to convey? Clue – focus on the eyes.

  2. Who was Rasputin? • Grigory Efimovitch aka Rasputin (name means ‘disreputable one’) • Starets (holy man) & suspected member of Kylysty sect (religious fulfilment through sexual experiences) Rasputin. Why did so many people have such respect for Rasputin?

  3. What was he like? • Eyewitness reports refer to transfixing gaze • Lack of hygiene • Insatiable sexual appetite (involving actresses & prostitutes) Why are historians sceptical about some of the comments on Rasputin’s character & appearance?

  4. Why was he so popular? Alexis • Healing powers • Tsarina thought Rasputin could cure Alexis of haemophilia • 1907 Rasputin first helped Alexis to recover from bout of illness • 1912 ‘cured’ Alexis via telegram from outside St Petersburg

  5. Why was he so unpopular? • Immorality shocked conservatives • Professional jealousy amongst senior ministers, e.g. Stolypin • Resentment over his influence over Tsarina, especially during WWI • Tsar censored critical reports in the Press Chief Minister, Stolypin. Why was he among Rasputin’s harshest critics?

  6. Why was the Tsar overthrown in February 1917?  Aims To identify the reasons for growing hostility to Tsarist government To examine the role of Rasputin in the Tsar’s downfall

  7.  Your task • Read Oxley, p.80-1 and list reasons why opposition to Tsar intensified in this period.

  8. Growing opposition • Russian military defeats (e.g. Tannenburg, Masurian Lakes) • Poor organisation, e.g. shortages of munitions • Growing criticism from political groups & leaders, e.g. Guchkov, Octobrist leader of Central War Industries Committee, as well as All Russian Unions of Towns and Zemstva • Miliukov & Progressive Bloc – 2/3 of members of Duma

  9. Economic problems • Inflation: govt. increased circulation of money, wages increased at half pace of inflation • Food shortages: food not reaching cities, grain hoarding, poor infrastructure • Fuel shortages: coal rationed, factories closed, winter 1916-17 v. harsh, no fuel for bakeries in Petrograd, 1917

  10.  Your task • Read Oxley, p.81 and list reasons why Tsar Nicholas & Tsarina Alexandra were unpopular What clues does this cartoon provide?

  11. Unpopularity of Nicholas & Alexandra • Supported Tsar’s divine right to govern as an autocrat • Remote – lived at Tsarskoye Selo • German background • Influenced by ministers, esp. Rasputin whilst Nicholas was at front

  12.  Source investigation • In pairs, study the sources on p.82-3 and complete questions 1-5