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Social and economic conditions in Russia were making
it difficult for the tsar to hold onto autocratic power.
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Bloody Sunday, 22 January 1905
On Sunday 22 January 1905, a group of poor peasants and
workers, led by a priest called Father Gapon, went to give
a petition to the tsar to ask that food be better distributed so
that fewer people would starve.
They were carrying
pictures of the tsar to
show they were loyal,
and crosses to show
their trust in god and
their belief that
Nicholas would see this
as a religious march.
Can you see what the troops in front of the
Winter Palace are holding in their hands?
What do you think happened next?
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It seems that some soldiers panicked at seeing so many
people, and one of them opened fire. Somewhere
between 100 and 1000 unarmed workers were shot dead.
The tsar was blamed, although he was not even there at
the time. People thought it showed he didn't care about his
people any more. As news of Bloody Sunday spread,
strikes and demonstrations spread throughout Russia.
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