Aim: To what extent was the Russian Revolution inevitable?
Setting the Stage:
During the period of Industrialization in Russia in the 20th century, conditions were comparable to those in Britain. Employees worked an average of 11 hours a day and wages were kept low. Labor unions formed around the country. George Gapon formed the Assembly of Russian workers - within one year it grew to 9,000 members. In the very beginning of the 20th century (1900-1904) the prices of goods in Russia rose as wages continued to decrease. This caused widespread strikes all over Russia in many industries.
To solve the problems of low wages and poor conditions, Gapon led his Assembly of Russian workers to the Winter Palace to appeal to Czar Nicholas II. Among other things Gapon wanted to: reduce the workday to eight hours, increase wages, improve working conditions, and allow for universal suffrage. More than 150,000 workers signed the petition. Gapon led some of these workers to the Winter Palace to present the petition to Czar Nicholas II on January 22, 1905. When the group arrived the Cossacks (guerrilla warriors used by the Russian Government as a military force) attacked them - over 400 were killed or wounded in the attack. This became known as “Bloody Sunday”.