Russia Essay 4: AN EVALUATION OF THE REASONS FOR THE FEBRUARY REVOLUTION IN 1917
Wording: As with every Higher essay, this could be worded in a number of ways, but the question will always ask you the same thing. It will ask you to EVALUATE THE REASONS AS TO WHY THE 1917 REVOLUTION TOOK PLACE. As you should now, there were a variety of factors that contributed to the Tsar’s abdication. This question is essentially asking you to evaluate which reasons were more important than others.
How important was working class discontent in causing the February Revolution of 1917?
“More than any other factor, it was Nicholas II himself that caused the February Revolution of 1917” How accurate is this statement?
To what extent did WW1 play in causing the February Revolution of 1917?
How important were economic reasons in causing the 1917 February Revolution?
A good tip for writing essays is to continually refer to the wording of the question. For instance, essay C is worded in a slightly tricky way. Don’t be put off by this, it is still asking you to assess the reasons for the 1917 February Revolution. When answering the question, use the wording of the question;
“In this sense, it could be said that while economic factors were certainly adding to the political instability, the weak leadership of Nicholas II certainly played some part in causing his downfall.”
PLEASE USE THE RUSSIA ESSAY 4 NOTES AND THE MARKING INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE BLOG TO HELP WITH OVERALL UNDERSTANDING OF THIS TOPIC
Starting Period: Make sure you set the essay in context. Here you should allude to the EVENTS of FEB 1917. You have to get across that the Romanov empire was arguably the strongest empire in the world for 300 years. (summarise briefly but try to grab my attention effectively- DON’T BE BORING- THIS IS THE FIRST SENTENCE OF AN ESSAY DISCUSSION A PERIOD THAT WAS TO SHAPE THE TWENTIETH CENTURY)
Ending Period: Emphasise that a series of protests that started International Women’s Day (the day after the Putilov workers announced a strike) started 4 days of protest that led to the Tsar’s eventual abdication.
Argument: Start with the ISOLATED FACTOR. Acknowledge that this was certainly a cause of the revolution.
Factors: But!!! Acknowledge that other factors also contributed. Briefly summarise the evidence you will use to answer the question; Make sure you signpost!!! Factors you might want to mention are 1) WW1 2) Class Discontent 3) Economic and Political Issues
Remember for each ‘other factor’ you will have to provide as summary as to what was actually done, rather than a list to achieve 4/4 for your introduction.
Paragraph 1: The Role of Nicholas II (ISOLATED FACTOR FIRST)
Your first paragraph must show how the decisions of Nicholas contributed to the Revolution. What evidence is there to suggest it DID. Could he have avoided it? What do historians say?
Paragraph 2: WW1
REMEMBER TO LINK PARAS!!! Then explain how WW1 contributed to the Revolution. You will probably refer to WW1 throughout this essay, but analyse the specific contribution it made to Feb 1917.
Paragraph 3: Class Discontent
LINK!!! How did working class/proletarian discontent contribute to Feb 1917? What about the peasantry? What about the bourgeoisie/middle class?
Paragraph 4: Political and Economic Issues
LINK!!! Explain how political and economic factors played a role in the February 1917 Revolution. 1) What were these factors, 2) How did they contribute to February 1917?
A top essay will also include awareness of historical debate. It will also continually refer to the question and summarise at the end of paragraphs.
Summarise!!! Make sure you come to a BALANCED but strong conclusion (Take a side, but acknowledge other sides). I want you to let me know the real extent to which you think the reforms worked! Remember the structure (use as a basis for your conclusion but try to develop)
In conclusion… (1 sentence answering the question)
On one hand…(summarise one side of the argument i.e the Tsar was stronger)
On the other hand… (summarise the other side of the argument i.e he wasn’t stronger)
Overall…(One final sentence summing up your whole essay)
Holy Cross High School Faculty of Social Subjects (History)