a) From source A I can learn that the Tsar was incompetent and disorganised, as source A states “Nicholas II was very poorly prepared for the responsibilities of being the Tsar.”. I can also learn that due to the Tsars ignorance of politics and the people of Russia, he couldn’t make the right decisions to help the country. Source A suggests that Tsar Nicholas II wasn’t very popular, due to the fact he didn’t know how to run the country or help the people in need of financial and medical support (the lower classes and peasants). I can also suggest from Source A that the whole country was in disarray, that no-one was equal because Tsar Nicholas II didn’t know how to run the country or make the desperately needed decisions that would benefit the country as a whole.
b) Source C and A support each other because both state that Tsar Nicholas II was unfit to reign Russia. They say that he was ignorant of the necessary knowledge required to rule the country, this ignorance was the key reason for his downfall. However they both differ slightly. Source C says that the fact Tsar Nicholas II was useless as a ruler was not his fault; he was apparently “intelligent, faithful and courageous” but was “wholly ignorant of government matters”. The source was taken out of the Tsars sisters’ diary, so she, no matter how bad things got with the Tsar, would still stick up for him. Whereas Source A is taken from a textbook written about Russia, therefore they need not show any compassion for the Tsar so they can write just the facts.
Source C and B support each other because in source C the Tsars sister says that the Tsar “was still popular in the years before 1914” and in source B it shows a photograph of Tsar Nicholas II with is many supporters celebrating the 300 years of rule of the Romanov family, showing that he still had support when the picture was taken in 1913. Source C and B differ from each other because in Source C, the Tsar’s sister says that Nicholas wasn’t a good ruler of Russia, and that he was trained as a soldier not as a statesman. Yet in Source B, he is shown surrounded by his many supporters cheering him and his whole family. Surely if they didn’t like him then they wouldn’t be happy he was in power, (however, there are probably only the upper classes involved in the celebration as the Tsar hasn’t done anything to anger them whereas he didn’t treat the lower classes well at all.)
Overall I think that that Source A and C support each other the most as both say that the Tsar was incompetent as a ruler of Russia, and differ from each other only very slightly. Furthermore I think that Source B and C differ from each other the most because in Source C the Tsar’s sister says that he wasn’t a very good ruler and in Source B he is being shown as a great ruler surrounded by his cheering supporters.
c) I can learn from source D that the way Tsar dealed with those who opposed his way of ruling the country was with violence and death. As Source D shows strikers killed by the police. This Source is reliable because it is a photograph, and you can see the workers “dead” on the ground and police members standing round them. It could be a hoax, with people pretending to be dead, but is highly unlikely to be one.
I can learn from Source E that the people felt that the government was not making the right choices, and that they were being forced into forming revolutionary groups by the government. This source’s reliability could be questioned as it was written by a party opposing the Tsar as a speech, so the aim of the speech was to turn people against the current Tsarist government and to support theirs. Also, as it was written as a speech its meant to persuade and motivate the listeners, so some aspects of it may have been exaggerated.
Overall, I think that Source E is more useful in telling us how discontented the people were with the Tsarist government, as it’s more detailed in its explanation and shows human emotion on the situation. However, I believe that Source D is the more reliable of the two as, because it’s a photo, we can be sure the events captured on film actually happened.