This workshop is based on Foreign Office files, which contain reports, correspondence and telegrams from British diplomats and other officials based in Russia during the events of 1917.
The workshop begins with a discussion of why events in Russia during this period were of such concern to the British government. Working in pairs, students are given a copy of an eyewitness account of the March Revolution. They examine this for evidence of the causes and likely outcomes of this event, as well as considering how the perspective of each person writing might affect the usefulness and reliability of their report.
Students then go on to consider a range of documents from the period between the February and October revolutions, to see what problems and predicaments faced the Provisional Government during this time, and consider to what extent the Provisional Government was to blame for the failure to establish control during this period.
Finally, the character of Kerensky and his responsibility for the successes and failures of the Provisional Government are considered through a comparison of two contemporary newspaper articles about him.
This session can be delivered as a