At the start of 1917, the Tsar still held complete control over the Russian empire, ruling over 170 million people and answerable only to God. Tsar Nicholas II resisted political change but his days were numbered. Hungry, discontented workers went on strike and the Tsar's huge army having suffered multiple defeats in World War One became disaffected and demoralised. In February 1917 a first revolution took place, the Tsar was arrested and a provisional government took over.

This clip is from:
People's Century, 1917: Red Flag
First broadcast:
27 September 1995

Students could begin by outlining the reasons behind the Tsar's abdication and his subsequent arrest. Pupils could then discuss if the clip supports the view that the Tsar was out of touch with the Russian people. In groups, students could present arguments for and against the following statement: revolution was inevitable in Russia by 1917.