Extract from The Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland]16 Mar 1917: 5
One hundred years ago today, March 16th 1917, both the Times and the Scotsman led with the headline “Revolution in Russia”. They contained a series of articles giving first hand accounts of the events leading up to the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the resignation of the government.
This is the first of a series of blog posts documenting the key moments of the Russian Revolution in 1917. In October, the University of Glasgow Library will launch a virtual exhibition marking the centenary of the revolution, which will showcase our extensive collections, including material rarely seen.
UofG staff and students can read the full newspaper reports from March 16th 1917 online by logging into the Digital Archives of both newspapers.
- “Revolution In Russia.” Times [London, England] 16 Mar. 1917: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
- “History Of The Movement.” Times [London, England] 16 Mar. 1917: 7+. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 15 Mar. 2017. – a review of the three days leading up to the events of March 17th
- “Revolution in Russia” The Scotsman (1860-1920); Mar 16, 1917; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Scotsman pg. 5
Events in the House of Commons the previous evening (March 15th) are also widely reported in the press on this day in 1917. Hansard records provide a full account of the statement made by Mr Bonar Law (Leader of the House) detailing the British government’s knowledge of events in Russia and confirmation of Tsar Nicholas II abdication.
“The first news we had of any serious trouble in Russia came by telegram on Friday night last. It was to the effect simply that there were disturbances in the streets. Since then we have had daily telegrams giving more or less authentic news—I mean it came from our Embassy, but they themselves had not all the possible means of obtaining accurate information in the circumstances which existed in Petrograd. But by degrees it became plain that Petrograd was becoming more or less under ordered rule, and that the rule was a rule over which the President of the Duma was exercising control. It was a fact also that almost from the outset the soldiers, and we are informed also the sailors, had taken the side of the Duma and the result has been, so far as information has reached us, that there has not been any serious loss of life. I am not sure that this is the case, but we have had no indication that there has been serious loss of life in Petrograd. The reason I am able now to say something about it to the House of Commons is that only tonight a message was received from our Ambassador to the effect that a telegram had been received from the Duma announcing that the Czar had abdicated and that the Grand Duke Michael Alexan-drovitch had been appointed Regent. I should be glad to give a reassuring statement. In what I have said there is a measure of comfort to us, who are the Allies of Russia, in the comparative tranquility with which this change has been conducted. There is also this comfort, and a real comfort, that all our information leads us to believe that the movement is not in any sense directed towards an effort to secure peace, but, on the contrary, the discontent—this is the substance of all our information—is not against the Government for carrying on the war, but against it for not carrying on the war with efficiency and with that energy which the people expect. I have told the House all I know in this matter. They will understand that it is not possible for me to say more, but I can assure them that if any authentic information reaches us at any time I shall at once communicate it to the House of Commons” (HC Deb 15 March 1917 vol 91 cc1419-22).
If you’d like to know more about the events of 1917, take a look at our extensive collection of material on the Russian Revolution