Art Archie..

Pinterest Button[Standard/None]

1905 - in art, science, films, Canadian confederation, Bengal partition and Russian revolution

I normally think of the Edwardian era as time of culture, literature, science, medicine and peace. But 1905 began with a series of strikes and demonstrations in the Russian streets. In Jan a protest march in St Pet­ersburg was led by a workers’ organ­isation, the Assembly of Russian Factory and Plant Workers. c200,000 mar­chers moved to the Wint­er Palace to present pet­itions to the Tsar, but soon 1,000 protest­ors lay shot dead that Bloody Sunday. Anger spread throughout Russia with more strikes and mar­ches. In March the universities were shut down by radicals. In July, sailors on the battleship Potemkin mutinied in Odessa and avoided death only when the firing squad seized the ship instead. Odessa’s citizens turned out to support the sail­ors and many were massacred on the steps leading to the wharf.

Albert Einstein 1905

In St Petersburg Leon Trotsky set up a Soviet Workers’ Council to organise opposition to the Tsar. But Trotsky and his supp­or­ters were soon imprisoned. A revolutionary spirit arose, but it lacked the necessary central organis­at­ion to overthrow the government. After the lim­ited reforms of 1905 when a political amnesty was granted, Lenin briefly returned to Russia from Geneva, then left again when the Tsarists cracked down on dissid­ents.

Any protest was met with a brutal resp­onse and anti-Semitic pog­roms increased. In Odessa c2,500 Jews were killed in a single day; Kishinev had two pogroms; in Mariupol, 21 Jews died and their shops were destroyed.

Bloody Sunday 1905
St Petersburg

Tsar Nicholas II had to head off a revolution. He promised to allow the creation of a state Duma-assembly but the proposed Duma limitations led to further protests. In Oct 1905 a gen­er­al strike was called. Reluct­antly Nicholas drafted the October Manifesto, a ser­ies of proposed ref­orm measures that granted civil rights, free political parties, universal voting provis­ions and the estab­lishment of the Duma as the nat­ional assembly.

In late 1905 the mystic Grigori Rasputin (1869–1916) was in­tro­duced by the Tsar's cousins and quickly be­came a trusted advisor to Emperor Nicholas II and a loved confid­ante to his Empr­ess. Rasputin used his miraculous faith-healing powers in the Rom­anov family home.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and Mileva Marić married in 1903 and had their first son in 1904 in Switzerland. But it was 1905 that was a frantic, miracle year for the young scientist. He published four papers, form­ulated the theory of special relat­iv­ity and expl­ained the photo-electric effect. In April he worked on the spec­ial theory of relat­iv­ity. He pub­lished his paper "On a heuristic viewpoint con­cerning the pro­duction and transformation of light" in May. Here he ex­plained the photo-electric effect and submitted his doctoral diss­ert­ation On the Motion of Small Part­icles.

In June Einstein published an article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies where he publicly revealed his theory of special relativity. He soon submitted his paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?" Albert Einstein never won a Nobel prize for the theory of rel­ativity. Instead, when he was given the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, he received it for his explanation of the photoelec­t­ric effect. But note he developed both his theories in the same year: 1905.

By the late 1890s movies could be projected onto a screen. In 1896 the Edison Company launched the era of commercial movies. The earliest vaudeville theatre owners had to purchase films from factories via mail order, rather than renting them, which made it expensive to change shows often. Then in 1905 c450 people attended the world's first nickelod­eon, in Pittsburgh Penn. Dev­eloped by showman Harry Davis, the storefront theatre had 96 seats and charged each patron only 5c to see the silent film The Great Train Robbery. The first nickelodeon could off­er both live vaude­ville acts and short films, so oth­ers quickly set up in converted shopfronts, with flashy posters and ornate facades to attract patrons. Nickel­odeons remained the main outlet for films from 1905 on.

Detroit nickelodeon, 1905

Nickelodeons drastically altered the leisure-time habits of Americans, showing continuous performances of short films. Called disreputable by some municipal agencies, the crude, ill-ventilated nickelodeons with hard wooden seats were replaced later by more comfortably furnished theatres.

With the start of Canadian Confederation in 1867, only four provinces emerged - Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Whereas in Australia all the states were federated on the same day, in Canada the rest of the provin­ces came on board in different years: 1870: Manitoba, NW Territories; 1871: Brit­ish Columbia; 1873: Prince Edward Island; 1898: Yukon; 1905: Alberta, Saskatchewan; 1949: Newfoundland and Labrador; and 1999: Nunavut.

The two Canadian provinces that were
confederated in 1905

Note that the original bord­ers of Yukon Territory were chang­ed, gaining area from the North-West Territ­or­ies. Import­antly for us the econ­omy of the southern areas had changed. From just fur, Alberta and Saskatchewan now included farm­ing, logging, mining and railway. Many people were arriving, people who believed they deserved the same kind of government and services as in other provinces. In 1905, Alberta and Saskatch­ewan were carved out of the NW Territ­ories and confederated.

Fauvist artists pres­ented their first Paris exhibit at 1905 Salon d'Automne, displaying their lurid colours and wild execution. Henri Matisse’s portrait of his wife showed her with a face blotched with colours under a bright hairdo, as well as a giant purple hat and feathers. André Derain’s port­rait of Matisse had half the face in coloured streaks in the beard, while Maurice de Vlaminck’s trees were blazing pink.

Henri Matisse, 1905, 
Woman with a Hat, 
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The Salon d’Automne had been established to encourage experim­ental artists, but the Fauve paintings worried the Salon’s liberal jury and shocked everyone else. Fortunately the hang­ing committee ensured that the Fauve entries were included, and that they were hung together, increasing their impact. Paris saloniers Leo and Gertrude Stein saw the Fauvist exhibition in Paris and bought up Matisses, thus encouraging Fauvism at a crucial point in their salon.

Partition of Bengal
press to expand image

In 1905 it was decided by the Viceroy of India Lord Curzon that the 80 million people of Bengal would be partitioned i.e the Muslim majority eastern areas would be separated from the Hindu majority western areas. The Hindus of West Bengal were furious at what they believed was a divide and rule policy, where the colonising Britons turned the native population against itself for overall control and administrative ease. There was a growing belief among Hindus that East Bengal would have its own legal system.

Partition also created a sense of political awareness among the Muslims of East Bengal, leading to creation of fervent Islamic nationalism. So it didn’t last. In order to appease the Hindus, Bengal was reunited by Lord Hardinge in Dec 1911 but the Muslims were indignant. The administrative capital of British India was moved from Calcutta to New Delhi and  the entire experience predicted a tragic future for partition.


No comments:

Post a comment


Popular Posts

Powered by Blogger.

Random Posts

Recent Posts

Recent in Sports

Header Ads


Stay Connected

Subscribe for New Post Notifications

About Me

Contact Form


Email *

Message *


My Instagram

About Author


This season, the American designer will showcase a series of historic objects from the New York museum's.

Stay Connected

Sidebar Ads

My Instagram

Category Background[Hex Color Code]

Recent Posts

Unordered List

  • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.
  • Aliquam tincidunt mauris eu risus.
  • Vestibulum auctor dapibus neque.

Sample Text

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.


Theme Support

Need our help to upload or customize this blogger template? Contact me with details about the theme customization you need.