Folk spontaneous demonstrations in support of Serbia immediately began in Russian cities in response to the introduction of the Provision on a war preparatory period by the 13 July 1914 in Russia in connection with the declaration of war to the Serbian State by Austria-Hungary and the bombing of Belgrade. For example, Kaluga people massively expressed their solidarity to the Serbian people for two days in a row, 16 and 17 in July (hereafter, the dates are given according to Art. Style). The victory wish to the Serbian people was demonstrated by the 10-thousandth demonstration that took place on the same days in Tula.
The Russian press promptly informed about the most important events in the world and within the country. Newspapers also were not slow to report on the speeches of Russian citizens, who showed their solidarity with the government about the aggressive actions of Austria-Hungary, and announced the collection of funds for the needs of the Serbs. It should be noted that earlier international events, especially those that somehow affected the interests of Russia, for example, the Bosnian crisis 1908, the conflict over the mission of Liman von Sanders in 1913 –1914, were not left without attention of citizens.
Mass patriotic actions continued after the promulgation of the royal Manifestos of 20 and 26 in July on the state of war between Russia and Germany and Austria-Hungary, in which people were called to defend the Fatherland and allied Serbia, as well as in July on the events of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 20. of the last days ”, where it was said about the German ultimatum, presented to Russia, and the ensuing declaration of war to us. The royal manifestos, the message of the Foreign Ministry printed all the newspapers, they were distributed in the form of ads. The Holy Synod, in turn, appealed to its children to protect their brothers in faith and “stand up for the glory of the Tsar, for the honor of the Motherland,” as well as for unity and courage in the time of trials. Archpastors and pastors were called upon to uphold the love of the Fatherland among the people. Monasteries, churches and Orthodox congregations called for donations in favor of wounded and sick soldiers, families called up for war, for the removal of premises for hospitals, and also for preparing individuals to care for wounded and sick soldiers. In all churches it was prescribed to establish special circles in favor of the Red Cross.
With the beginning of the war, the Committee of People’s Publications was established, which, through the network of people's houses and universities, working clubs, cultural and educational societies, Sunday schools free of charge, sent print publications on military-patriotic subjects, for example, the Great War, “Russian Soldier”, “Care for Soldiers' Families” and many others. County nobility leaders, district leaders, clergy and other officials participated in the distribution of this literature. The Holy Synod released in large quantities popular essays and stories about the outbreak of the war "Not in the power of God, but in truth," addressed to schools and the people.
As we see, the citizens of Russia were informed about the defensive nature of the war, about who attacked Russia and for what to fight. During this period, the press recorded an unprecedented all-class uplift of patriotic sentiment.
The protest sentiments of the workers throughout the country have given way to the mood to fight the external enemy. For example, in 21 worker Bryansk in July, 15 thousands of workers participated in a patriotic demonstration. The eyewitness of the events that took place was a Russian public and political figure, historian, publicist and philosopher P. B. Struve noted in November 1914.: “War teaches us patriotism more than any sermon. We felt ourselves in the war as a nation and a state, Russians and Russia. ”
With the announcement of a general mobilization, the reserve ranks and the 1st grade warriors, listed in the militia from the reserve, arrived at the recruiting stations, usually more than planned. Premises were being prepared for their reception, quartering, and place for eating. The delivery of horses, carts and harness to the troops was in full swing. Until the end of 1914, three more invocations of warriors were successfully completed. These were the I-class warriors of the I rank, who did not undergo military service; moreover, in October, the annual conscription of recruits was carried out on time.
Wives, children and other disabled members of families of mobilized spare and warriors of the first category were paid food allowances (rations) from the treasury. State and local servants maintained wages, which were paid to families. The amount of benefit from the beginning of the war to December 1 1914 was 2 rubles. 82 cop (and 1 rub. 41 cop. for each child up to 5 years) per month.
In September, 1914 developed a procedure for awarding individuals who “really did do well for the brilliant performance of the mobilization in this year”, and at the beginning of 1915, the medal “For work on the excellent implementation of the general mobilization of 1914” was established. Rewarding the last military medal of the imperial period has become widespread, both direct participants in the field mobilization work and plan developers at this large-scale event were awarded.
The local artisan industry already in 1914 fulfilled military orders. As a result, before the end of the year, sheepskin fur coats, warm woolen jackets, boots and other clothing and economic equipment were made and sent to the army. To ensure a reliable supply of the army, the number of which has increased significantly, from 1914 - 1915 of the agricultural year, the bread producing provinces began to deliver bread to the state at fixed prices, in contrast to the prewar period, when the state did not deal with this issue.
Seeing the army in the provincial and district centers were accompanied by processions and rallies, initially spontaneous and then organized. People carried flags, portraits of the emperor.
Participants of the processions repeatedly played the hymn "God Save the Tsar!", Played an orchestra. Representatives of the military and civilian authorities and clergy attended the crowded organized ceremonies. The events were accompanied by a prayer for the health of the emperor and the granting of victory to the Russian arms.
With the beginning of the war, volunteers began to turn to military commanders who wanted to join the ranks of the army in the field. In connection with this, in October 1914 allowed the educational institutions of the Ministry of National Education to be “tested” according to a program for volunteers of grade II who wished to enter military service. And such work was immediately deployed. Newspapers wrote about young citizens of Russia who wanted to be involved in the events unfolding on the fronts of the Great War.
An effective form of patriotism, in addition to volunteering, was the participation of the broad masses of the people in charitable activities in favor of those drafted into the army, their families, wounded and sick soldiers, with the direct participation of governors and other officials. All class societies, including peasant societies, collected donations. Warm clothing, medicines, canvas, soap, tobacco, tea, sugar, foodstuffs and many other things were sent to the military units that spoke to the front. For the Christmas holiday 1914, gifts were additionally sent. At the same time, warriors who were treated at local hospitals and infirmaries were not forgotten. Tea-parties were arranged for them, concerts, performances, film shows, New Year's Eve were organized. After Christmas, the collection of donations and holding of mass charitable events began in order to purchase gifts for the next big holiday - Easter.
Emperor Nicholas II traveled to the provinces of European Russia and the Caucasus region until the end of 1914 in order to raise funds for military needs. The Kursk Zemstvo donated 1 million rubles, the nobility - 75 thousand, the peasantry - 60 thousand. In Tula, the nobility handed 40 thousands of rubles to the emperor.
In Orel, a peasant deputation assured the tsar of its readiness to give the army bread from its reserves and, if necessary, everything, to the last grain.
In Voronezh, the zemstvo and nobility donated for 25 thousand rubles, the city - 10 thousand rubles, merchants - 17 thousand. In Ryazan, the zemstvo and the nobility handed over the sovereign on 10 thousand rubles, as well as honey, canvas and other products.
When the first 1914 wounded in August began to arrive in the rear provinces in an amount that the existing medical network was not able to accommodate, the help of the population was urgently needed. People with great enthusiasm took part in unloading, carrying and transporting the wounded, they provided rooms for the wounded in their homes, collected dressings and medicines, underwear, money, donated patients, and equipped the hospitals under the guidance of specialists. So, in the Oryol province peasants of the Lavrovsky volost of the Oryol uyezd, collected by November 1914 6 thousand rubles. for the treatment of the wounded in the open hospital named after their volost on 40 beds. Oryol provincial zemstvo contributed 100 thousand. Rub. on the hospital equipment at the provincial district hospital. In sec. Myatleva, Medynsky district, Kaluga province, an infirmary on 20 beds was opened, for the maintenance of which the necessary funds were collected by subscription among residents of Myatlev. The premises for the infirmary were donated by the merchant M.V. Arefiev. Only with the effective help of citizens, to whom the governors turned for help, a reliable system of help to wounded and sick soldiers was created in optimal time. Front-line soldiers evacuated to the rear, from the first days felt the general care and attention to their needs.
Some of the established medical institutions were subsequently maintained exclusively or partially with charitable funds. In hospitals and infirmaries, privately owned beds contained private individuals, estate and joint-stock companies and institutions.
For example, in Kaluga, one of the first to declare its readiness to maintain beds for wounded merchants of the second guild, personal honorary citizen MM. Fisher The wife of the governor of Prince. A.E. Gorchakova expressed the same wish in memory of her son, Cornet V.S. Gorchakov, who died in the early days of the war.
In the city’s first hospital in Kaluga, prisoners of the provincial prison, the Kaluga control chamber, pupils of the women's teacher’s seminary, and the private real school of F.M. Shakhmagonov, N.V. Terenin. In the Zemstvo Hospital No. 1, the registered beds were 1, of which 6 was from the Peremyshl district zemstvo, and one in the memory of the book. Vs Gorchakova, in one bed, there were employees of the Kaluga Real School and the deputy of the IV State Duma from the Kaluga province N.N. Yanovsky. Representatives of the highest nobility, such as Count S.L. Palen and Prince. Z.N. Yusupova, and rural guardianship, and students, and peasants, and various societies and associations.
Everywhere for the training of auxiliary medical personnel, local committees of the All-Russian Zemstvo Union, with the assistance of medical societies, announced sets for free courses on the care of sick and wounded soldiers and on the training of sanitation disinfectors. Moreover, the number of people willing to attend courses was much more officially announced.
The Russian Orthodox Church also contributed to the care of the wounded. Moscow Diocese for 10 October 1914 was opened 90 hospitals for 1200 seats. In the Russian provinces in August 1914, at the Spiritual Consistory, "Temporary committees were formed to assist the wounded and sick soldiers and families of persons called up for war". The committees carried out the idea of organizing the personal care of the diocesan clergy of hospitals in provincial and district towns. Dioceses throughout the country began to make deductions from their incomes: 1 and 2% of the profitability of churches, clergy and salaries of the clergy. In addition, each church in 1914 donated 50 rubles for war-related needs. Church parishes collected donations of money, things, and food. So, the Elijah parish school of the Kozelsky district of the Kaluga province sent in November 1914 to the front two bales of warm clothes, linen, tobacco products and a letter that read: “Our eagles are glorious, mighty and fast-winged - fathers and brothers! We send you from the sweet homeland of different clothes to strengthen the new, unshakable forces, to crush the age-old Russian enemy - the accursed German. Go ahead, our fathers and brothers. Behind you stand a hard wall - your children! Bolder forward! Hooray!".
It should be noted that representatives of all religious denominations and movements of the multinational Russian Empire took an active part in charity work: Muslims, Catholics and Protestants, Buddhists, Jews, Old Believers, etc.
Since the beginning of the war, the governors headed all the local public committees created to help the army and all the victims of the war, including local administrations of the Russian Red Cross Society (ROCS), provincial guardianship committees on sick and wounded soldiers. Along with the governors, these committees included representatives of the rural and city governments. Charity has been an integral part of the activities of the RCSC since its foundation in 1867, it has also become an integral part of the activities of all committees established in the province in connection with the war. By order of the governors in September 1914, within the provinces and regions, donations were collected by “money and things” in favor of the Red Cross to help wounded and sick soldiers, in addition, the population was called upon to continue to participate in the replenishment of the stock of laundry and dressing facilities of the society Red Cross. The Red Cross Society began to transfer revenues from the replication and sale of messages of the Russian Telegraph Agency on the course of hostilities. The spouses of the governors, as a rule, headed the Ladies' Committees to assist the wounded and sick soldiers, who received monthly deductions from wages and other donations.
Since the beginning of the First World War, All-Russian charitable organizations have arisen, which, along with ROKK, took upon themselves the help to victims of military disasters. The Supreme Council for charity of families of military officials called up for war was headed by Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Emperor Nicholas II patronized the Society for Aid to War Soldiers and Their Families.
During the entire war, the royal family spent on charity 20 a million pounds sterling of their own money kept in a London bank.
Practically all representatives of the House of Romanovs headed the charitable organizations of wartime: the Committee for the Provision of Temporary Assistance to Victims of Military Disasters led. Princess Tatiana Nikolaevna; The Committee to assist the families of persons called up for military service - the empress's sister led. Prince Elizaveta Fyodorovna; The Committee on Clothing for Soldiers sent from medical institutions to their home country led. Prince Maria Pavlovna, etc.
All-Russian charitable organizations created in connection with the war opened branches in the provinces, moreover, at the initiative of local governments and private individuals, local-level charitable organizations arose. With the proposal to expand charitable activities in the provinces, the Skobelev Committee turned to the governors in 1914 to issue benefits to soldiers who lost their ability to work at the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff in St. Petersburg. The committee initiated a cash deduction from the monthly maintenance of employees. Employees of various institutions, enterprises, factories, rural and city boards, teachers of educational institutions and many more voluntarily deduct interest from their wages. etc. Deductions depended on the size of their salary. If the annual income did not exceed 600 rubles, 2% was deducted, 1800 rubles. - 3%, more than 1800 - 4%. For example, employees of the Kaluga provincial military service from August 1914 to March 1917 deducted 2% from the content received to support families called up to the army. The funds were sent to the Supreme Council for the charity of families of military officials called up for war, chaired by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. All charitable organizations were engaged in collecting donations with money, things, products, which were clothed in various forms: lace collections, subscription lists, lotteries and bazaars, and numerous cultural events. The dates of the All-Russian charity meetings were communicated to the governors in advance, and they themselves gave permission to hold charity events at the local level.
The local press informed the residents about the dates of the mass charity events, reported on their results, explained what the collected money would be spent on, posted on their pages of thanks that received material and moral support.
The editors, moreover, acted as mediators, collecting donations from citizens for their transfer to charitable organizations. All class societies collected merchants, noblemen, petty-bourgeois, peasant volost assemblies for the “needs of the war”. Rural societies drew up sentences on donations of bread from the army to the active army. During the war years, the organizational side of charity changed, which resulted primarily in the mass approximation of the “philistine” to participate in charitable activities, which became an important component of the social life of the war period.
Part of the daily life of Russian citizens during the war period were prayers and processions for the glory of Russian weapons, commemoration of fallen soldiers. Thus, regarding the capture of the Austrian cities of Lviv and Galich in August 1914 by the Russian army, gubernias held religious processions with “thanksgiving prayers for giving victory to the Russian arms and health to the Sovereign, Supreme Commander, the entire ruling house and the All-Russian victorious army”.
Mass expression of the involvement of the rear to the events at the front were congratulatory messages to the emperor, members of the imperial family, the Supreme Commander, soldiers of the active army, deputies of the State Duma expressing loyal feelings, congratulations on the victories won. They were directed both by individuals and organizations, institutions, village and parish assemblies, church members, artisan groups, workers, etc.
The performance of the national anthem was accompanied by film shows, concerts and theatrical performances. A typical example is a performance in favor of families called up for war, organized by 24 on August 1914 by amateur artists from one of the county towns of the Russian Empire - Mosalsk, Kaluga province. Before the start, the local police officer addressed the public with a speech in which he told "about the latest victories of our valiant troops in Galicia." "Hurray to the emperor!" Was picked up by those present. Then the united choir of singing Mosalsk and the village of Ivonina several times sang a hymn, and the audience each time proclaimed “Hurray!” At the end. The hall was decorated with the national flags of the Allied powers, Japan and "heroic" Belgium. Sale of flowers, flags and badges for the right to smoke was arranged. Popular was the assignment of the names of famous military leaders to various institutions whose activities were related to the needs of defense.
Events on the fronts worried everyone in Russia. The press, focusing on the existing mood, tried to provide information of interest to the population with maximum efficiency.
Periodical press was crucial in shaping public opinion. Since 90's XIX century. among the newspapers dominated daily, published by private funds, which touched upon issues that had significance for millions of “new readers” from the working and peasant environment. In addition, in each province there appeared at least 2 official periodicals - these are provincial and diocesan statements. Newspapers were subscribed not only by the townspeople, but also by the rural and volost administrations, the rural clergy and individual peasants. In terms of the number and circulation of newspapers and magazines, Russia was not inferior to such European powers as England, France and Germany. Since the beginning of the First World War, the circulation of almost all newspapers increased 2 – 3 times. Newspapers were bought for 1 – 2 hours. The current events of the war, named in the press by the Second Patriotic War, immediately became its main theme. "Provincial Gazette" regularly printed lists of dead, wounded and missing local natives.
With the beginning of the war, the government deemed it expedient to evict enemy subjects and Germans of Russian citizenship from the front-line areas to the rear provinces. A significant part of the population believed that ethnic Germans want to defeat Russia. Thus, in the rear provinces, the workers did not want to see them at industrial enterprises, and the employees in trade establishments, and the peasants observed the same attitude towards the Germans, who managed the estates.
In 1914, a wave of renames of cities, streets, trading establishments and the replacement of German surnames with Russians swept across the country.
Beneficial to the Germans, i.e. hostile, the population considered the anti-war agitation of the left-radical elements, and the agitators as German spies. For this reason, attempts to provoke violations of public order during military appeals in 1914 by local representatives of the Bolshevik Party, whose plans included the unleashing of a civil war in Russia, were unsuccessful. Since the beginning of the war, the socialists tried to use the tactics of propagating revolutionary ideas in the so-called “legal” way, i.e. using a rostrum of authorized non-political organizations. However, their very first performance there usually became the last, not finding a response from the members of these organizations. At that time, people responded completely to other initiatives related to the collection of funds for military needs, with the organization of hospitals for sick and wounded soldiers.
Thus, the majority of the Russian population from the very beginning of the war, realizing the colossal scope of the armed struggle and responding to the call of the authorities, considered it their duty to participate in the common cause of overcoming the enemy. The province has become the main source of replenishment of the army’s human, food and material resources. In addition, the patriotism of the population found its expression in mass charitable activities in favor of the defenders of the fatherland, who were in the ranks of the troops, their families, wounded and sick soldiers.