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How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall

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Introduction

How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall? Although there are many reasons for the failure of the provisional government, such as the fact they had to share power with the soviets. Their decision to continue fighting in the First World War was the most important because of this they lost support from the people and more importantly, from the armed forces, who they relied on to defend them. Therefore you could say that to an extent the Provisional Government was responsible for its own downfall. The biggest problem facing the failure of the Provisional Government was the First World War, Russia had already lost territory in Poland and morale within the armed forces was low. The continuation of the First World War meant that the Provisional Government lost support of the people. There were many within the provisional government who believed that Russia had a duty to stay in the war. Additionally Russia owed large amounts of money in foreign loans, and the British and French banks were willing to continue loaning money as long as Russia continued fighting, therefore influencing the Provisional Government to continue with war. ...read more.

Middle

In February 1917 the Provisional Government shared political power with the soviets; this meant that major areas of policy had to be agreed by both. The Provisional Government remained a liberal body however the soviets were dominated by left wing groups. The fact that the Soviets had introduced 'Order number 1' meant all army officers had to be elected by their own troops, therefore unpopular or enthusiastic officers were dismissed, undermining the authority of the officers. This Order states that military orders of the Provisional Government would only be recognised if they were agreed by the Soviet. This tipped the balance of power away from the Provisional Government as the Soviet had effective control of the army, because of this the provisional government asked for help from the Bolsheviks. This made the Provisional Government seem weak and additionally made the Bolsheviks popular and they took control of the Soviets. A significant factor contributing to the downfall of the Provisional Government is their inability to tackle land reforms. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore you could also say it was due to Lenin that the Provisional Government collapsed. The Kornilov Affair brought about a fatal blow to the position of the Provisional Government; Kerensky panicked and feared that Kornilov was planning a military takeover, when in fact Kornilov was more concerned about a radical left-wing plot against the government. Kerensky ordered his arrest and armed groups of workers in the capital; many of the Bolsheviks were also released from prison. The fact that Kerensky had relied on the Bolsheviks made them look strong and set them up as defenders of Petrograd, the Provisional Government then lost most of its authority by October 1917. Therefore the Provisional Government can be seen as responsible for its own downfall. In Conclusion the failure of the Provisional Government was due to a wide variety of reasons, such as poor leadership, in particular by Kerensky, and sharing power with the Soviet. However I believe that the Provisional Government was responsible for their downfall as it was their decision to continue fighting in the First World War, which was the main reason for the failure of the Provisional Government. ...read more.

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