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'The Bolsheviks succeeded only because the Provisional government failed to address the economic problems, and continued the war' discuss.

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Introduction

Russian Revolution: Summative Task 6 'The Bolsheviks succeeded only because the Provisional government failed to address the economic problems, and continued the war' discuss. Many factors contributed to the rise of the Bolsheviks. The Provisional Governments failure to address the nations economic problems and their refusal to remove Russia from the war were factors that contributed to this. But, on a whole many more issues and twists in fate contributed to the downfall of the Provisional Government and the rise of the Bolsheviks. This essay will explain the reasons for the Bolsheviks success, whether they are the faults on the behalf of the Provisional Government or planned strategies of the Bolshevik leaders. The Bolsheviks were made up of a strong group of leaders, strong meaning; smart, determine and very forceful. Their main uses of power were order, justice and force and that may have been a main reason for success. If the Petrograd Soviet were led by a group of revolutionaries who had the ideas for revolution, but not enough force, would the revolution have been a success? If they had the strength but had not acted at the correct time, would it have followed through? I would say no. The Bolsheviks had all the right qualities for a successful revolutionary party. With their membership exceeding 200, 000 by October 1917, they had the numbers. They had very effective slogans, such as "peace, bread and land" and "all power to the soviets". And, even after the July days, they stayed strong and seemed more determined than ever to make their revolution a reality. The key to this was their timing. Had Lenin and Trotsky been indecisive and left their attack to a later date, history may have taken a completely different turn. The Provisional Government was severely weakened from the February Revolution. The Provisional Government was not an elected body, it was a committee formed to rebel against the old duma. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, it lacked legitimate authority. It was to be judged on how well it dealt with the nations problems. The Provisional Government was not confident in itself, it was unsure of it's authority which gave the soviet greater distinction. The Provisional Government did also not have the control of the army, the Soviet and the Provisional Government together had to compromise. The two groups were able to do this for a short period of time, but their distinctions soon became clear and the agreed changes were not as prominent as the issues of the war and the land. These issues destroyed the partnership and created an unsteadiness amongst the Provisional Government. Rather than using the power the Provisional Government had, the government made wrong decisions that created their eventual downfall. The Provisional Government felt that if it did not continue to participate in the war, they would no longer receive the supplies and war-credits from the western allies on which it had come to rely on. The government became preoccupied with the war, preventing it to turn a blind eye to Russia's social and economical problems. In order to keep the nation alive, the government believed Russia had to stay in the war, but this proved to be destroying it's own chances of survival. This decision would not have mattered had the Russians been winning the war but with it's endless defeats, it was not a good idea. It was not that the provisional government did not have the power; it was their bad decisions that gradually decreased their power. Lenin and the Bolsheviks unlike the Provisional Government took into consideration that the peasants were at unrest due to the land shortages. This enabled the Bolsheviks to rise again after their initial fall and humiliation in the July days. To begin with neither the Bolsheviks or Provisional government could find an answer to the problems, until Lenin came up with the ultimate answer. ...read more.

Conclusion

He could not ignore the fact that the peasants made up four fifths of the population and that as a result of the Tsarist downfall, had proved to be a true revolutionary force. This enabled the Bolsheviks to gain more support in the countryside and effected other members of the Social Revolutionaries to align themselves with the Bolshevik Party on all major issues. The Kornilov affair was a major factor that enabled the Bolsheviks to rise again after their initial humiliation. When the provisional government realised that Kornilov was intent on removing the Provisional Government as well as the Soviet, they turned against him. Kornilov then sent an open telegram that stated that the Provisional Government was destroying the army and was undermining the very foundations of the country. In response to this, Kerensky called on all the Bolsheviks from prison or hiding who were willing to fight, to collect the weapons issued by the Provisional Government. This freak event enabled the Bolsheviks to prepare a take over of the Provisional Government. Kornilov was unable to send his army's to Petrograd as the railway workers refused to take them. Kornilov then allowed himself to be arrested. The Bolsheviks were then able to present themselves as defenders of Petrograd and the Revolution. Kerensky later admitted that the affair had been 'the prelude to the October Revolution'. The eventual revolution was carried out with very little hostility. There was some violence, but on a whole the revolution was merely an opportunity for the Bolsheviks to pick up power after it had been dropped. The Tsarist system had left Russian in mayhem and the Provisional Government was neither diverse enough nor strong enough to pick up the pieces to form a completely new Russia. The Bolsheviks were. The Bolsheviks did not succeed only because the Provisional Government failed to address the nations problems, but also because they made use of the opportunities they were given at the right times. Both of these aspects moulded effectively to form an extremely successful revolution. ...read more.

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