• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was the continuation of the First World War the main reason for the overthrow of the Provisional government in the October revolution?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐History essay: To what extent was the continuation of the first world war the main reason for the overthrow of the provisional government in the October revolution. The overthrow of the provisional government was undoubtedly a direct effect of its own political weakness. While the importance of other factors leading to the revolution , such as the continuation of the first world war, should not be discarded as having no impact; ultimately the provisional Governments downfall was primarily the effect of its own incompetence. The Bolsheviks strength and popularity among the soviets, created a power strong enough to exploit the weakness within the provisional government and preempted the October revolution. The Bolshevik party enjoyed a huge growth throughout 1917, membership rose from 24,000 in February to 340,000 in October, providing the power needed to launch a successful campaign and create a domino effect of increasing support. The result of these high numbers resulted in the Bolsheviks being able to exploit the power vacuum created in October 1917. Miliukov; the Kadet leader at the time, stated, ?They knew where they were going, and they went in the direction which they had chosen.? The Bolsheviks had clear aims and direction, which the other parties lacked. ...read more.

Middle

However while Lenin's leadership was important in meaning the Bolsheviks were in the right position to take over in October; the situation at the time ,crucial in the Bolshevik's rise to power, would not have arose, if not for the continuation of the first world war and the weakness of the provisional government. The continuation of the first world was a critical mistake made by the Provisional Government which caused a snowball effect of events leading to the October revolution. The war was very unpopular among many groups in the Russian society, causing loss of morale as well as economic and social hardship. However the Provisional Government underestimated the negative feelings towards the war effort. They still believed that if they could win the war, they would gain the support of the Russian people. Moreover the Government wanted to honor its international obligations with the Allied countries-- Britain and France; If Russia had backed out of the war it would no longer have received the supplies and war credits being sent from the western allies. Tsardom had left the country on the verge of bankruptcy, meaning no Government could have kept control without the large injections of capital from abroad. ...read more.

Conclusion

As their name stated, they were 'provisional'. It was not an elected body, consequently it lacked legitimate authority. Therefore it did not have a constitutional claim to throne and it would be judged by the people on how it dealt with the country's problems; which it had failed to do in the time it was in power. So when revolution broke out people did not run to their aid. However, had they held on to control until the planned November elections, then it would have legitimized the provisional government and the future of the Provisional Government may have turned out completely different. The final failure made by the Provisional Government was their lack of even trying to defend their authority. Instead of putting up a fight they accepted defeat and handed over control with barely a fuss. In conclusion, although the continuation of the war was a significant factor in the cause of the October revolution, it was in no way the main reason. In fact the continuation of the war is an example of how the Provisional Government was not competent or strong enough to rule Russia effectively. The Government failed to deal with the outstanding issues in the country and as a consequence lost support from their public and paved the way for the Bolsheviks and Lenin to take control. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. How important was Lenin to the success of the October 1917 Revolution?

    However, as in the revolution, it was Trotsky who actually carried out the actions against the Whites as he lead the Red Army but Lenin remained a significant figure as he was the one the people saw as their leader.

  2. How far was the First World War the main cause of the fall of ...

    This, combined with the effects or war, which generally brings people together, caused them to unite and call for his abdication, representing the built up of tensions that had been growing since Alexander III's counter reforms. If you combine the effects of both the impact of 1906-14 and the role

  1. To What Extent was Stalin's Personal Paranoia the Main Reason for the Purges?

    him 'everything would have fallen into pieces'20 Trotsky does tell some fairly gruesome stories of Stalin, which seem doubtful, he would apparently entertain himself at his country home by slitting sheep's throats.21 Kamenev also felt this fear surrounding his presence, as Trotsky quotes him as saying that when you talk

  2. Russia 1905-1941 'Explain how the unpopularity of the Provisional Government contributed to the Bolshevik ...

    Marx believed Russia would go through a capitalist period and a proletarian period, when a revolution would occur. These ideas from Marxism were popular with Russia's lower division of society, known by Marx as Proletariats, as they would have greater power and a better standard of living.

  1. The Bolsheviks were able to seize power in October 1917 mainly because of the ...

    The Provisional government failed to call a Constituent Assemble and deal with land reform, their implementation was poorly handled and often ineffective.

  2. Compare and Contrast the February and October Revolutions in Russia.

    In a letter to tzar Nicholas II, Rasputin wrote that if he would be killed by the tzar?s will then his entire family would be killed by the rioting public. Also, he predicted that entering the First World War would inevitably bring great grief to Russia.

  1. Lenins leadership was the main reason for the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in ...

    When the government was edging towards the imposition of martial law after the continued strikes and unrest in Petrograd, Kornilov moved to supress disturbance by moving his troops into Petrograd. Kerensky saw this as a threat and ordered his arrest.

  2. 'Stalin's leadership was the most significant reason for Soviet victory over Germany in the ...

    The GKO were able to bypass laws and helped organise the Battle of Moscow. Another organisation was Stavka, which was created just 2 days after German invasion. Stavka was key as it organised the army and battles/operations were planned; such as Operation Bagration.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work