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

    Trotsky also founded the Military Revolutionary Committee which developed into an organisation that would defend Russia from counter-revolutions, as well as German invasion. By the time of revolution in 1917, Kerensky's Provisional Government had lost all of its credibility and this in turn led to the lack of support for the Provisional Government.

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

    the years 1918 to 1924 seem to generally have more of an atmosphere of just getting things done and changes made. The main goal of Lenin and his followers in 1917 was to get the Bolsheviks into government. There were long-term goals such as those outlined in the April Theses

  1. 'In the context of the period 1715-1815 to what extent were economic factors the ...

    Only the violent Jacobins taking power eventually led to its abolition. Though Burke conceded the presence of Enlightenment ideology as a factor in the minds of the revolutionaries, he doubted its importance as the determining factor in the outcome of French Revolution.

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

    Trotsky does concede that the terror increased in stature daily, but he attributes this to Stalin's attitude by saying 'Stalin is like a man who tries to quench his thirst with salted water'19 A number of those who knew Stalin personally look to his persona to explain the Purges.

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

    It was an inexhaustible supply. The USSR even used Penal Armies with berserkers, who the Nazis were terrified of, and even People?s Militias were used. The USSR had superior tanks, the T-34, and superior planes, the MIG?s. The USSR were also well organised and had better tactics.

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

    Russia had already lost millions in the war and morale and discontent in the army was high. Economically, it crippled Russia and caused transport chaos and ultimately shortages of food in the cities, leading to discontent. Similarly, the Kerensky Offensive and the debacle of the Milukov telegram that contradicted the

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

    This idea led to Communism, which during Stalin?s rule became the form of government for the Soviet Union. Not only the Soviet Union made use of the ideology, but also widespread countries like Cuba, North Korea, and China adopted the Communist form of government.

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