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

Why Was The Provisional Government Unable To Stay In Power?

Extracts from this document...


Why Was The Provisional Government Unable To Stay In Power? Following the abdication of the Tsar in March 1917, the 4th Duma formed themselves into a Provisional Government. It only intended to stay in power until elections could be held. However it faced enormous problems and in November 1917, a second revolution took place. This revolution removed the Provisional Government and installed the Bolsheviks in power. To begin with a liberal politician called Prince Lvov led the Provisional Government, but in July a young left-wing lawyer called Kerensky replaced him. On 4th April (16th March) 1917 the Provisional Government announced a number of reforms, which they had agreed on with the Petrograd Soviet. These included: a political amnesty for all political prisoners, free speech and freedom to strike and join a trade union, an eight hour working day was guaranteed, The death penalty was abolished, Finland and Poland were promised eventual independence, equality for all, regardless of class, religion or nationality and a Constituent Assembly, elected by universal suffrage and a secret ballot which was called to determine the new constitution. As a result of the amnesty, Lenin with the help of the Germans and many others exiled Bolsheviks were able to return to Russia. One of the main reasons for the fall of the Provisional Government was its failure to end the war. ...read more.


be needed to bring the proletariat to power, the people must be given bread, no support for the Provisional Government, the abolishment of the police and army and for the State to own all the land. The Bolsheviks were a highly organised party with units of people within the Petrograd factories, the army garrison and army units at the front. Within Petrograd and under the leadership of Trotsky (who later became the leader of the Petrograd Soviet they formed their own groups of armed men called the Red Guard. They had their own newspaper called the Pravda, which Stalin played a key role in running. The Bolsheviks had a major role in Petrograd Soviet and then in September they took control of it. The Bolsheviks had a very appealing slogan, which was Bread, Peace, Land and all power to the Soviets. This slogan became very popular in the summer of 1917. The "Bread" stood for the need to feed the growing population of Petrograd, the word "Peace" became very powerful after the failure of Kerensky's June offensive and the threat of the German naval force to Petrograd. The "Land" was for: in the countryside where there was a widespread breakdown of law and order as peasants took control of their land from the aristocratic landlords who they worked for. ...read more.


Then the cruiser "Aurora" sailed up the River Neva and shelled the Provisional Government who were in the Winter Palace. By the 8th November the Winter Palace and the railway stations to the north were captured. Fortunately the Bolsheviks met no significant opposition in Petrograd and the coup was almost bloodless, only six soldiers were killed at the Winter Palace, but Kerensky escaped. The reasons for the Bolshevik's success included: in many respects they were fortunate due to the mistakes of the Provisional Government and Lenin made sure that they took advantage of these mistakes. The appeal of Bolshevism and Lenin's slogan "Peace, Bread, Land" brought support while Lenin ensured the timing of the revolution was just right. The main reasons were the careful Bolshevik preparations, under Trotsky and the strategy used to seize the key points in Petrograd. In conclusion the Provisional Government had been unable to deal effectively with the problems facing Russia. They had failed to end the war, to solve the food and fuel shortages, to solve the problem of land and to call a Constituent Assembly. They had not convinced the Russian people that they had gained anything from the February/March revolution. In addition and perhaps more importantly, they failed to recognise and appreciate the real nature of the threat presented by the Bolsheviks under Lenin (a superb organiser and dynamic leader) and Trotsky (a brilliant planner and thrilling speaker. ...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 ...

    They wanted a newly elected government within Russia, which did not happen. They failed to introduce the new reforms to the political system and they were acting more like a dictatorship than a dual authority with the Petrograd Soviets. They were similar to the Tsarist autocracy and the Russian public were discontented.

  2. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    The Bolshevik stand on peasant issues was actually quite complex and detailed, but it was this key feature which was repeatedly emphasized by Lenin in his speeches and articles. The success of Bolshevik agitation among the peasantry is rather difficult to measure, since it is impossible to know what percentage of the peasant population was ever exposed to Bolshevik propaganda.

  1. Did Kerensky hand over power to the Bolsheviks?

    His ugly patriotic spirit however stopped the Provisional government's survival; he said it would make him responsible for Russia's national humiliation. With hindsight we know that if Kerensky had accepted peace with Germany the Bolsheviks probably would never have come to power, but it is understandable why the June Offensive was implemented.

  2. The Hidden Facets of Bolshevism - Friends and Foes of the Working Class.

    When one thinks of Lenin and his place in the Russian Revolution, one is reminded of Paul Johnson's account of a statue which, until the late fall of 1918, stood proudly before the entrance to the train station in Petrograd.

  1. Outline the distinctive features of the major political groups vying for power in Russia ...

    As such I think the provisional government's policies were based on that of the liberal movement. The soviets were made up of representatives from the Mensheviks, Bolsheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries and were basically Councils of workers, soldiers and peasants (in the countryside)

  2. The enormous role that Trotsky played in the success of the Bolsheviks up until ...

    Although the terms of Brest Litovsk Treaty were very harsh, the terms would have to be met. The Russian people were tired of war and Lenin feared that whilst the war was going on the Russian people would not be open to revolution and change.

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