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

Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in October 1917?

Extracts from this document...


Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in October 1917? The main reason that the Bolsheviks were able to seize power was because of the Provisional Government and their weaknesses, and other factors that led to them taking power in October 1917. A major problem with the Provisional Government was that many people did not trust it as they believed it lacked legitimacy as it was not elected, and also put off elections for the constituent assembly until late. Also as it was a temporary body it could not make decisions for the long-term future of Russia, these decisions were left to the Constituent Assembly, this means people would have thought that the Provisional Government was not very useful. Another reason why it would have been seen to be useless was because the real power was held by the soviet. Also on decisions that it could make divisions between the socialist and liberals meant that there was a lack of clear policies as the groups often voted against each other. ...read more.


This meant that Military Officers would not fight for him as they felt he had betrayed Kornilov he might try and betray them. This was a strike of luck for the Bolsheviks, who emerged as heroes and were also now equipped with weapons given to them by Kerensky to fight Kornilov. Kerensky underestimated the Bolsheviks and moved against them in October. This gave them an excuse to seize power, it increased their popularity and allowed them to claim they were seizing power in the name of the soviet. The Bolsheviks became directly linked with opposition to the Provisional Government, the other socialist party's had been identified with the discredited Provisional Government. Their policies were what the workers and soldiers wanted, their slogan Peace, Bread and All Power to the Soviets was exactly what they wanted. Also the Bolsheviks were the only party that wanted to stop the war, this greatly increased their popularity. ...read more.


The military and Economic collapse created an opportunity which the Bolsheviks seized. The army was weak and many were starving. The radicalised workers who favoured soviet power supported the Bolsheviks as they were using the image of the soviets. Also as Kerensky underestimated them this meant the take over was relatively easy. The Bolsheviks had their greatest number of supporters around Petrograd and Moscow, particularly soldiers and sailors. This meant that the takeover of these key points would be made possible. Although only a small minority of the Petrograd garrison supported the Bolsheviks, the majority of the soldiers refused to oppose them and remained neutral - this guarantied the Bolsheviks success as they had less opposition from the army. All the factors play an important role - the problems of the Provisional Government, Bolshevik strengths, weaknesses of other parties and luck. However I think that the problems of the Provisional Government were the main reason the Bolsheviks could seize power, as they now only had to fight an enemy that was weak, both in supporters and in the military. ...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?

    He announced a New Economic Policy at the Tenth Party Congress in March 1921. This policy allowed peasants to sell surplus food and make profit and people were allowed to own small businesses again. Money became trusted again as a way of paying.

  2. Why did the Bolsheviks seize power in 1917?

    to take the action that was needed to continue with the war or to crush the revolutionary parties. He attempted to seize power by ordering the army he commanded to march to Petrograd and take control of the city. This however failed.

  1. "Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in Oct/Nov of 1917

    Dual-power with the Petrograd Soviet was also a weakness as many things, such as the armed forces, were controlled by the Soviet, not the government.

  2. Did Kerensky hand over power to the Bolsheviks?

    By September 1917 the countryside was turning into a battlefield, violent revolts from the peasants against estates were not a new phenomenon but a persistent threat to authority that was overlooked by the Provisional Government. Kerensky had to stop promising land and actually give them land; he could not continue to treat peasants like fools.

  1. How and why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in October 1917?

    The people would now respect and welcome the Bolsheviks more after such a promise. After the Lenin was allowed to return he could now create propaganda and recruit more people into the Bolsheviks, and say that he would do all the things that the provisional government had failed to do.

  2. Account for the factors which lead to the Bolshevik's coming to power in October ...

    This was much more favourable to germany and only did not end up in russia feeling humiliated because it got overtuned nearly in the same year. This was a mean of maintaining power because through the now established, at least "external" peace would give the possibility to concentrate on internale

  1. Lenin's leadership was the main reason why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power ...

    This boosted the popularity of the Bolsheviks as the only party opposed to the Government and consequently the Bolsheviks dominated the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets. Once the Bolshevik plans to seize power were revealed, Kerensky tried to close Bolshevik newspapers and restrict the power of the Military Revolutionary Committee but it was too late.

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

    He saw the promises to end the war, to give land to the people and ensure adequate food supplies provided the useful rallying cry of ?peace, land and bread? and to give ?All Power to the Soviets? which was spread through the Bolshevik newspaper, ?Pravda?.

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