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

It was the weakness of the provisional government that brought the October revolution about rather than the strength of the Bolsheviks. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

It was the weakness of the provisional government that brought the October revolution about rather than the strength of the Bolsheviks. Do you agree? The revolution of 1917 saw the fall of the Tsar and his system of autocracy. A Provisional government was set up, consisting of the Tsar's former members of the Duma or representative assembly. This government was only in power for a few months. At first sight it may seem that it was the strength of the Bolsheviks and Lenin that brought the downfall of the provisional government. However, on closer inspection one can see that it was a combination of the Bolsheviks strength and decisive actions coupled with the weaknesses of the provisional government that led to its demise. During 1917 the political system of Russia, and the political opinions of its public, had begun to change. The First World War was taking its toll with the casualties running into millions and food shortages reaching crisis levels all across Russia. Presided over by the Provisional Government, who had little support and even less real power, the people of Russia became restless. In October, the animosity between Government and populace came to a head, and a revolution put Lenin's socialist Bolshevik party in power. ...read more.

Middle

These protests were poorly organised, many Bolsheviks were in disagreement, undecided as to what to do; wait or support the demonstrations. This lack of organisation resulted in blood shed and the Bolsheviks lost much support. Kerensky took the opportunity to "blacken the Bolshevik name", to attack the Bolsheviks credibility, thus increasing the power of the provisional government. The Bolsheviks soon hit back however, they were permitted to reenter Russia in order to defeat General Kornilov. The provisional government was simply too weak to prevent Kornilov from taking control of Petrograd. The Bolsheviks defeated Kornilov; they were now seen as heroes by the people making them stronger than ever. The provisional government's reaction to this was to attempt to ban the party, an extremely bad move as this greatly reduced its already diminishing support. Instead of the desired effect, the destruction of the party, it meant they received support and popularity grew. The Kerensky offensive and the Kornilov affair were two of the Provisional Governments worst mistakes. After the Kerensky offensive it became clear that not only was the Government ignoring Russia's pleas for peace, but that they were making military decisions rashly and incompetently, at the expense of Russian men. In an attempt to pacify some of its adversaries, the Provisional Government also made a series of blunders that drastically backfired. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kerensky fled to the American Embassy and then to Europe, Russia was finally in the hands of the Bolsheviks. By 27th October 1917, after just four days, an all-Bolshevik Council of People's Commissars was in place, with Lenin as chairman. Although the Bolsheviks' public support, Lenin's appealing manifesto and strong leadership were important factors in the Bolshevik's success, their main advantage was Lenin's determination to seize the opportunity that he saw before him. The Bolshevik's had missed a number of opportunities in previous months; October may well have been their last chance if Lenin's prediction of the election's outcome was correct. It was the failings of the Provisional Government, rather than solely the appeal of the Bolsheviks, that provided this opportunity, had the Provisional Government not been so appalling in its leadership, the Constituent Assembly elections would have taken place as planned, and the Bolsheviks would have remained a marginal party in the Congress of Soviets. The Bolsheviks successfully capitalised on the Government's diminishing power and support, this should not be denied as an achievement. However, as has been shown, their success was due as much to opportunity and luck, and the failings of the Provisional Government, as to the Bolshevik Party's power itself. In 1917 almost every person in Russia knew that change needed to happen quickly. The Bolsheviks were the result of that change because they saw the opportunity to exploit the situation. Tom Wallis 12WH ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. "The Provisional Government was overthrown because it decided to continue fighting in World War ...

    This meant Socialist Revolutionaries were free to criticize the Provisional Government and spread their ideas. This is exactly what they did, aiming their ideas towards the army. The Provisional government needed to control the armed forces, especially during such an important war.

  2. Was the Provisional Government doomed to failure?

    down by the Constituent Assembly and they wanted landowners to be compensated. They were also concerned that a free-for-all would lead to the disintegration of the army as peasant soldiers rushed back to claim their land. This seemed a reasonable position, except to the peasants, who began taking more and

  1. Comparing the German and Russian systems of government

    'The Chancellor determines the government's policies and carries out the law. Therefore the Chancellor is the most important figure in German politics.'2 The only political roles played by the Germany president is the appointing or dismissing of officials and the signing of treaties or laws, but these are only done on the say-so of the chancellor.

  2. Was the Provisional Government fatally weakened from the first? Notes

    meetings in the Soviet, while all parties, apart from the Bolsheviks and monarchists, were represented in the Provisional Government during the early weeks. As the year wore on and the problems mounted, the Provisional Government moved increasingly to the right, and the Soviet increasingly to the left.

  1. Was the collapse of the provisional government inevitable

    this dogged refusal to end the war was in spite of strong evidence of growing support in the country for the Bolshevik party and its slogans, "land, bread, and peace". The collapse of the provisional government by the Bolshevik-led Soviets on November 7, 1917.

  2. Was the provisional government doomed to failure from the beginning

    Still in exile he wrote to the Bolsheviks commanding them to send an army to take power. Lenin knew that the opportunity needed to be taken as the elections were looming and once they had taken place it would be also harder to take power as the population would be

  1. How far do you agree that it was Cavour's diplomacy rather that Garibaldi's ideas ...

    hand, Liberal enthusiasts such as Carlo Tivaroni praise Garibaldi for his ability to learn from his mistakes on the battlefield. In 1848 Garibaldi was defeated by the French whilst valiantly defending Rome, by 1860 he can be observed carrying out miracles of both strategy and tactics.

  2. Summary of the Causes of the 1905 Revolution.

    Its roots lay with the peasantry and their interest in land redistribution to solve the problem of land hunger, but by 1901 under Chernov, the party began to attract the support of the industrial working class (the proletariats). The terrorist left of the party (Left SRs)

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