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Russia, 1905 - 1917, The Causes of Revolutionary Change. Using your knowledge of the events of 1917 (March - November) explain why the Provisional Government failed to hold on to power.

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Introduction

GCSE History Coursework Russia, 1905 - 1917, The Causes of Revolutionary Change Q2. Using your knowledge of the events of 1917 (March - November) explain why the Provisional Government failed to hold on to power. In February of 1917, an assortment of workers that totalled a number exceeding 200,00 came en masse to launch a strike on the Tsar's palace in Petrograd. In return, the Tsar ordered his troops to use force against the strikers; they refused, as they would be fighting against their own people. After over three hundred years of rule, the Tsarist system had finally come to a climax, leaving the Tsar with one possible option, which was to renounce his powers. However, the common thought was that the lower classes of society led to the abdication of the Tsar, but the higher members of society had pushed and cornered him into his final abdication. The legacy of the Tsarist system had finally come to a crashing end, in which Tsar Nicholas II left the country knowing of his unpopularity with the Russian people and fled into exile. There was not a single reason why the Provisional Government failed to hold on to power. There was not a single reason why they fell from power, but there was a combination of bad decisions that they made about what to do with the Russian economy. There were also decisions that they could have taken, which would've made them successful and kept them in power, but chose not to, which also contributed to their failure to hold on to power. ...read more.

Middle

The Russian people now started to take advice from their local Soviet, instead of the Provisional Government. When Lenin had come back from exile in Switzerland, he came back through Germany on board the 'sealed train'. The sealed train was sealed by the Germans, so that the Russians wouldn't think that he hadn't had any German influences. They were keen to allow Lenin to travel through Germany, as they knew that he would cause trouble when he reached Russia. Lenin caused disruptions in Russia when he reached there. The first words that he said when he finally reached Petrograd was 'All power to the Soviets'. He delivered a speech called the April Thesis, in which he called for a 'fresh revolution' to take place. This was one where conditions would actually improve, and more Russian people would be happy, not just the aristocracy. He wanted a revolution that would transfer power from the capitalist middle and upper classes to the lower classes that included the peasants and urban workers. Lenin criticised the Provisional Government saying that 'The Kerensky Government was revolutionary in name only. They promise bread, but the speculators still hold it'. This meant that the revolution that had taken place not long ago was one that didn't change anything, Russia was still being ruled badly. Starvation was still a prominent problem in the cities, land was not available to the peasants who need it, and the country was still at war with Germany, and not even succeeding at the war effort either. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Provisional Government made a great number of mistakes during their very short rule of Russia. They did not exercise enough authority over the people who opposed them, such as the various newly legalised political parties. The Provisional Government failed to remedy the starvation that was plaguing the city streets of Russia, and failed to take hold of the hyper-inflation that was gripping the country. The Provisional Government failed to win over the biggest social group of the country, the peasants, who demanded that they should be given land, but they were refused. They also failed to improve the urban working conditions. But the biggest flaw that led to their downfall was that they did not stop the war. If they had stopped the war, then there would not have been such starvation in the cities; people would have to work shorter hours as they were not trying to supply the war effort; there would not have been a shortage of goods, so hyper-inflation would not have taken place. This one, crucial factor was the main reason why the Provisional Government did not succeed, but interlocked with several others, so that circumstances were not favourable for them. The Provisional Government was only supposed to be a temporary ruling body until something more formal was elected to rule the country. The Provisional Government was only supposed to have a short life-span, and that's exactly what it had due to problems that could've easily been remedied, and were not. The potential for success was there, but it was not harnessed effectively. Pratik Vats 10T ...read more.

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