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The Provisional Government.

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History essay on the Provisional Government The Provisional Government had attempted to keep its power over Russian affairs during the trouble that followed the abdication of the tsar in February 1917, and as events would show, they were largely unsuccessful in doing so. This may have been because of Kerensky's mistakes, the government's lack of political power, or its failure to solve the problems of Russia's peasant majority. The Bolsheviks were quick to take advantage of time of weakness, although whether or not they succeeded because the Provisional Government failed needs to be assessed. The primary weakness of the Provisional Government was that it was essentially powerless. Primarily this was because the government was simply a 'provisional' one, meant only as a temporary solution until the revolution had run its course. When the Soviet drew up Order Number 1 in March 1917, it effectively limited the power that the government could have upon the Russian people. The Soviet held the power over the troops; the railroads, post and telegraphs, and the Provisional Government could do little to prevent such political domination. ...read more.


By attempting to send some units of the Petrograd garrison to the front, the government made situations worse, eventually escalating to chaotic desertions of army garrisons. Paradoxically, the Provisional Government had rallied the offensive in the war in order to create a sense of 'civic patriotism' that hopefully would end the conflict and bring peace to Russia. The Provisional Government failed to solve much of the issues that racked the nation, especially the ever-present problem of lack of food and the redistribution of the land that the peasants wanted. In this way the Bolshevik party appealed to the masses, using attractive slogans such as 'Peace, Bread and Land!' and 'All Power to the Soviets!' Whether or not they would fulfil their promises meant little as long as there was a hope that things would improve. Kerensky proved to be no better at handling the decisive decisions that were required of his leadership. He had been called as the national hero who would be able to bring together the country and stop the drift towards civil war, but his vanity and alter ego as Napoleon Bonaparte hardly fit his description of himself as the 'hostage of democracy' that he was sometimes called. ...read more.


The Provisional Government made no real attempt to control the power of the Soviets, although it could be argued that by the time they realized the stuff that was going on, they no longer had any means to control such an example of civil disobedience. The Provisional Government was almost another reminder of the Tsar in the way that it was so incapable of solving the problems that Russia faced that so desperately needed attention. It would not be false to say the popularity of the Bolshevik party largely depended on what the Provisional Government did. The Provisional Government's weaknesses and failures increased appeal for the Bolsheviks, especially since the other socialist parties became identified with the Provisional Government. However, it cannot be right to argue that it was only the mistakes of the Provisional Government that brought the October Revolution (and the government's demise) about. The Bolsheviks had strengths and favourable factors that allowed it to maximize its advantage over the other socialist parties and over the Provisional Government. The role of Lenin in the party was crucial-his leadership proved very important amongst the unruly days of the Bolshevik rising. D.Shears ...read more.

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