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Was it the Failures of the Provisional Government or the skills of Lenin that enabled the Bolsheviks to take control in 1917?

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Introduction

Was it the Failures of the Provisional Government or the skills of Lenin that enabled the Bolsheviks to take control in 1917? In 1917 the Russian Tsar Nicolas II abdicated leaving the Provisional Government in charge. However the provisional government were no better than the Tsar and Russia's economy continued to decline. Later that year in October 1917 the Bolsheviks seized power from the Provisional Government led by Kerensky. Some historians see the revolution as a united working class led by Lenin but others see this as inevitable due to the failings of the Provisional Government. Source H says it was the failing of the Provisional Government and it appears to give a clear account mentioning lots of well known problems. ...read more.

Middle

Source G also shows that the Provisional Government was weak as it describes the widespread desertion. The Russian officer says "for hundreds of miles one can see deserters" who are in "high spirits, certain they will not be punished" as "authority and obedience no longer exists" The officer is likely to be lying as it is an official letter to the Provisional government and not a piece of propaganda. So far the sources have clearly indicated that it is the failure of the Provisional Government that allowed the Bolsheviks to take control unlike the next two sources which say it was also the weakness of the Provisional Government but this time indirectly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source D appears to give a balanced view of the events which says that Lenin "had a greater impact on the course [of the revolution] than anyone else" though "great changes are not brought by individuals". He also says that there were "other mighty factors at work in Russia in 1917" such as the Provisional Governments inability to solve Russia's problems. Source K also appears to give a balanced viewpoint despite the fact it was written by Trotsky who was one of the leaders of the Bolshevik party. Trotsky's account makes it look like that Lenin was the person who did most the work and worked out how to take over Petrograd. He does however admit that the Bolsheviks only had to mount two small machine guns because of the lack of resistance from the Provisional Government. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mitul Patel 5P ...read more.

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