How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall?

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How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall?

   The Provisional Government was implemented after the fall of the Tsarist regime due to the February revolution; this in itself posed issues for the government. As it hadn’t been voted for it lacked credibility and power outside of cities, the question of whether to continue the war still stood alongside how to deal with the remaining political opposition – the Bolsheviks. So was the government always going to fail or was it due to choices made its Prime ministers like Kerensky?

   With the implementation of the provisional government came several issues that still needed addressing by whoever was to take charge, the most important on which was whether Russia would remain in the war or withdraw. Most Russian workers favored withdrawal as the war was placing a strain on the already damaged Russian economy as food and supplies were prioritized to be sent to the frontlines first to feed soldiers, the workers got what little remained which eventually led to peasants beginning to hide grain when it was requisitioned. However, the PG chose to remain in the war this led to wide unpopularity allowing the Bolsheviks the gain even higher favor amongst workers and peasants, as their slogan ‘Peace, Land and Bread’ gave them an alternative to the PG. This could have been avoided if the PG had eradicated food shortages within the cities, thereby reducing a sizable portion of support for the Bolsheviks. However, had the PG decided to withdraw from the war to begin with it would have caused loans and support from allies to have been removed crippling Russian economy. This shows that no matter what the decision was the PG could not get a favorable outcome.

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   The PG also inherited the soviets, the largest of which being the Petrograd Soviet which was dominated by Bolsheviks by September 1917. The Petrograd soviet used the power it held after the revolution to institute changes, the main one being ‘order number one’ which allowed soldiers to choose their Generals and meant that any military action taken by the PG must be first approved by the Petrograd soviet. Therefore giving them significant power as they now have final rule of the course of action to take on issues which arose, showing that the PG had little power over what ...

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