To what extent did the failures of the Provisional Government cause the November 1917 Revolution?

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October/November 1917 Russian Revolution.

To what extent did the failures of the Provisional Government cause the November 1917 Revolution?

    The aim of this investigation is to determine if the failures of the Provisional Government caused the November 1917 Revolution or not. Failure, in this case, is the condition of not satisfying the requests of Russian people. Background knowledge will be included in the essay.

   By abdicating in March 1917, Tsar Nicholas II marked the end of Tsarism in Russia, and the setup of a Provisional Government, a self-proclaimed liberal form of government, with Prince Lvov as Prime Minister  for only 4 months. In July 1917, he was replaced by Alexander Kerensky. At the same time, a council was created; the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

   The new government failed to win support among the different groups who had taken part in the March Revolution and the rest of Russian people from the start due to different reasons. The first and probably most considerable failure of the Provisional government was its decision to continue with the First World War, which had started in 1914. The war had worsened Russia’s already military, social and economic crisis; soldiers had few supplies if at all, munitions were scarce, their health had deteriorated due to freezing temperatures and tiredness, while Russia itself had been a victim of shortages of raw material, fuel and food, increasing inflation, lagging wages, diseases and deaths. And economically, Russian war expenditure from 1914 to 1917 had been of 22,293,950,000 dollars. Therefore, the decision to keep on fighting such a war implied an even more crippled Russia and an angrier population, two factors which favoured Bolshevism. In addition to this, the Government’s failure to keep its promises of calling for elections in order to debate the creation of a Constituent Assembly (parliament), and making land reform, made people’s unrest increase.

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Another aspect which encouraged the growth of a Bolshevik Russia was the June Offensive, a war strategy planned by Kerensky, increased people’s unrest, distrust of the Provisional government, and support of Bolshevism. He commanded the Russian Army to attack the Austro-German force, but the Germans and Austrians easily counterattacked, showing the defective Russian offensive. This left the weakening of the Russian Army in evidence, showing as well the military and political negligence of the Provisional Government. As a result of the army’s failure, Kerensky appointed General Kornilov as Army Commander in Chief.

    The July Days was another issue which showed ...

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