Area of Inquiry 3 & 4 The consolidation of power by the revolutionaries The internal and external threats and how they were dealt with
The Dual Authority: Feb 1917 – October 1917Was the Provisional Government fatally weakened from the outset? Dual government had two phases: Feb – April: generally worked together and supported by main revolutionary parties. 2nd phase: Lenin’s return in April to Oct 1917. a rivalry campaign that separated the Soviet and the Bolsheviks from Petrograd Soviet The Provisional Government led by Prince Lvov, was old duma in new form. All members of new government members of fourth Duma of 1912; wealthy landowners, nobles and freemasons Not an elected body Come into being as a rebellious body No constitutional claims nor loyalty of the people Its authority was weakened by association and splitting of power with Petrograd Soviet Kerensky
The Dual Authority: Actions to secure theRevolution • The Provisional Government and the Soviet considered the Revolution to be over • New liberty should not be able to slip into anarchy or that gains made be lost. • State authority • Centralised government • Moderate socialists dominated Soviet, all parties except Bolsheviks and monarchists represented in Provisional Government • As year wore on Soviet shifted to the left and the Prov Gov’t to the right • Early decisions and gains to secure the revolution • Amnesty for political prisoners • Recognition of trade unions • Eight hour day • Disbanding of Tsar’s police and new people’s militia formed • Civil and religious freedom • Commitment to Constituent Assembly (see Malone p.83)
The Petrograd Soviet Some individuals like Kerensky the SR leader, were members of both bodies. Soviet did not set out to be an alternative government. Saw its role as supervising the rights and interests of workers and soldiers were protected by the PG Soviet gained prominence due to the uncertainty of the Provisional Gov’t Soviets had sprung up in all major towns and cities in Russia and were to play an increasingly important role in the development of the Revolution. In early stages not opposed to Provisional Gov’t and had little Bolshevik influence. The Petrograd Soviet’s 1st Assembly March 2 1917: Soviet Order No.1: a decree to the PG that declared that any decision regarding military affairs must be approved by Soviet. Therefore PG did not have control of the army. (French Rev. New government did have control of the army)
External Pressures Dominant problem was the war. PG had no choice but to fight on. Needed foreign capital and supplies just to survive War had bankrupted Russia. PG’s preoccupation to the war prevented it from dealing with social and economic problems thus destroying its own chance of survival. Lenin’s plan was to end the war. Seen as a German spy. He and Bolsheviks heavily funded by Germans.
External Pressures cont’d The war continued to fare badly. Defeating the German’s was seen as vital in saving the revolution, yet Russia had gone beyond the point where it could wage a successful war. • Bolsheviks spread subversion and dissent amongst the troops. • Major June offensive in SW had failed • Mass desertions and mutinies • Call for army to be called back to crush subversives at home. • Kerensky appointed PM
The Failure ofProvisional Government Land and the war were not resolved and proved the undoing of the cooperation and led to the rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks It failed to consolidate the revolution The Provisional Government alienated both upper and working class supporters. Failed because it attempted to please all sections of society
Mutiny & RebellionThe July Days • Kronstad Mutiny Naval base 15 miles from Petrograd Sailors and workers defied central authority.set up own separate governments Revolutionaries in Petrograd were spurred by these events to attempt to bring down government. The July Days: Events by summer of 1917: PG not in any way in control • Widespread soviet control of factories, • land seizure by peasants, • independent national minority governments - Ukraine Demonstrations in early July turned into a direct challenge to the government. July 3-6 • The rising was disorderly, confused and easily routed by troops loyal to the PG who had been withdrawn from the front. • Bolsheviks Petrograd • Results of July Days • Opposition forces were disunited • Bolsheviks far from being dominant revolutionary party • PG still had means to quell armed revolt. • Kerensky became PM on strength of this
After the July Days Immediate pressure on Bolsheviks • Pravda closed • Bolshevik leaders arrested, Lenin fled to Finland • Lenin and assoc, branded as traitors and German spies • Bolsheviks appear broken as a political force.
The Peasants Feb rev had led peasants to believe they would benefit from land redistribution Peasants took law into own hands, seizing land- a national peasants revolt Nor PG or Bolsheviks had solution to land problem. Members of PG reluctant to engage policy that would threaten them. Bolsheviks: by definition revolution was affair of industrial working class. Lenin decided that peasants were acting as a true revolutionary force. He adopted slogans “Peace, Land and Bread” , “All Power to the Soviets” and ‘Land to the Peasants’ from SRs. And gained widespread support in countryside. Peasants seize a train 1917 Siberian peasants holding placards of Lenin, Marx and Trotsky
The Kornilov Affair Late August the Army’s Commander in Chief, Kornilov informed Kerensky that he intended to bring loyal troops into Petrograd to save the PG ie form a military dictatorship. Called for uprising and citizens to take up arms to defend city. Kerensky was implicated initially but publicly condemned Kornilov. Bolsheviks released from prison, armed to fight against Kornilov. Trotsky immediately formed the Red Guard: Credit for protecting Petrograd Bolsheviks capitalised. Presented themselves as defenders of Petrograd and revolution. Kornilov failed and was arrested. Kornilov
The Bolsheviks Seize Power 1st All Russian Congress of Soviets (Malone p.94) Lenin wanted armed takeover before democratic elections for Constituent Assembly 23rd Oct: Kerensky struck first: action against Bolsheviks (p.99) 24th Oct: Trotsky and Red Guard commence takeover ((p.100) 25th Oct: 2nd Congress of Soviets: Lenin announces fall of PG and the takeover of power in Petrograd Soviet by the Bolsheviks Bolsheviks win 10 day battle to secure their takeover. Bolsheviks pose with their weapons: Oct 1917, Petrograd
Summary The failure of the Provisional Government to rally effective military support in its hour of need was symptomatic of its political failure over the previous eight months. It aroused no genuine enthusiasm. It has come no where near solving or even offering solutions to Russia’s problems. Economically incompetent and militarily disastrous, it was not considered worth saving. In October 1917, the Bolsheviks merely pushed against an already open door.