UNIT ONE – RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION
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UNIT ONE – RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION. Between the revolutions. February to October The Provisional Government (A survey). ROUNDWOOD PARK SCHOOL HISTORY DEPARTMENT. Shared Dual Authority with the Petrograd Soviet. Led by Prince Lvov – many members of old Duma formed part of the Government.

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Between the revolutions. February to October The Provisional Government (A survey)

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Between the revolutions february to october the provisional government a survey

UNIT ONE – RUSSIA IN REVOLUTION

Between the revolutions.

February to October

The Provisional Government

(A survey)

ROUNDWOOD PARK SCHOOL HISTORY DEPARTMENT


The provisional government

Shared Dual Authority with the Petrograd Soviet.

Led by Prince Lvov – many members of old Duma formed part of the Government.

Not elected – Milyukov, a member said that the Revolution had ‘appointed them’!

As they weren’t elected by the people they lacked legitimate authority and failed to win the loyalty of the Russian people.

Kerensky was a member of both the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet.

The Provisional Government


Petrograd soviet

A soviet is a workers council – previous soviets had been set up during the 1905 Revolution.

The Soviet saw itself initially as a watchdog for the workers.

Soviets spread throughout Russia.

Enjoyed more credibility, popularity and power than the Provisional Government.

Was able to restrain the government – for example had ultimate control over the Armed forces with ‘Soviet Order Number 1’.

Petrograd Soviet


Working together the dual authority

Working together ? The Dual Authority

  • Initially the 2 bodies cooperated well and useful and effective changes were introduced including:

  • recognition of Trade Unions

  • 8 hour day for industrial workers

  • full civil and religious freedoms

  • commitment to a constituent assembly


However

However…….

  • As the year progressed the increasingly contrasting political makeup of the 2 bodies began to lead to disagreements. The Provisional Government moved further to the right politically and the Soviet moved to the left. This made cooperation much more difficult and tension between the 2 increased. The main issues of disagreement were Russia’s involvement in the world war and the land question.


Lenin returns

Lenin’s return was aided by the Germans (who hoped to knock Russia out of the world war by destabilising her further). He traveled across occupied Europe in a sealed train.

Lenin arrived in Russia and immediately condemned the February Revolution and spoke of his desire to overthrow the Provisional Government – calling it a ‘parliamentary-bourgeois republic’

Lenin returns!!


The april theses

The April Theses

  • On the 4th of April Lenin issued his ‘April Theses’. The ‘Theses’ set out Bolshevik policy and expressed Bolshevik support for the Soviets (he certainly recognised their importance as an established powerbase). Lenin stated that the February Revolution was only the first stage of the Revolution. He refused to compromise on his belief in the power of the worker.

  • Began to use slogans – ‘Peace, Bread and Land’ and ‘All power to the Soviets’.


Between the revolutions february to october the provisional government a survey

  • Social discontents

May Day 1917


Problems for the provisional government

The Provisional Government wanted to continue with World War 1 – this was unpopular with many people and provided the Bolsheviks with increased support.

Strikes occurred to protest against the war.

Kerensky tried to persuade the Russian people to support the war by saying that it would help to save the Revolution, however public opinion was firmly opposed by that time.

Sailors and workers at the Kronstadt naval base set up their own government in defiance of the Provisional Government – this gave other revolutionaries hope.

Problems for the Provisional Government


Between the revolutions february to october the provisional government a survey

Street demonstration, Petrograd, 18 June 1917. The banner in the foreground reads "Down With The 10 Capitalist Ministers/ All Power To The Soviets Of Workers', Soldiers', And Peasants' Deputies/ And To The Socialist Ministers/ [We Demand That Nicholas II Be Transfered To The Peter-Paul Fortress."


The july day almost a disaster for the bolsheviks

The July Day – almost a disaster for the Bolsheviks!!

  • Unrest was increasing throughout Russia – this discontent was focused on the Provisional Government.

  • The July Days Rising (3-6 July):

    - widespread demonstrations

    - confused and disorderly

    - supported by the Bolsheviks (?)

    - easily crushed by Government troops


Between the revolutions february to october the provisional government a survey

“Loyal” troops fired on the demonstrators


July days continued

July Days continued…..

  • Even though the Bolsheviks didn’t claim responsibility for the July Days fiasco, the Provisional Government saw it as a Bolshevik challenge to its authority and had many Bolsheviks arrested. Lenin fled Petrograd. The failure of the July Days severely hurt the reputation of the Bolshevik party as a serious revolutionary prospect.

Lenin in disguise in Finland


The kornilov affair a right wing coup

The Kornilov Affair– a right-wing coup?

  • Kornilov was an army officer who hated Lenin and the Soviets and had not fully accepted the February Revolution.

  • Kornilov made the decision to move troops to Petrograd to protect it against advancing German soldiers and growing unrest in the city itself.


Continued

Continued….

  • Kerensky publicly condemned Kornilov’s action saying that he was bringing the troops to overthrow the government.

  • Kerensky asked the people of Petrograd to fight against Kornilov – he gave weapons to ‘loyal’ people and released many Bolsheviks from prison so they could fight.

  • No fighting occurred in the end because Kornilov’s train was stopped on its way to Petrograd and he was arrested.

  • Bolsheviks claimed that they had ‘saved’ the revolution and that the Provisional Government and been shown to be vulnerable.


Between the revolutions february to october the provisional government a survey

The Bolsheviks were now in a powerful and popular position. The Provisional Government had been weakened and the time was ripe for a change!


Build up to revolution

By September 1917 the Bolsheviks had a majority in the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets (although they weren’t necessarily the most popular party).

Less cooperation between the Soviet and the Provisional Government.

Lenin continued to call for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and said that the time was right for the Bolsheviks to launch a takeover attempt.

“History will not forgive us if we do not assume power” Lenin

Build up to Revolution


The october revolution

The October Revolution

Why were the Bolsheviks able to come to power? What happened during the Revolution? How did the Bolsheviks manage to gain power without a fight?


The land question

Land shortages were a huge problem in 1917.

Peasants had believed that the February Revolution would bring them land – it hadn’t! Discontent grew and peasants began to seize land.

The Provisional Government and the Soviet did not have a solution to the land question – but Lenin spotted the political advantage in the situation and adopted a land policy (stolen from the SRs) promising ‘Land to the peasants’. This brought renewed support for the Bolsheviks.

The Land Question


Kerensky and lenin

Kerenskyand Lenin

  • Kerensky tried to strengthen the Provisional Government by re-shuffling the cabinet and proposing a “Pre-Parliament” be set up before the constituent assembly election.

  • Lenin wanted a revolution before the meeting of the All Russian Congress of Soviets (late October) and the November Constituent Assembly elections, because he felt these might limit the Bolsheviks power.


Bolshevik uncertainty

Bolshevik uncertainty?

  • As rumours of an impending Bolshevik revolution spread two Bolsheviks (Kamenev and Zinoviev) published an article warning against an immediate revolution.

  • However, in fact this warning led to the revolution beginning even more quickly, as Kerensky decided to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Bolsheviks by attempting to arrest some leading Bolsheviks and shutting down the Bolshevik newspaper.


Revolution begins

Lenin reacted to Kerensky’s actions by ordering the uprising to begin.

Trotsky had organised the plans for the action as he was chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and part of the Military Revolution Committee (MRC).

Trotsky ordered the Red Guards to seize key points in Petrograd.

Revolution begins!!!!


25 27 october

25 – 27 October

  • The Bolsheviks fought for control of Petrograd – although there was little actual fighting because the Provisional Government lacked military support.


The winter palace falls victory for the bolsheviks

The Winter Palace falls -Victory for the Bolsheviks.

  • The Red Guards took over the Winter Palace and Kerensky fled Petrograd.

  • 27 October – Lenin announced that the Bolshevik led Petrograd Soviet had seized power in the name of all Soviets.


Lenin explained that the bolsheviks would now lead the way in constructing a socialist society

Lenin explained that the Bolsheviks would now lead the way in constructing a “socialist society”.


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