How did the Weaknesses of the Provisional Government help the Bolsheviks gain Power?

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  • Created on: 24-02-20 18:21
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  • How did the weaknesses and failures of the Provisional Government help the Bolsheviks gain power?
    • War
      • At first, the PG wanted to continue the war to get help from their Western allies for their struggling Democracy and for territorial gains.
        • However, this was an unpopular opinion as people were tired of the economic impact and the solders wanted to come home.
        • Foreign minister Milyukov wanted to fight until the war was won and make territorial gains in the black sea.
          • Against Petrograd Soviet's 'revolutionary defencism'.
      • However, the Bolsheviks wanted to end the war and pull Russia out as they didn't believe in workers fighting against workers for the establishment to benefit.
        • Gained support of soldiers on the front line.
      • Controversy came when the statement that was supposed to go to the Allies to tell them of Russia's decision to only fight a defensive war arrived alongside a note from Milyukov.
        • The note stated his distance from 'revolutionary defencism', saying Russia would fight until the war was done.
          • The Milyukov note was published in a Russian newspaper a few days later.
            • Petrograd Soviet supproters were in uproar, clashing with Milyukov supporters, resulting in some deaths.
            • Made the PG ministers look untrustworthy, hence less people supported them.
    • Legitimacy
      • The PG was an unelected body functioning as the government after the war.
      • In comparison, the Petrograd Soviet, dominated by Bolsheviks, was elected by workers.
        • This made the PG seem to be not embodying the revolutionary values as they wanted democracy.
    • Economy
      • War time inflation was a huge problem.
        • Although worker's wages were raised 3 fold after the Febuary revolution, this was nulled out after the inflation got worse.
      • Peasants/ workers began to look to Lenin's policies of land reform as more favorable to help them through the hard times.
        • PG wanted to wait until after the war to begin land reform.
    • Kornilov
      • The Kornilov Affair was a huge blow to the reputation of the PG.
        • Kornilov ordering troops under Krymov's detatchment to go to the captial showed a lack of control on behalf of the PG.
          • People began to question if the PG was strong enough to protect the revolution.
    • Kerensky
      • Although popular at first, Kerensky began to lose popularity after the Kornilov Affair.
        • He became unpopluar on both sides of the debate:
          • The supporters of Kornilov were angry that Kerensky had fired him.
          • Socialists/the left were angry that Kerensky had even considered Kornilov's demands.
        • Pople began to distrust his aims and question his capability.
      • He struggled to put together a government that would work together at first.
        • Unstable from the start.
      • Lenin and Trotsky were more skilled, resourceful and ruthless than the vain and politically deficient Kerensky.


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