Opposition to the Provisional Government, April to July

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  • Created on: 03-06-20 16:07
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  • Opposition to the Provison Government, April-July
    • Lenin's return and the April Thesis
      • Lenin's return to Russia in April 1917 was a turning point in attitudes towards the PG.
        • In March, all of the major Marxist and socialist parties had accepted that Russia was not yet ready for a socialist revolution.
          • Lenin rejected this idea, arguing that a socialist revolution in Russia was essential.
      • As soon as Lenin arrived in Petrograd he set out his April Thesis.
        • Contained ideas designed to appeal to the majority of Russians:
          • -Peace
            • Appealed mainly to soldiers, but also the workers and peasants that had suffered in the war too.
          • -Land
            • Appealed to Russian peasants who wanted the land reform and had become frustrated by the PG's refusal to redistrobute land until after the war.
          • -Bread
            • Promised an end to the hardship of the war (eg inlation and food shortages).
          • Also promised 'all power to the Soviets'.
            • As workers and peasants trusted the Soviets more than the PG, this slogan also became increasing popular.
      • Lenin's impact
        • Initially, Lenin's return had little impact.
          • Marxists such as Tsereteli who had been in Petrograd since mid-March believed that Lenin was simply out of touch with the situation in Russia.
            • Some Mensheviks even claimed that he had gone mad.
          • Nonetheless, Lenin's April Thesis attracted the support of some revolutionaries such as Trotsky who had previously opposed the Bolsheviks.
    • The June offensive
      • After the resignation of Milyukov, Kerensky was appointed Minister of War.
        • He was determined to help bring an Allied victory and restore the authority of th PG.
          • Thus, he launched the June offensive.
      • Kerensky toured the front line encouraging soldiers to support the new attack.
        • However, the attack was a disaster.
          • German reinforcement strengthened the Austro-Hungarian troops.
            • Additionally, 48 Russian battalions refused to fight.
          • Over 150,00 Russian soldiers lost their lives and even more deserted the front line.
      • The consequences of the offensive
        • The offensive weakened the PG.
          • The military disaster made the PG look weak and ineffective.
          • Additionally, there was criticism of the way in which a bougeois government had send workers and peasants to their deaths, while factory owners and landowners stayed safely out of the fighting.
        • Also weakened the Mensheviks and SRs.
          • They had joined the government in May promising to work to bring about peace.
            • However, they immediately became involved planning the new offensive (betrayed their cause).
              • This made the moderate socalists look like hypocrites.
    • The July days
      • Military defeat and disillusionment with the PG led to a new political crisis.
        • On 3rd July, Kadet ministers resinged from the government.
          • This provoked a military uprising.
      • Around 70,000 soldiers and armed workers surrounded the Tauride Palace in Petrograd.
        • Taurid Palace housed both the PG and the Petrograd Soviet.
        • The protestors, supported by the Bolsheviks, demanded that the Petrograd Soviet seize power.
          • However, the leaders of the Soviet refused.
            • Lenin also backed down once the PG sent troops to resist the uprising.
            • Government forces tried to disperse the armed protestors, leading to 2 days of riots.
      • The impact of the July Days
        • Leaders of the PG denounced the Bolsheviks as a threat to the stability of Russia.
          • On 6th July, soldiers surrounded the Bolshevi Headquarters at Kshesinskaia Mansion and 500 Bolsheviks surrendered.
          • The government started a propaganda campaign accusing Lenin of being a German spy.
            • Lenin fled to Finland to escape arrest.
              • At the time, it looked like the PG was secure and the Bolsheviks had failed.


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