Weaknesses of the Provisional Government

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  • Weakness and Failures of the PG
    • Nature of the PG
      • Scope for action limited as real power held by the Soviet.
      • Saw itself as temporary body that could not make long term decisions such as land redistribution
      • Division between socialists and liberals led to a lack of clear policies
    • Policies
      • Decision to continue war created opposition, if PG made separate peace with Germany may have survived.
      • The failure to legitimise the peasant take-over of land created a rift with peasants, made them less willing to supply food to cities.
      • Loss of support of the national minorities after refusing to give them a decree of autonomy
      • Did nothing about the deterioration of the economy- lack of social reform contributed to workers' anger.
    • Mistakes by Kerensky
      • Decided to launch a new offensive against Germany in June
      • Kornilov affair left him discredited. Officers not fight for him as they felt he betrayed Kornilov.
      • Underestimated the strength of the Bolsheviks. Moved against them in October, gave them an excuse for seizing power, increasing their popularity.
    • Other Factors
      • Moderate socialists lost contact with their supporters- the workers and the peasants
      • The government failed to call the constituent Assembly early enough
      • Alarmed by the power of the working class, Kadets moved further to the right and became identified with reactionary military officers, industrialists and land owners

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