Slides in this set
The provisional Government and its
The Provisional Government replaced the tsar's government that collapsed during the revolution in
March 1917. Did the Provisional Government achieve any major reforms and pull Russia out of an
· Alexander Kerensky
· In March 1917, when the tsar's government collapsed, the members of the Duma set up the
Provisional Government, led by Alexander Kerensky.
· The Provisional Government never really ruled Russia. Right from the start, it had to share power
with the Petrograd Soviet, which had a rule (Order No.1) that its members should only obey the
Provisional Government if the Soviet agreed with it. For this reason, March to November 1917 is
sometimes called the period of Dual Government in Russia.
· Disastrously, the Provisional Government - because it was only a temporary government - did not
really carry out any major reforms. All it did was abolish the Okhrana and press censorship, and
allow political freedom. This gave the government's opponents - such as Lenin's Bolsheviks - the
freedom to attack the government for the problems it was not solving.
· The main problem of the Provisional Government was that it tried to continue the war. In June
1917, it organised an attack on Austria. When the attack failed, people began to turn against the
government. Instead, they started to follow Lenin whose welcome message was: 'Peace, bread,
· The Provisional Government had to share power with the Petrograd Soviet.
Members of the Soviet always rejected the Provisional Government.
· The Provisional Government did nothing to stop the war. In fact, as desertions
increased, it set up death squads to hunt down and execute deserters. The soldiers
came to hate the Provisional Government.
· The Provisional Government was unable to end the shortages of food and fuel in
Petrograd. This was because it continued the war, which was causing the shortages.
The workers came to hate the Provisional Government.
· The Provisional Government did nothing to solve the land problem. In the
countryside, peasants started taking over the land of the nobles, many of whom had
run away. The Provisional Government sent soldiers to take the land back by force.
The peasants came to hate the Provisional Government.
· The Provisional Government did little to deal with its opponents. Even after the
Bolsheviks rebelled in July 1917, it allowed Lenin to preach his popular message of
'all power to the Soviets'. People came to despise the Provisional Government.…read more
and the Bolshevik Revolution
'The February revolution was spontaneous; the October revolution
was planned.' You may well have heard or read other statements
like this about the two Russian revolutions of 1917, but what is the
The story of the October revolution
· Peace, land, bread
· April: the German government helps the Bolshevik leader Lenin
return to Russia. He publishes the 'April Theses', offering people:
'Peace, bread, land', and proclaims: All power to the Soviets'.
· July: the Bolsheviks try to take power in a revolution called the July
Days, but are defeated…read more
August: a pro-tsarist, General Kornilov, leads a revolt against
the Provisional Government.
The government has to ask the Bolsheviks for help to defeat
him. As a result, the Bolsheviks become so popular that:
September: the Bolsheviks take control of the Petrograd
Soviet, and the prominent Bolshevik Leon Trotsky, leader of
the Red Guards, becomes its president.…read more
· 6th November: late at night, Trotsky's Red Guards
helped by the Kronstadt sailors move quickly to take
over the bridges and the telephone exchange. They
cut off Petrograd from the rest of Russia.
Aurora fires a shell
· 7 November: next, the Red Guards take over
government buildings, the banks and the railway
station. Finally, at 9.40pm, signalled by a shell fired
from the cruiser Aurora, they move in and take over
the Winter Palace, the headquarters of the Provisional
Government. There is no resistance.…read more