- The main counterrevolutionary episode of the Russian Revolution of Feburary 1917.
- General Kornilov, was seen as the Napoleon of the Russian Revolution
- After the summer offensive(The last offensive by Russia in WW1) failed, Kornilov used harsh measures to restore discipline in the Army.
- The conservatives, liberals and some socialists pressured Kerensky to appoint Kornilov supreme commander in Chief, which he was on July 31st.
- Kerensky did not trust Kornilov but hoped for him to appease the right and counterbalance the left.
- Kornilov saw this as an opportunity to crush the radical socialists and restore order and authority in Petrograd.
- Kornilov sent his troops marching towards the government to seize control. Kerensky denounced Kornilov and called in the soviets to help defend Petrograd.
- The masses feared that, with Kornilov, mean't the return of old order. Soldiers feared that old discipline would be restored and they be sent to the front.
- Most of the defence was organised by the bolshevikes (Red Guard).
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Consequences of Kerensky's appointment of Kornilov
- Kerensky's reputation was utterly ruined and destroyed.
- Menshevikes and Socialist Revolutionary leaders were discredited by their association with Kerensky. Their inability to change change their people condemned them in the eyes of the masses.
- The masses distrusted the Liberals and Kadets, the agents of industrialists and large landowners.
- Soldiers murdered 100's of officiers and officiers had felt that Kerensky had betrayed Kornilov as he negotiate his troops to flee.
- Bolshevik support grew significantly as they were seen as the true saviours of the revolution. 9th september, Bolshevik gained overall controll of th Petrograd soviet/ Moscow soviet.
- On 25th September, Trotsky was elected president.
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Was the October Revolution as Popular uprising or
- The Soviet view ( 1917-91):
- The October Rev. was a popular uprising which was led and carried out by the working class, supported by the poorer peasants.
- The working class created the soviets which acted as the power bases through which the Revolution was accomplished.
- The predominnant western view after 1945:
- The October Revolution was a coup d'etat where a 'tiny minority' seized power and then imposed thier evil ideology on an unwilling population.
- Lenin controlled a well organised and disciplined revolutionary party.
- Leonard Schapiro and Robert Conquest see the October Rev. as a disaster ( Liberal View)
- The Revisionists:
- Suspected that the hostile accounts of the Oct Rev. were part of the cold war policies of the post war period
- They concentrated on Lenin and the Bolshevik party in the Revolution.
- They wanted to view history from a peasants point of view as well as from a bourgeosie.
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Was the October Revolution as Popular uprising or
- Stephen Smith: View that the lower ranks of Bolshevik Party played a much more active role in pushing forward the revolution.
- Sheila Fitzpatrick: Suggested that it was the workers, soldiers and peasants who created the circumstances in which the bolsheviks could operate.
- Recent Views:
- Robert Service and Chris Read argued that Lenin was a key a figure saying that without his drive and persistence these probably would not have been October Revolution.
- The way in which the Bolsheviks seize power demonstrated the similarities to that of the coup.
- Peasants, workers, soldiers and sailors played an immensly important part in the october Revolution.
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Lenin in Power
- Promised 'Peace, land and Bread'
- Oct 26, Lenin asked Germany for peace.
- Rules were created to allow the Bolsheviks to have centralized power.
- Bolsheviks used their power against their enemies in a ruthless manner.
- Bolshevik decrees:
- 12 Nov: 8 hours work day, 48 hrs per week, Over time pay
- 1 Dec: All non-Bolshevik paper banned
- 20 Dec: Cheka Set up to maintain order.
- 27 Dec: Factories put under worker committees and Banks put under Bolshevik control.
- Bolshevik Dictatorship:
- Lenin promised elections for constituent assemblies.
- Socialist Rev. were in majority
- Lenin sent in Red guard to close assembly, so the Socialist Rev. would not be elected.
- He used congress of Soviets to pass laws.
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- Lenin put Trotsky in charge of negotiations
- Lenin asked Trotsky to draw out peace negotiations believing Germany would have a socialist revolution.
- Germany advance in Feburary 1918 forced lenin to sign.
- Treaty of Brest-Litovsk signed March 3, 1918.( Russia lost Ukraine, Polish and Baltic territories and Finland).
- Russia lost:
- Farming land=32%
- 300,000,000 gold roubles for war reparations.
- Oppostion to Lenin's actions of 'peace making':
- Was show 3x by Socialist Rev.
- Attempted to crush enemies with Cheka
- Russian resistance united in 'white' armies
- Most of Russia supported Socialist Rev.
- Czech-legion (Czech and slovak volunteer fighting force) takes over trans-siberian railroad.
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