Bolshevik Seizure of Power

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  • Created on: 19-04-14 18:34

Some notes on the chapter, 'The Bolshevik Seizure of Power.'

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The Rise in Bolshevik Support

After the July Days - Bolshevik support dropped, Provision Government support increased

August 1917 - Kornilov Affair led to fears of a military takeover, and as a result, the Bolsheviks were no longer the threat but were seen as the defenders of the revolution. The Affair also completely undermined the authority of Kerensky - he appeared weak and vulnerable.

'Peace, Bread and Land':

Peace: the Bolshevik's opposition to the war

Bread: the need to end food shortages in town and cities

Land: the Bolshevik support for land seizure by peasants

The slogan drew support from industrial workers  and poor peasants. After the Kornilov affair, Bolshevik membership was at 200,000 - the party produced 41 different newspapers across Russia.

The party had recruited an elite force of 10,000 Red Guards in Petrograd's factories. The group had aquired arms during the Kornilov affair.

The Timing of the Seizure of Power

On August 9th an announcement was made by the Provisional Government. It proposed a timetable for national elections to a Constituent Assembly.

The assembly would have the task of producing a new consitution.

The elections would take place on 12 November and the opening of the Constituent Assembly on 28 November.

Lenin was aware that the Social Revolutionaries were likely to win the most votes in the elections. If the Bolsheviks wanted to seize power, they had to do so before these elections.

After returning to Petrograd, Lenin developed his tactics. He suggested that all political power should be handed to the All-Russia Soviet - where the Bolsheviks had a large amount of support. By the end of September, the Bolsheviks had a majority of seats in the Petrograd Soviet.

As the Provisional Government became more unpopular, the All-Russia Soviet remained respected by the people.

On 10 October Lenin left his hiding place to meet the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party in Petrograd. After a debate, Lenin persuaded the Committee that an armed takeover of power should take place.

The planning of the takeover was in the hands of Trotsky.

Lenin hoped to hide Bolshevik involvement by handing over the planning to the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet.

The Seizure of Power

The events that…


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