Russia under the Provisional Government & the revolution of October/November 1917


Russia under the Provisional Government 

Whilst news of the Tsar's abdication was being celebrated, not least by the peasants, who assumed that the land would now by theirs, and the thousands of soldiers who deserted their regiments and began hurrying home to take their share of the spoils, the Duma Committee set about tryin to restore some sort of order.

On March 2nd, a Provisional Government was formed after negiotations between the Duma Committee and the Petrograd Soviet. It was known as 'Provisional' as it intended to rule only until a Constituent Assembly could be elected under an equal, direct and secret ballot, which would then draw up a new constitution for Russia. Prince Lvov, who had formerly headed the Zemgor, was to become the prime minister and a new committee of 'commissars' was appointed to replace the tsarist ministers. This government was mainly composed of liberals- Octoberists and Kadets. Alexander Kerensky as the only socialist and the only minister to sit on the executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet as well.

The October Revolution, 1917

March- Provisional Government announced its programme of reform and civil liberty.

3rd April- Lenin returned and the April Theses were compiled over the next few weeks.

3rd June- The first All-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies met. 

2nd July- Trotsky joined the Bolsheviks having previously failed to take sides within the Social Democratic grouping. 

3-4 July- The 'July Days' were marked by anti-government demonstrations in Petrograd. 

5-7 July- Bolshevik leaders (including Trotsky) were arrested and Lenin fled to Finland.

16 July- Kornilov was appointed Commander in Chief of the Russian forces.

18th July- Kerensky (Socialist) became first minister.

26-30 August- Kornilov's coup failed and the Bolshevik Red Guards were given arms. 

9 September- Trotsky became Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and the Bolsheviks commanded majorities in both the Petrograd and Moscow soviets.

10 October- Lenin attended a meeting of the Bolshevik Central Committee and his call for a Bolshevik-led revolution was agreed. 

20 October- The Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet met for the first time.

24-25 October- Armed workers and soldiers led by the Bolsheviks and organised by the Military Revolutionary Committee took over key buildings and communication centres in Petrograd. 

25-27 October- The remaining members of the Provisional Government were arrested by the Bolsheviks. The revolution was announced at the second Congress of Soviets. The Congress adopted Lenin's decree on peace and decree on land and appointed the first Soviet government, the Council of People's Commissars, with Lenin as Chairman.

December- Establishment of a secret police force- the Cheka.

Chief Members of the Provisional Government

Prince Georgii Lvov- Prime Minister- a wealthy aristocratic landowner and former liberal Kadet leader who served in the First Duma and had been leader of the Russian Union of Zemstva in 1914 and leader of Zemgor in 1915.  He helped organise the war effort under the tsarist regime. He favoured decentralised goverment but was essentially traditionalist outlook. He retired on July 4th having found it…


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