A Year of Revolutions

The Provisional GVMT March to October 1917

Key Questions – Why couldn’t the PG survive?  Why did Lenin and the Bolsheviks take over?  How significant was Lenin?

*         Problems facing PG

High Expectations

‘Provisional’ and not elected – elections not carried out

Dual Power – role of Petrograd Soviet and Order No 1

Necessity of continuing War  – All parties in favour apart from Bolsheviks though

Economic Problems caused by war

Failure of June Offensive, Mass desertions

Unrest in countryside – demand for land reform

*         Mistakes of PG, especially Kerensky

Failure to solve above problems

June Offensive – leads to July Days

Kornilov Coup – Kerensky arms Bolsheviks


Kerensky brings in repressive measures to oppress Bolsheviks – unpopular

Kerensky escapes

*         Role of Lenin and Bolsheviks

April Theses – Peace, Bread, Land, All Power to Soviets, only party promising an end to war


Armed by Kerensky, set up military HQ and Red Guard

Propaganda and increased support in cities

Lenin persuades Bolshevik Central Committee (Zinoviev and Kamenev) time is right for revolution

Coup planned and executed – take over key installations, storm winter Palace

How realistic was Eisenstein’s film?

*         Many Historians feel that Bolsheviks met little opposition because people believed that Soviets would take power and a left wing coalition would be formed.

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