L8 - February to october 1917


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L8 - February to october 1917

  1. 1. February to October 1917 The Provisional Government
  2. 2. So far… So Russia 1. Russia – an introduction 2. The Crimean War 3. Alexander II – Reform 4. Opponents of Alex II and Alex III 5. Alexander III & Industrialisation 6. Russo-Japanese war 1905 7. Revolution of 1905 8. Nicholas II, Stolypin and Russia on the eve of war 9. World War 1 10. Revolutions of 1917 11. The Russian Civil War / Lenin 12. Rise of Stalin 13. Five Year Plans, Collectivisation and the Great Terror 14. World War Two 15. Last Years of Stalin Question To what extent did war provide a catalyst for change in Russia between 1853-1953?
  4. 4. • These are your new leaders! • A poster provided for the Russian people in March 1917
  5. 5. Feb-October 1917 AIMS OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF RUSSIA 1. Immediate amnesty for all political prisoners, including terrorists. 2. Immediate freedom of speech and assembly and the right to strike. 3. Immediate preparations for a Constituent Assembly for which everyone could vote. 4. All military units that had joined the revolution could keep their weapons and not be sent to the frontline. There were many more – I can’t list them all here! How do these differ from the autocracy of the Tsar? • The Provisional Government was dominated first by liberals and later by a coalition of liberals and moderate socialists • Interestingly, the Bolsheviks did not join the coalition and thus were not tainted by the failures of the PG. • PG – lacked authority or coherent ideology to hold power • PS – lacked strong power base and not equipped for government
  6. 6. • This period known by many as the ‘Dual Authority.’ - two governments side by side. • Petrograd Soviet issued Soviet Order No.1 which stated that orders issued by the PG only to be obeyed when they do not contradict with decrees of the PS. • Soviet Order No.1 – – all military units had to elect members to the Soviet – all weapons to be controlled by the military committees (not given to officers) • Soviets were elected all over Russia • Crucially (possibly suicidally) the PG aimed to continue war with Central Powers • Inexperience • Out-of-touch • Threat of opposition from political groups or military • Problems facing Russia, e.g. War, economy, social unrest • Dual authority • Unelected – lacked legitimacy PROBLEMS FACING THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
  7. 7. Lack of authority • Not elected and delayed elections due to not having proper electoral register. • The Soviets were more representative of the people. Land • Peasants expected land to transfer to them. PG said only Constituent Assembly could change land policy Urban discontent • Inflation shot up and wages could not keep pace – extreme poverty in the cities. • PG granted 8 hour day and restored factory discipline in hope of appeasing workers. World War I • Petrograd Soviet wanted to defend Russia but not make further attacks on Germany. • Provisional Government aimed to continue for a ‘decisive victory’. • Protests and demonstrations from soldiers forced Guchkov, Minister for War to resign and be replaced by Alexander Kerensky. • Set up a ‘coalition government’ which included members of the Petrograd Soviet PG – Problem solver?
  8. 8. ‘Wait until the Constituent Assembly for land. Wait until the end of the war for the Constituent Assembly. Wait until total victory for the end of the war.’ What is Lenin’s opinion of the new Provisional Government and its policies?
  9. 9. Bolsheviks in 1917 • In February no one imagined the Bolsheviks taking power 8 months later. • Bolsheviks did not recognise Feb Rev as a real revolution – the workers were not yet in charge. • 3 April 1917 – Lenin returned to Petrograd and issued his famous April Theses APRIL THESES – Bolsheviks should reject any co-operation with the PG – ‘All Power to the Soviets’ – the soviets should form a new government. – End to the ‘imperialist’ war. ‘Peace, Bread, Land’ • Bolshevik influence in the soviets and factories grew in July-August • 33% of the vote within the Petrograd Soviet • Appealed to the peasants by offering land.
  10. 10. Kerensky Offensive • Support for the PG was falling rapidly – continuing war / unemployment etc. • Soviets were ignoring the ‘authority’ of the government. • War Minister, Kerensky, believed a successful war would stop Russia falling apart. • Est. 170,000 had deserted by this point. • In June 1917 - launched an offensive against Austria – lost estimated 400,000 men. • Even more mutinied and deserted the armed forces.
  11. 11. What do you think is happening here?
  12. 12. July Days • Mass demonstrations begin on July 3rd 1917 • Workers joined on the streets by sailors and soldiers. • It is possible the Bolsheviks were behind the protests • Protestors chanted Bolshevik slogans – Lenin was not a visible presence. • 5 July – loyal government troops cleared streets • 700 killed or wounded. • Bolshevik newspapers banned and party leaders imprisoned – Lenin fled to Finland thinking revolution was impossible. • PG - branded Bolsheviks as traitors and German spies • Kerensky took over as PM in hope to restore order.
  13. 13. Kornilov Coup • The new Commander-in-Chief of the Army, General Kornilov wanted decisive action against mutinous troops and opposition groups. • Kornilov did not believe Kerensky and the PG was doing enough. • Ordered his troops to march on Petrograd • Kerensky armed the workers of Petrograd and released many Bolsheviks from prison to stop Kornilov • Railway workers refused to move Kornilov’s troops via train. • Kornilov gave himself up. • Kornilov Coup proved that Kerensky could not command support of the army – needed Bolsheviks (enemies of the PG) on his side. • Played into the Bolsheviks hands. • Workers turned to the one party who had never co- operated with the weak and ineffective Provisional Government
  14. 14. Watch • Land of the Tsars or Russian Revolution in Colour • Note down reasons for the Revolutions in 1917. • Complete the A3 sheet looking at Feb to October 1917.
  15. 15. Read • October Revolution by Graham Darby • Make notes and highlight quotes that suggests that; • ‘The October Revolution in 1917was brought about by the failings of the Provisional Government’ • Remember we are looking for examples of change in history. In this case, was change brought about by inadequate government?
  16. 16. A wounded Russian soldier retreats from the frontline