Topic 3 - The Provisional Government and its opponents, February-October 1917

  • Created by: Mia.A.W
  • Created on: 19-06-21 14:46
Which two bodies were involved in dual power?
Petrograd Soviet and Provisional Government
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Which was the legal government of Russia?
The Provisional Government
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The Provisional Government was called 'Provisional' because it saw itself as a temporary government who would rule until what would be called?
A democratically elected Constituent Assembly.
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Who did the Petrograd Soviet represent?
The working people and soldiers of Petrograd.
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What did the Petrograd Soviet control?
The vast majority of the capital's workers and soldiers therefore it could control the local garrisons, the factories and railways of Petrograd.
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Who was the head of the first Provisional Government?
Prince Lvov the head of Zemgor
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Why was the Provisional Government reliant upon the Petrograd Soviet to enforce its will?
It did not have overwhelming military power and could not rely on the army due to Order Number 1
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What reforms did the Provisional Government pass?
The threat of future rebellions forced the government to guarantee basic rights in early March including:
- Freedom of expression and assembly
- universal suffrage for all adults
- equal rights for minorities
- amnesty for political prisoners
- Okhrana an
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Why did some Bolsheviks initially support the Provisional Government.
Initially there was a degree of support as radical parties agreed Russia needed a period of parliamentary democracy and capitalism before a truly socialist revolution.
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What was revolutionary defencism?
The policy continuing to fight WW1 in order to defend the revolution
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When was the Petrograd Soviet founded?
Late February 1917
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How did the influence of the Soviet spread across Russia?
As the Tsar's government broke down Soviets emerged across Russia, in each town the Soviet and local government were forced to work together.
The Soviets collaborated with each other, in June 1917 1,090 representatives from Soviets across Russia met.
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From April 1917 what did Lenin argue for?
The Soviets should take over the government of Russia replacing the undemocratic bourgeois Provisional Government.
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What was Lenin's book called?
State and Revolution, it won the Bolsheviks considerable support due to its vision of a new democratic Russia in which workers and peasants ruled themselves.
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Why was the Provisional Government unwilling to make widespread reforms?
They thought they should wait until the Constituent Assembly was elected as it would have authority from the Russian people.
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What was the impact of the reforms?
Radical political leaders were free to return to Russia - Lenin returned in April 1917.

Revolutionaries could organise against the government. From March Bolsheviks campaigned against the continuation of the war.
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What did the Liberals want to do about WW1?
To continue the war to ensure Russian victory.
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What did the Bolsheviks want to do about WW1?
The war to end. To Lenin it was an imperialist war that sacrificed the lives of the working people to provide more land and resources to make capitalists rich.
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Who was Milyukov?
Foreign Minister
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What did the Declaration of War Aims say?
Committed the new government to revolutionary defencism
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Did Milyukov support Revolutionary Defencism?
No, he thought it was a feeble policy which failed to take advantage of the chance to win the war that the fall of the Tsar had created
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What action did Milyukov do that embarrassed the government?
On April 18th he sent a telegram to Britain and France which committed Russia to fighting
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What were the consequences of Milykov's action?
It was a betrayal of the compromised set out in the "Declaration of War aims", workers and soldiers began protest marches and the Bolsheviks demanded the overthrow of the Provisional Government.
In order to re-establish trust between the Provisional Gove
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Did socialists joining the Provisional Government strengthen or weaken moderate support?
It undermined the authority of the moderate socialist parties, workers and soldiers thought the Mensheviks and SRs had entered an alliance with an untrustworthy capitalist dominated government.
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When did Lenin return to Russia?
April 1917
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How did Lenin change the aims of the Bolhseviks?
The major Marxist and socialist parties had decided that Russia was not ready for socialist revolution, but Lenin thought this was essential.
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What were the three slogans of the April Theses?
Peace - appealed to war weary soldiers, as well as the peasants and workers who had suffered.

Land - appealed to Russian peasants who wanted the revolution to lead land reform.

Bread - an end to the hardship of the war.
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What does 'All power to the Soviets' mean?
Lenin argued for 'all power to the soviets; as workers and peasants trusted the Soviets more than the Provisional Government.
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Who was persuaded to join the Bolshevik party?
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Who was Alexander Kerensky?
Appointed Minister of War
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Why did he launch the June offensive?
HE wanted ti bring about allied victory to restore the authority of the Provisional Government
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Was the June offensive a success?
Kerensky toured the front line encouraging soldiers to support the new attack, but it was still a disaster. 48 Russian battalions refused to fight and over 150,000 Russian soldier died.
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How did the June offensive affect the Provisional Governments image?
It made the government look weak and ineffective.
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How did the June offensive affect the image of the Mensheviks and SRs?
The Mensheviks and SRs had joined the government in May promoting to bring about peace. Therefore when the immediately started planning the offensive they looked like hypocrites.
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Who provoked the July days uprising?
On the 3rd of July, Kadet ministers resigned from the government.
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Who was involved in the July days uprising?
Around 700,000 soldiers and armed workers
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What did they do at the July Days uprising?
They surrounded the Tauride Palace in Petrograd whoch housed both the Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet
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What did the demand at the July days?
That the Petrograd Soviet seize power
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How did the Provisional government squash the uprising?
They sent troops to resist the uprising and tries to disperse the armed protestors.
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What happened to the Bolsheviks as a result of the July Days?
The leaders of the Provisional Government denounced the Bolsheviks as a threat to the stability of Russia. The government started a propaganda campaign accusing Lenin of being a German spy. Lenin fled to Finland in order to escape arrest.
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Why did Prince Lvov resign as prime minister?
The July Days had threatend to overthrow the government
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What was the new government under Kerensky called?
Government of salvation of the revolution
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What political groups made up this new government?
Moderate socialists and the Kadets.
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What were Kerensky's strenghths?
- He was a charismatic leader ad gifted speaker
- He understood the importance of propaganda and therefore had his public appearances filmed and played in cinemas
- He cultivated good relationships with Mensheviks and liberals in order to ensure his gover
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What were Kerensky's weaknesses?
- He had little administrative experience and so did not understand fully how to run a government
- He was addicted to cocaine and morphine
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Give 3 measures Kerensky took to restore order.
1) Press censorship
2) establishment of military courts to punish deserters and Bolsheviks who were spreading anti-war propaganda
3) death penalty for insubordination in the army.
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Was Kerensky successful in solving the food problem?
He promised more efficient grain distribution but he was unable to persuade peasants to trade their grain.
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What had happened to the Russian army following the failure of the June Offensive?
The Russian army disintegrated due to mass desertions.
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How did the Germans benefit from the failure of the June Offensive?
They launched new attacks capturing Riga the capital of Latvia in August.
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How much value had Russian money lost by 1917? What were the consequence of this?
Due to inflation paper money lost half its value. Peasants refused to accept payment in paper money, in October the government was able to purchase 56% of the grain it had purchased a year earlier
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Why was there food shortages in the cities?
Huge problems on Russia's transport
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What did peasants want?
A new government to authorise land reform
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How much did production fall by?
Between January and June 1917 production of fuel fell by more than 1/3 and factory production dropped by 36%.
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How many workers went on strike? Why?
From February to October 2.5 million workers went on strike in response to deteriorating conditions
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Some workers democratised their factories - what does this mean?
Workers elected factory committees that took control of production and wages
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Who was Kornilov?
Kornilov was appointed by Kerensky to take control of the Russian army.
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What were Kornilov's political views?
He had no sympathy for revolutionaries and wanted to assert the government's authority over the Soviets.
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What harsh measures did Kornilov introduce?
- strikes banned for the duration of the war
- railway workers placed under military control
- desertion from the army was punishable by death
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What sparked he Kornilov affair?
Kornilov demanded Petrograd to be put under military control, Kerensky refused knowing the workers would resist
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What did Kerensky do to Kornilov as a result?
He dismissed Kornilov as commander-in-chief
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How did Kornilov respond?
By ordering a detachment of troops to march on Petrograd
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How was this seen by Kerensky and many Russians?
That Kornilov was attempting a military takeover
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Who did Kerensky call upon to save Petrograd?
Kerensky was forced to ask the Petrograd Soviet to defend the capital. He agreed to arm the Red Guards a Bolshevik-dominated militia and release Bolsheviks from prison so they could defend the capital
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How did this help the Bolsheviks?
The Bolsheviks were credited with saving the revolution, by September they had won majorities in the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets.
It also provided the Bolsheviks an opportunity to overthrow Kerensky.
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What affect did the Kornilov affair have on the Provisional Government and the armed forces?
Workers lost faith in the Provisional Government and discipline within the army deteriorated further
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What was the Constituent Assembly?
In August the Provisional Government announced that elections would take place for a new Constituent Assembly in November
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Why did Lenin decide he needed to seize power before the elections?
Lenin knew the SRs would win and the Constituent Assembly would have a mandate to create a democratic government
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Why did Lenin return to Petrograd in October 1917?
To persuade BolshevikCentral Committee to support an armed seizure of power in Petrograd
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Name 2 Bolsheviks who opposed Lenin's plans for immediate revolution.
Zinoview and Kamenev, two of Lenin's strongest supporters
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Describe Trotsky's role in the October Revolution
Planning the uprising in detail, though as the chair of the Soviet he could make it look like it was the Soviet seizing power rather than the Bolsheviks.
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What was the MRC?
The Military Revolutionary Committee was an armed group formed by the Mensheviks after the Kornilov affair to protect Petrograd from attempted military takeover. But by October it was under Bolshevik control.
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What was the date of the government's overthrow?
In mid-October the Provisional Government announced that Petrograd's troops were being moved away from the city. The Soviet assumed this meant the government were trying to take over the Soviet.
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Which centre of royal power was stormed?
As the Provisional Government was based in the Winter Palace, the battleship Aurora opened fire on the Winter Palace. Trotsky and the Red Guards successfully arrested the majority of the Provisional Government
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How did some Mensheviks and SRs react to the news of the Bolshevik takeover?
The storming of the Winter palace took place the day that the Second Congress of Soviets opened, some Mensheviks and SRs stormed out in protest
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Why was this good for the Bolsheviks?
This reduced Menshevik and SR representation and gave the Bolsheviks a majority at the Congress.
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What was Sovnarkom?
The Congress of Soviets voted to create a new constitution, at the top was the Sovnarkom.
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Why sis Lenin allow the Constituent Assembly elections to go ahead?
Even though Lenin claimed the Sovnarkon was the legitimate government of Russia, the Sovnarkom did not have the power to stop the elections taking place.
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Who won the Constituent Assembly elections?
SRs, the Bolsheviks won less than a quarter of the votes
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Why was this a problem for the Bolsheviks?
It demonstrated that the SRs were clearly Russia's most popular party.
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When did the Constituent Assembly meet?
Even though the elections were in November the Assembly was not due to meet until January
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How long was it allowed to sit?
One day
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Which was the legal government of Russia?


The Provisional Government

Card 3


The Provisional Government was called 'Provisional' because it saw itself as a temporary government who would rule until what would be called?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Who did the Petrograd Soviet represent?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What did the Petrograd Soviet control?


Preview of the front of card 5
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