Provisional Government





“The position of the provisional Government was precaucious from the start. Is it fair to say that the collapse of Russia’s Provisional Government was inevitable?





The position of the Provisional Government was precaucious from the start, and yes it is fair to say that the collapse of Russia’s Provisional Government was inevitable. It was inevitable because it was weak and had no real power, it had made too many mistakes and had no clear plan of what it wanted to achieve. The position of the Provisional Government was that it was provisional. It saw itself as a caretaker government, as a government whose role was to prepare Russia for the elections to the Constituent Assembly, which would decide the fate of Russia. It meant that the Provisional Government was not in a position to resolve any of the fundamental issues besetting Russia in 1917. However it did make many decisions including continuing the war and not giving the peasants their land.


The position of the Provisional Government was that it was provisional. It would run until elections could be held to choose a government and decide how Russia was to be ruled in the future. It was formed on March the 2nd 1917 as temporary group that had no legal position in tsarist constitutional law. The position that prevailed at this time had been called dual power, in which the two bodies that were jealous of one another governed. The Provisional Government could have strengthened its position by building its support among the population. But it failed to do this.


The collapse of Russia’s Provisional Government was inescapable.


It was inescapable because it had no real power. The Provisional Government had developed major problems and did not respond effectively to them. They continued the war against Germany in agreement with the Soviets a major party, because if they had surrendered to the Germans, it may have lost Russia many European allies and the Germans would of made them pay a heavy price. The Provisional Government did not give peasants the land and thought that it could wait until an elected government of Russia had been in placed. They were also scared of the fact that ‘free for all’ for land would break up the army, who also would have wanted their share, Peasants began to take their own land, and at the same time hated the Provisional Government. This hatred added to the collapse of the government because it had no support from the public. The collapse of Russia’s Provisional Government was inescapable.


Kerensky’s personal shortcomings are considered by some as the main cause of the downfall of the Provisional Government, but the collapse was preordained. Kerensky had been accused by the right and centre parties of betraying the country by intensifying the revolution and weakening authority. The left accused him of pursuing the old reactionary policies. Then there is the opinion that the Provisional Government did not have a clear line of policies but muddled along. What little real power it had, it was obliged to share with the Soviets. The army was near breakdown, some units were already in a state of dissolution. There was the sharpening economic crisis on the home front and the increasing demand for peace. Demonstrator’s slogans such as ‘Peace’ and ‘Bread’ become common in the streets, but the Provisional Government ignored these demands or was powerless to do anything about them. The temporary Governments collapse was preordained.


The position of the Provisional Government was precaucious from the start, and the collapse of Russia’s Provisional Government was inevitable. It had many problems and was not strong enough to handle these problems giving easy access for the Bolsheviks to seize power. There were many opportunities for it to gain popularity like ending the war but in all cases chose not to, because they did not want to make any important decisions as they were only a temporary government


Bibliography


1) Revolution of 1917 (T.K. Andrews)


2) Revolutions Around The World (S.D. Davis)


3) Russia and the USSR 1905-1941 (J. Murray


4) WWW. BBC.CO.UK