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Why Russia's Provisional Government Failed When So Many Wanted A Democracy.

1415 words - 6 pages

When the Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne in March of 1917, it appeared that Russia was finally heading on the right path. A provisional government, acting as a democracy took over and tried to create a western style society. However, this democratic provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky lasted for only seven months, at the end of which the Bolshevik communists led by Lenin seized power. With so many Russians longing for a democracy, why did the provisional government fall so fast? There are several reasons why the provisional government fell. First, there were the mistakes of Kerensky, and second was the power of Lenin. Each had their own way of dealing with the situations that Russia was facing, but in the end Lenin and the Bolshevik communists prevailed.Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Socialist Democratic Party, and an intellectual westernizer, not a man prepared to lead a country. In addition, the revolutionaries, mainly made up of socialists reasoned that since the revolution was in its bourgeois stage the representatives of the bourgeois should form the administration. The fact that the bourgeois was heavily represented in the upper echelons of the government ensured that the leaders of the government were going to be intellectuals, not pragmatic problem solvers who could quickly fix up societies problems. When the Czar fell, there were two main problems facing Russian society. One was the active war in the west against Germany, and two was the peasant land reform issue. Kerensky and the government made some mistakes when dealing with these two problems. They decided to continue the war, even though the Russians did not support it. They also decided to push off the peasant land reform problem until the war was settled.Once in power, the government immediately enacted much progressive legislation. Clemency was granted to all political prisoners, capital punishment was abolished, the right to strike and organize was granted and all legal restrictions based on class, nationality and religion were lifted. It is generally accepted that the Provisional Government did in fact want to do good, however it never turned out that way. The government ignored the causes of the initial revolution and did not try to immediately help the plight of the people.The first problem that the leaders of the Provisional Government had to address was the war. There were two options the new government could take regarding the war. One was to abandon the front and make peace with Germany. The other was to continue fighting against the masses, and hope that a continued war effort would bring the fighting to a speedy end, and in turn, enhance Russia's bond with the western world. The leaders of the government decided on the latter. The soldiers became greatly agitated at the expressed opinion of its new government leaders. They grew even more upset at the rumors that some regiments were being disbanded because they refused to follow orders. This...

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