How Were the Bolsheviks Able to Seize Power in 1917

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 641
  • Published : January 31, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
How were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in Russia in 1917? [20]

Unpopularity of the Provisional Government
When they were attacked, nobody was prepared to defend it - Did not pull Russia out of WW1: extend suffering (food shortages, inflation) - Stopped peasants when they tried to claim the land of run-away nobles

*Lenin promised “Peace, Bread, Land” won support of the people - Did not hold elections to allow Russians to choose their own leader - Backfire of abolishing censorship → Opposition now openly attacked them

Strength of Petrograd Soviets/ Bolsheviks
- Controlled most of the army, navy + railway: military and communications *Death Squads were sent to hunt down and execute and deserters. Soldiers hated the P.G. and decided to support the Bolsheviks.

- High membership. Well disciplined and organized.
*Unlike the Provisional Government & the army.
*Abolishment of press censorship allows Bolsheviks to spread their ideas through propaganda. Bolshevik newspaper: “Pravda”. Increase Bolshevik popularity and decrease P.G. popularity.

- Good leader + Good cause
-Lenin: professional revolutionary, brilliant speaker, iron willed. *Lack of censorship allowed him to spread ideas such as “All Power to the Soviet” & “Peace, Bread, Land” April Theses. Increase support -Knew and strongly believed in what they were fighting for. *Contrasts the army’s low morale: desertion & Kornilov coup failure

- Private Bolshevik Army (the Red Guards)
: Setup and trained by Leon Trotsky.
Gave Bolsheviks the military power to fight, revolt and win.

Kornilov Affair
-Kornilov unhappy with the Provisional Government’s war plans -Marches troops into the capital for a coup d’etat
-Wanted to overthrow the P.G. and eliminate the Petrograd Soviets -P.G. asked the Bolsheviks to defend Petrograd. Gave them weapons -Red Army successfully defended Petrograd
-Support for Bolsheviks grew – seen as heroes
-Support for P.G. falls – Kerensky...
tracking img