“Why were there two revolutions in Russia in 1917? Why did the Provisional Government exist for mere months, yet the Bolsheviks had consolidated their authority in the country by Lenin’s death in 1924?”
Between February and October in 1917, two revolutions occurred due to the Governments failing to fulfill the needs of the Russian people. With the Tsar in power during Bloody Sunday that formed riots and Government unrest and also the Russo-Japanese War and World War One that left the Russian people humiliated and in disarray. The reign of the Provisional Government was short due to failures to provide land and food to the peasants and also the failure to pull Russia out of World War One caused chaos throughout Russia once more. The rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks saw their authority being quickly introduced with some major decisions they had made. Pulling Russia out of World War One had a strong negative influence on Russia, but Lenin insisted it was best for the country. The Civil war saw Lenin’s failed War Communism policy and saw the rise of the New Economic Policy (NEP) that reignited agriculture and factories once more.
It has been made clear that the outbreak of the 1917 February revolution, was the result of Tsarist Russia failing to meet the needs of the Russian people. Tsar Nicholas II, the leader of Russia from 1868-1918, was an autocratic ruler who had no intention on improving the lives of peasants or workers, and instead ruled the country how he thought was best. The conditions in Russian factories were horrendous and had little to no concern shown for the workers safety or health. In 1905, a small group of workers in St Petersburg, angered by poor working conditions, an economic slump and the ongoing war with Japan, started a relatively peaceful protest about their living conditions. Soon, Thousands marched towards the Winter Palace to appeal to the Tsar for better conditions, but the Tsar was not present and instead the protesters were gunned down on the streets by frightened soldiers. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday”, it provoked strikes, peasant unrest and protests which eventually became known as the 1905 Revolution, a key contributing factor to later revolutions. This saw Tsar Nicholas II and the Tsarist regime in danger, but after many months he and his regime was able to survive due to the fact that his enemies were not united, his army stood loyal and most of all, he was also willing to compromise by revealing the October Manifesto, which promised an elected parliament (Duma) and civil liberties. During 1905-1917, the Tsar did not live up to the promises he had put forward from the October Revolution to the people and it had seemed that the Tsar only agreed to the October Manifesto to turn the attention away from other problems Russia were facing.
To divert the Russian peoples attention away from the domestic issues Russia were facing, like poor working conditions and industrial unrest, the Tsar tried to use the Russo-Japanese war as an effective way of gaining the support of the people. The Russo-Japanese was a disaster for Russia in many senses, not just military but also in a way that really highlighted their blindness to other problems in agriculture and economy. A war was nothing new for the people of Russia and when they unexpectedly defeated by Japan, the Tsar’s weaknesses as a military leader were exposed and the people of Russia were now even more embarrassed and angered with how the Tsar was ruining the country. The Tsar’s next big move was in World War One, where he traveled to the front line to personally take control of the army. His move was supposed to rally the troops and give them fighting spirit, instead, it did the opposite and ultimately lead to the downfall of the Tsar. Soldiers were sick of fighting and seeing their fellow friends die around them due to the state of things. The situation was so bad that there weren't enough weapons for soldiers, food was low, the...
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