How far was the Provisional Government responsible for its own downfall?
In the light of this question, it is somewhat plausible to put forward the thesis that the Provisional Government , quite extensively, was responsible for its own downfall due to its internal failings with the party and incompetence that hold it solely to blame. However, one could counter argue this argument this by saying that it was the Bolsheviks strengths, strategies to manipulate events to their advantage and heightened sense of popularity over the Provisional Government that ultimately caused a decline in support for the Provisional Government and aided in their demise.
The Provisional Government was largely responsible for its downfall in 1917 for a number of reasons. Firstly, it could be argued that the Provisional Government was doomed to fall due to the nature of its existence. In the first Provisional Government led by Prince Lvov, it became apparent that it lacked legitimate authority because it was not an elected body. The Provisional Government was made up of former Duma members who had refused to disband at the Tsar’s demand. As such, they had no legitimate claim to the loyalty and obedience of the Russian people, which was a weakness that was contributory to its downfall in 1917.
The Kornilov Affair provides strong evidence for the Provisional Government being responsible for its own downfall in 1917. The initial misunderstanding between General Kornilov and the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, Alexander Kerensky suggested that there were severe communication problems within the Russian government, and that Kerensky exhibited paranoid behaviour. These factors weakened the Provisional Government and increased the likelihood of a second insurrection after the failed July Days. However, the more significant aspect of the Kornilov Affair is that Kerensky released the Bolsheviks from prison and armed them, alongside a number of industrial workers. The...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document