Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power by October 1917? (The mistakes…
Why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power by October 1917?
The mistakes of the Provisional government
Autumn the PG moved further to the right leaving it open to criticism that it was a “parliamentary bourgeois republic”
Summer 1917 Kerensky and the PG failed to take an opportunity to destroy the Bolsheviks after the July crisis and the Kornilov affair lost the PG the support of the army and reinstated
The PG allowed itself to be dictated to by the Soviets (workers’ councils) who also had control of the army
They failed to deal with issues
1)continuing the war
2)holding back the distribution of the land.
Bolsheviks’ credibility for having saved the PG from a military coup.
They publicized their provisional nature and used it as a reason not to deal with important issues.
Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries lost sight of their Communist/Socialist vision as they became content with their influence over the government through the Soviets.
Lenin adapted Marxism to make it applicable to the unindustrialized Russia so convinced doubters in his party the revolution was the right option.
By staying out of the PG Lenin set the Bolsheviks up as the only alternative. When the PG failed to address the key issues Bolshevik membership and support soared.
Lenin promised "bread, peace and land" and all power to the soviets. The promise of peace attracted the army, land distribution gained the support of the peasants, bread the industrial workers suffering from food shortages. Power to the soviets distanced the Bolsheviks from the PG and the bourgeois corruption Lenin claimed they were involved in
Bolsheviks increasingly developed their influence over the Petrograd barracks and the workers soviets
Trotsky used the Kornilov incident to increase his support. He became president of the Petrograd Soviet and Bolshevik majorities were gained in the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets.
Trotsky passionate support for Lenin’s revolution helped to convince the doubters in the party.
Trotsky was in charge of the Bolshevik’s military Revolutionary Committee (MRC). By late October 1917 the MRC had already infiltrated the Petrograd Barracks and ordered the army not to attack the revolutionaries.
He planned the details of the seizure of power.
Leaving the winter palace until last, a joint attack was initiated by a shot by the cruiser Aurora. Taking the PG all at
once resulted in little resistance.
Organized the Bolshevik red guard, taking responsibility for recruitment and discipline
He was a great speaker and motivator of his men.