The revolutions of 1917 : 4.2 Bloshevik seizure of power Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in The revolutions of 1917 : 4.2 Bloshevik seizure of power Deck (6)
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Popularity of Bolsheviks by October?

340,000 members


Why was the timing of the Revolution perfect?

1) Lenin knew if they were in power before the elections of the Constituent Assembly, they could ignore them if they were unfavourable to the Bolsheviks
2) The All-Russian Congress of Soviets was due to meet in late October and if the Bolsheviks overthrew the PG, they could present their new authority as a “fait accompli”, which the congress would find very hard to reject.


Lenin’s actions?

Lenin continued to remain in exile, but began calling for a revolution and returned to Petrograd on 7th October, remaining in hiding. On 10th October - Lenin called the Bolshevik central committee meeting, but Kamanev and Zinoviev strongly voiced their objections in newspapers, warning Kerensky of the Bolshevik threat.


How did Kerensky inadvertently set the date for the revolution?

On 23rd October, Kerensky tried to remove the Bolsheviks by closing down the newspapers and rounding up leading figures and thus the Bolsheviks were forced into action/Lenin ordered them to begin the revolution before Kerensky could capture them : so, Kerensky had set the date of the Revolution : 24th OCTOBER 1917. PG had little authority by then : Peace, land and bread > inaction of Kerensky + PG.


Events of the revolution?

On the night of 24th October, the Bolsheviks captured key buildings (telegraph offices and railway stations) - road blocks were also set up on the city’s bridges and roads surrounding the winter palace, where the PG was in session. There was very little resistance and the city of Petrograd went about its everyday business. Kerensky managed to escape and tried to get some troops from the front line, but this failed. The women’s battalion and military cadets (who were protecting the palace) surrendered and the cruiser Aurora fired its guns - signalling to the PG, which gave in and many members were arrested. There were 6 deaths (soldiers) and 18 arrests and the collapse of the PG.


How did the Bolsheviks then take control (politically)?

All-Russian congress of Soviets was at the Smolny Institute - Bolsheviks had the most seats (390/650) but the SRs and Mensheviks condemned the Bolsheviks for the way they took over. Eventually, both parties left, strengthening the Bolsheviks position even further. Lenin formed a new Government : The Council of People’s Commissars (SOVNARKOM) :
1 )Trotsky was Commissar of Foreign Affairs
2) Stalin was Commissar for Nationalities