Unrest in the Provisional Government! Several political parties had declared their intentions of mistrust and disapproval towards the newly formed government. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the Provisional Government attempted to contain order and bring about change to the economically suffering Russia. However, workers, peasants, and soldiers alike felt change was moving too slowly.
The February Revolution and the absence of the Tsar allowed for a wave of political, religious, and economic freedom in which the new Provisional Government would be able to function. However, the government’s inability to act effectively in the months that followed allowed for the continued struggle for millions of Russians. Food shortages, the burden of World War I, and the lack of land reforms would cause major issues down the line.
Some of the issues resulted in demonstrations that turned rather deadly. The July Days were created out of the growing resentment between Bolsheviks and the Provisional Government, although the revolt had been crushed by the Provisional Government, the aftermath proved to be a political victory for the Bolsheviks. More and more Russians started to notice the ailments surrounding the Provisional Government.
Demonstrators under fire from Provisional Government troops during the July Days uprising in Petrograd
The Kornilov Affair also contributed to the growth in left leaning sentiment, “the main victor in the Kornilov Affair was the radical left, and in particular the Bolsheviks who had long warned of the danger of a counter-revolutionary thrust” (Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, Kornilov Affair). The potential coup d’etat had failed and the consequences proved dire. Alexander Kerenskii’s Provisional Government looked weak, the integrity of the government had been compromised.
Troops loyal to the Bolsheviks march towards to the Smolny Institute during the October Revolution of 1917
On October 10, 1917 Lenin returned to Petrograd to push for an armed insurrection to end the strife faced by Russia under the Provisional Government. With a 10 – 2 vote from the Central Committee, Lenin would have his armed revolt. On October 24, the Military Revolutionary Committee, headquartered at the Smolny Institute, gave the order to the Red Guard to take key points around the city. By the following day, the Winter Palace was stormed and the Provisional Government was overthrown and replaced by a Bolshevik controlled government. Within the next few days, the organization that had promised “Peace, Bread and Land” would formalize their plans with the creation of the Bolshevik Initial Decrees. A Soviet Russia was beginning to see the light of day….