Alexander Kerensky

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Alexander Kerensky was born in Simbirsk, Russia, on 22nd April, 1881. The son of a headmaster, Kerensky studied law at the University of St. Petersburg.

In 1905 Kerensky joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party and became editor of the radical newspaper, Burevestik. He was soon arrested and condemed exile. He returned to St. Petersburg in 1906 and found work as a lawyer. In the next few years he developed a reputation for defending radicals in court who had been accused of political offenses.Kerensky joined the Russian Labour Party and in 1912 was elected to the State Duma. As a socialist, Kerensky developed a strong following amongst industrial workers. He also played an important role in the exposure of Roman Malinovsky, one of the leaders of the Bolsheviks, as an undercover agent of the Okhrana.

In February 1917, Kerensky announced he had rejoined the Socialist Revolutionary Party and called for the removal of Nicholas II.

When Alexandra Fyodorovna heard the news she wrote to her husband and demanded that he be hung as a traitor. When the Tsar abdicated on 13th March, a Provisional Government was formed. Kerensky was appointed as Minister of Justice and immediately introduced a series of reforms including the abolition of capital punishment. He also announced basic civil liberties such as freedom of the press and the abolition of ethnic and religious discrimination.

In May 1917 Kerensky became Minister of War and he toured the Eastern Front where he made a series of emotional speeches where he appealed to the troops to continue fighting. On 18th June, Kerensky announced a new war offensive. The new offensive caused peace demonstrations in the streets of Petrograd which were encouraged by the Bolsheviks. The July Offensive, led by General Alexei Brusilov, was an attack on the whole Galician sector. Initially...