Leon Trotsky - Events Of 1917

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Events of 1917

Currently in exile; Trotsky travelled to New York in January, 1917 and worked with Nikolai Bukharin and Alexandra Kollontai in publishing the revolutionary newspaper Novy Mir.

After the overthrow of Nicholas II in February, 1917, Trotsky set off for Russia. However, Okhrana had been monitoring Trotsky's activities and managed to persuade the British authorities to arrest him when his ship arrived in the Canadian port of Halifax. The police held Trotsky in detention for a month and he was only released after protests from the Provisional Government.

Trotsky arrived back in Russia in May, 1917. He disapproved of the support that many leading Mensheviks were now giving to the Provisional Government and the war effort and in July joined the Bolsheviks. The new Prime Minister, Alexander Kerensky, now realized that Trotsky was a major threat to his government and had him arrested.

On 7th September, General Lavr Kornilov demanded the resignation of the Cabinet and the surrender of all military and civil authority to the Russian Army.

Kerensky responded by dismissing Kornilov from office and ordering him back to Petrograd.

Lavr Kornilov now sent troops under the leadership of General Krymov to take control of Petrograd. Kerensky was now in danger and so he called on the Soviets and the Red Guards to protect Petrograd. The Bolsheviks, who controlled these organizations, agreed to this request, but insisted on the release of their members from prison.

Trotsky was released and on 23rd September, he was elected chairman of the Petrograd Soviet. Using his strong oratory and writing skills he immediately helped to enlist 25,000 armed recruits to defend Petrograd. While they dug trenches and fortified the city, delegations of soldiers were sent out to talk to the advancing troops. Meetings were held and Kornilov's troops eventually decided to...