Why Russia's provisional government failed when so many wanted a democracy.

Essay by phobophobia24College, Undergraduate May 2003

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When the Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne in March of 1917, it appeared that Russia was finally heading on the right path. A provisional government, acting as a democracy took over and tried to create a western style society. However, this democratic provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky lasted for only seven months, at the end of which the Bolshevik communists led by Lenin seized power. With so many Russians longing for a democracy, why did the provisional government fall so fast? There are several reasons why the provisional government fell. First, there were the mistakes of Kerensky, and second was the power of Lenin. Each had their own way of dealing with the situations that Russia was facing, but in the end Lenin and the Bolshevik communists prevailed.

Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Socialist Democratic Party, and an intellectual westernizer, not a man prepared to lead a country.

In addition, the revolutionaries, mainly made up of socialists reasoned that since the revolution was in its bourgeois stage the representatives of the bourgeois should form the administration. The fact that the bourgeois was heavily represented in the upper echelons of the government ensured that the leaders of the government were going to be intellectuals, not pragmatic problem solvers who could quickly fix up societies problems. When the Czar fell, there were two main problems facing Russian society. One was the active war in the west against Germany, and two was the peasant land reform issue. Kerensky and the government made some mistakes when dealing with these two problems. They decided to continue the war, even though the Russians did not support it. They also decided to push off the peasant land reform problem until the war was settled.

Once in power, the government immediately enacted much progressive...