Revision Diary

The March Revolution and the Provisional Government

   

Government of Nicholas II in 1914; nature of Russian society in 1914;

      traditional loyalty; opposition groups. The role of Rasputin;

Impact of World War I on Russia; military defeat; food shortages and transport dislocation at home.

Political upheaval and Tsarís abdication/ creation of the Russian republic;

Problems facing the Provisional Government and its failures, including military defeats and their effects at home.

 

 

Make sure you have detailed factual knowledge about AND HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT the following issues and topics:

  

HOW STRONG WAS THE TSARIST REGIME IN 1914?

1.  The nature of the Tsar's government.

  

WHY DID THE RULE OF THE TSAR COLLAPSE IN 1917?

2.  The STORY of the March Revolution.

3.  The role of Rasputin

4.  The impact of the First World War on Russia.

5.  (ie the causes of the March Revolution)

  

WHY DID THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT ONLY LAST 8 MONTHS?

6.  the events of the Provisional Government

7.  The failure of the Provisional Government

 

and that you are able to explain:

 

    

 

  

HOW STRONG WAS THE TSARIST REGIME?

     

The Nature of the Tsar's government

Overview

The government of Russia was an autocracy, run by Tsar Nicholas II as an absolute monarch.   There were four Dumas (Parliaments) after the Revolution of 1905, but they had little power.   The Tsar used the Okhrana (secret police) and the Cossacks (mounted soldiers) to control the people - the worst example was Bloody Sunday (1905).

   

Facts

1.   After 1906, Peter Stolypin, the Tsar's Chief Minister, organised the government well and increased the power of the Tsar..

2.   There were THREE main opponents of the Tsar.  

a.   The Kadets (middle-class businessmen who wanted a Parliament like Britain's).

b.   The Social Revolutionaries (who wanted a peasant revolution)

c.   The Bolsheviks (Communists) who wanted a workers' revolution.

3.   Don't forget to mention how Rasputin ruined the Tsar's government after the assassination of Stolypin in 1911.

 

  

  

 

WHY DID THE RULE OF THE TSAR COLLAPSE IN 1917?

  

The February (March) Revolution

Overview

In 1917 there was tremendous anger in Russia with Tsar Nicholas, the War, the food shortages and the inflation.   There were riots which ran out of control - the tsarina and Rasputin could not handle things - and eventually the Duma took control, formed a Provisional Government, and forced Nicholas to abdicate

 

Facts

1.   On Sun 4 March 1917 the workers at the Putilov factory went on strike, demanding a 50% pay increase to pay for food inflation.  

2.   On Thurs 8 March there were bread riots because of food shortages.

3.   On 12 March many soldiers in Petrograd, and the sailors in Kronstadt, shot their officers and joined the revolution.

  

  

Role/importance of Rasputin

Rasputin was a friend of the royal family because he could heal Alexis's haemophilia.   He became powerful after 1915, when Nicholas went to the Front, leaving the tsarina in charge of the government at home.  

 

Rasputin harmed the government in two ways:

1.   He put tramps and peasants into government jobs, dismissing ministers he disliked.  

2.   he ruined the reputation of the monarchy - opposition leaflets suggested that he held the tsar and tsarina in his hands like a puppet.

 

But he was NOT a major cause of the revolution (his murder in 1916 did not stop it).

  

  

Impact of WWI

World War One harmed Russia (and the Tsar) in THREE main ways:

1.   It took 14 million peasants away to the army = food shortages, because there was no one left to run the farms.

2.   Food shortages caused bread riots (remember that the March revolution began with  bread riot on 8 March) and inflation.

3.   Disastrous defeats ruined the tsar's reputation, and led the soldiers to join the revolution (12 March) - i.e. the tsar lost control..

  

  

Causes of Russ Rev

(Wishy-Washy Nicholas)

IF YOU ARE ASKED THIS, MAKE SURE YOU GIVE SOME FACTS AS WELL.

1.   Weakness of Russia (huge size/ poor).

2.   World War One (remember the facts from above).

3.   Nicholas was a rotten ruler (remember the facts from above).   His biggest mistake was taking personal command of the army, which ruined his reputation.

  

  

  

  

WHY DID THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT ONLY LAST 8 MONTHS?

  

The Provisional Government

Overview

In March 1917 the Duma formed a 'Provisional (= temporary) Government' and forced the tsar to abdicate.   But it never managed to do anything about its six problems (see below) - so nobody lifted a finger to help it when the Bolsheviks revolted in November and it fell from power.

 

Facts

1    In March, the Petrograd Soviet issued Order No. 1 forbidding people to obey the provisional government unless the Soviet agreed.

2.   In April, the German government smuggled the Bolshevik leader Lenin back into Russia.   (The Bolsheviks rioted in July but were defeated.)

3.   In August, there was a Tsarist revolt led by General Kornilov - he was only defeated by the Bolsheviks.

 

 

Six Problems of the Prov Gov

(SIPS BK)

1.   The Petrograd Soviet was a rival for power (nb Order No.1).

2.   Inflation and hunger got worse because the Prov Gov didn't end the war.  

3.   The Prov Gov angered the peasants by making them give back the nobles land they had taken.

4.   The Prov Gov angered the soldiers by forming death squads to stop them deserting.

5.   The Prov Gov did not stop Lenin and the Bolsheviks campaigning against it (remember Lenin's slogans - 'Peace, Bread, Land').

6.   General Kornilov tried a rebellion to bring back the Tsar in August 1917, and the Prov Gov could not stop him (he was defeated by the Bolsheviks).

  

Revision Focus

This is a Paper 2 topic, so you need to have factual KNOWLEDGE IN DEPTH but also a degree of understanding which will allow you in the exam to write MULTI-CAUSAL EXPLANATIONS of the key issues.

  

Links

   Hard copy of these revision notes

  

e-books on the Tsar's government , the March Revolution and the Provisional Government

  

  

HOW did the Causes cause revolution? - VITAL matching game

   

  

Online revision sheet  

  

Essay on the Provisional Government