Why did the Bolsheviks succeed in the October Revolution

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Why did the Bolsheviks succeed in the October Revolution by Mind Map: Why did the Bolsheviks succeed in the October Revolution

1. Bolshevik gain+support

1.1. 1. The government had been seen to be protecting upper class ( many ministers landed) and the peasants increasingly supported the Bolsheviks. The urban workers also pledged allegiance to the Bolsheviks

1.1.1. Majority of members in prov gov rich and they had no intention of loosing their position in a state land grab

1.2. 2. After outcome of the July days, the Kornilov affair was to turn the tables. Marched 'savage division' into petrograd apparently to save the prov govn from 'german supporters and spies' and he aimed to destroy the Petrograd soviet. Kerensky feared him advance and called upon citizens to take up arms- included the release of Bolsheviks from prison. The fight didn't happen as Kornilov backed down and Bolsheviks emerged as saviours of Petrograd

1.2.1. Averted from the humiliation of the July days

1.2.2. Trotsky: biggest organiser sent armed militia to defend key points in the city

1.2.3. strikes from railway workers prevented Kornilov from leaving by rail.

1.3. 3. Middle of September, the Bolsheviks had majorities in the Petrograd Soviet and the Moscow Soviet

1.3.1. Majorities in the soviet were a major advantage to the bolsheviks

1.4. Soviets formed in Russia- this was a unique characteristic of Russian protest. These were spread from cities to rural villages and even the army. They were not highly organised but but were sufficiently coordinated to threaten Provisional governemnt

1.4.1. Bolsheviks demanded total obedience from their members

2. Lenin's role and guidance

2.1. 1. In August, the Kornilov affair led to shift to the left and Lenin seized opportunity. He pushed for the overthrow of the reactionary Kerensky government and it September he declared that "History will not forgive us if we do not assume power".

2.1.1. This statement by Lenin, showed how he encouraged the Bolsheviks to target Kerensky's govn when they were most vulnerable

2.1.2. Significance of the Kornilov affair to Bolsheviks: benefitted the most from the failure of this attempted coup. Able to present themselves as defenders of Petrograd and the revolution diverted attention from their failure of July days. Boosted the Bolsheviks as this affair damaged the Provisional government by revealing it's political weakness and showing how vulnerable they were to a military threat The bolsheviks large gain in this affair gained them the majority in the Petrograd and Moscow soviets in September

2.2. 2. German's transported Lenin by train from Switzerland to the Russia frontier. Lenin took advantage of the soviets; he saw them as the alternative to the provisional government. Calling for 'All power to the soviets'

2.2.1. Lenin wanted to take Russia out of the war--> gave them money to build publicity campaign

2.2.2. Sparked tension since they were financed by the Germans, which led them to build an effective party organisation, propaganda machine and a powerful private army ( The Red Guards)

2.3. 3. Kerensky, fearful of insurrection, closed down the Pravda and Izvestiya on 23rd Oct, Lenin made the order- it was time for the revolution to begin

2.3.1. The Pravda ran it's own propaganda machine--> ideas were spread across

2.4. 4. In the April Thesis, Lenin called from 'Peace, Bread, Land and All power to the Soviets'- this was to be of wide appeal

2.4.1. This appealed to the masses as other parties ideas were too hard to understand

2.4.2. People wanted there to be a transition of power-> military and economic crisis deepened, appeal to the masses grew

2.5. 5. Lenin returned from exile on 7th October and within three days, his campaign had won over a number of those in doubt... clearly Lenin decided to take action

3. Bolshevik position

3.1. 1. Trotsky elevated himself into leadership position in the MRC--> meaning that he controlled the most powerful military organisation in Petrograd

3.1.1. Trotsky was in addition, chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, who has set up the MRC in Sept 1917 in order to defend the city

3.1.2. With immense influence in both organisation, Trotsky was in a position to coordinate the course of events known as the October revolution leader of the Red Guard, Trotsky organised the revolution and he also became a member of the Politburo

3.2. 2. The Bolsheviks quickly took control of the soviets in major cities

3.2.1. This control was crucial to their struggle since they acted quickly due to their organisation skills in order to obtain first control

3.3. 3. Alexander Guchkov, the war minister, confessed that he could not govern his own ministry and that the soviets controlled the army

3.3.1. His resignation in early May illustrated the divisions within the government as well as outside pressures

4. Failures of the provisional governemnt

4.1. 1. War went badly for Russia but the prov govn felt it was a matter of honour to continue the fight--> hope was that the success of war would appeal to Russian nationalism " In order to survive the Provisional government had to keep Russia in the war, but in doing so it destroyed it's own chances of survival"

4.1.1. Allies also pressed it to; they were in their debt

4.1.2. Continued failures--> especially the Kerensky offensive of 1917, led to further disillusionment and calls for peace

4.1.3. Led to many problems such as food shortages, economic chaos

4.1.4. Russian regiments deserted and mutinies. The government lost focus in solving land problems

4.1.5. Tsar commander in chief was standing in the way of govn reform

4.2. 2. Elections promised but not held- Kerensky and his government refused to redistribute land until as election had taken place

4.2.1. Ignited anger from already existing land problems, people were desperate for change and reform - Land shortage chronic problem in Russia--> Main cause of peasant unrest in Russia since emancipation of the serfs in 1861. Prov gov was no real answer to land problems, the body was little progress in such a massive task Members of the prov gov were happy for estates of the fallen monarchy to go to the peasants but they had no intentions of loosing their own possessions in a state land grab This had been a strength of Lenin's assertion in the April Thesis that tsardom had been replaced not by a revolutionary but by a bourgeois regime ( refer to section on Lenin's role + guidance)

4.3. 3. During actual uprising the Red Guards were met with little resistance

4.3.1. Government clearly not prepared. Long term disillusionment had left only a token force loyal to Kerensky

4.3.2. Therefore Red Guards were able to subdue remaining loyalist with ease and Kerensky himself had abandoned his post and fled to the US embassy

4.4. 4. Problem of food distribution was not solved and peasants demanded that land was distributed

4.4.1. chronic food shortages, has not been this scale of disruption in the countryside since the emancipation of serfs

4.5. 5. Kornilov affair: refer to section on 'Lenin's role and guidance'