Badcock, Sarah (1997) An analysis of the inability of the provisional government to prevent the Bolshevik seizure of power and the failure of Kerensky's coalition politics in 1917. Masters thesis, Durham University.
This thesis examines the weaknesses of the Provisional Government and Kerensky's coalition politics. It is argued that a teleological deterministic view of Russian history must be laid aside if the study is to progress. It is shown that whilst Provisional Government policies were not successful on the key issues of bread, land and peace, these issues were not resolvable in the short term, and the Bolshevik promise of bread was fallacious. On the question of peace, however, the Provisional Government failed to recognise Russia’s need for peace, and consequently failed to prioritise Russia's withdrawal from the war, which was a major factor in the Provisional Government's inability to win widespread support. It is shown that the war was a financial and logistic crisis for the Provisional Government. There was an implicit contradiction in the soldiers' desires to retain their new rights and freedoms, and the desire of senior command to restore order in the army. The position of the Petrograd workers was crippled by the failure of moderation and legitimate means to improve workers living conditions. As a result, 1917 saw a definitive move to the left in the workers' movement. The three moderate political parties all lacked a firm party organisation and discipline, and had no experience of coalition politics. The two socialist parties were unable to reconcile their differences constructively, and allowed personal enmity to interfere with political life in 1917. The SR-Menshevik alliance had the potential to prevent the Bolsheviks from gaining control of the Soviets, and combined the popular support of the SR's with the mature leadership of the Mensheviks. Although Miliukov and the Kadets had the greatest political experience, they handicapped the coalition because they would not accept radical social change. Assessment of the role of Alexander Kerensky in die events of 1917 shows that much of the criticism he has faced is unjust, and that he acquitted himself well in 1917.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||13 Sep 2012 15:55|