Criticism: Alexander Kerensky?s Leading Of The Provisional Government Essay, Research Paper
Alexander Kerensky, the leader of the provisional government of Russia in 1917. Alexander Kerensky neglected the wishes of the Russian people as well as the power of the Bolshevik party and therefore put an end to democracy in Russia and allowed his government to be overthrown.
In March 1917 discontent in Russia grew. The army was tired of war and no longer fitted with adequate supplies to fight. The food situation deteriorated, millions of people starved in Russia because all the available food was being sent to the troops to aid in the war effort. Out of the turmoil two large revolutionary groups began to form. One, known as the Temporary Committee consisted of members of the Progressive Bloc, and representatives of leftist groups. Also were the soviets, consisting of factory and workshop delegates, as well as leading military powers. Each of these new revolutionary groups considered themselves the spokesmen for the new Russia. As the discontent increased the Imperial government could no longer last unless the Tsar immediately instituted far-reaching reforms. The Tsar ignored all such suggestions, considering them not worthy of reply. In response to the Tsar?s obduracy the Russian people revolted.
Once the revolutions began the Tsar lost all power. On March 16 the Temporary Committee of the Duma dissolved and established the provisional government. It was a body of well-known and respected pre-revolutionary figures. This represented a good group of educated Russians but they were unfit to run a revolutionary country during wartime. The leader of this group was Alexander Kerensky.
Kerensky was born in Simbirsk and educated at the University of Petersburg. During his college years he secretly joined the Socialists revolutionary party, which was banned at the time. In 1012 Kerensky was elected to the Duma as a representative of the Group of Toil. In March 1917 after the overthrow of the Tsar, Kerensky was appointed Minister of justice of the provisional government, and later in the reorganization was appointed the prime minister.
As prime minister, Kerensky made many crucial mistakes. His original goal was the suppression of the Bolshevik party led by Lenin. This caused Lenin to flee the country while other bolshevik leaders such as Trotsky, were arrested. Instead of starting off his rule on a wild goose chase trying to reprimand as many Bolsheviks as he could, Kerensky should have focused on Internal affairs such as the starving people armies fighting in the war as well as the starving families on the streets. These later on became easy targets for Lenin to jibe at. Also Kerensky should have realized that they Bolsheviks were well organized. Lenin provided the leadership and Trotsky provided the military knowledge. Lenin would not allow himself to be so simply caught and reprimanded. Instead of trying to capture the Bolsheviks Kerensky should have instead stolen the people support from underneath them.
Kerensky also subjected himself to the Bolsheviks in that the provisional government that Kerensky was in charge of was only ever meant to temporary. The provisional government was there to govern Russia until a general election could be held. Not only was it temporary but also it lacked the power to make any major decisions so that it posed no real threat to Lenin and the Bolsheviks who has control of the armies. For Instance, Kerensky may have had the ability to pass a law but he had no true way to enforce it. As an alternative solution, the provisional government should have been given full power until the set date that general election was held so that the government was not seen as bogus.
The government under Kerensky?s control never took Russia out of the war. By not leaving the war Kerensky not only further upset the Russian people, but also gave the Bolsheviks yet another opportunity to gain the support of the Russian people. Instead of procrastinating about whether or not to stay in the war Kerensky should have immediately left the war to raise the Russian moral and then begin rebuilding the economy so that not as many people would be going hungry. By leaving the war early Kerensky could have gained support for the provisional government as well as proceeded towards a higher level of democracy and Industrialization.
Finally, in August of 1917 Kerensky lost support of the army led by General Kornilov. Kornilov believed that Kerensky would attempt to take over the government and seize power. When the general attempted to march on the capital and establish himself a military dictator, Kerensky failed to take any decisive action; the attempted coup was halted by the actions of the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks then used their new acquired sense of power to seize control of the government, while Kerensky had gone to the front in an attempt to gain the support of the troops. Kerensky?s lack of ability to take action against Kornilov lost him control of the country and eventually led to a communist Russia.
In Conclusion, because of Kerensky?s lack of ability to understand and fulfill the needs of the Russian people as well as comprehend the over all power of the Bolshevik party, Kerensky lost control of the provisional Russian government as well as that of any future hopes for prospering democracy.
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