November 1917: The Bolsheviks have taken over Russia ! This incredible event has just happened ! To find out why, here are a series of newsflashes from newspaper over the last 9 months. Create this table and use the newsflashes to fill it in! DateEventHow this event shows the Provisional Government was weak How this events made the Bolsheviks stronger
NEWSFLASH 1! March 1917 - The Tsar has just abdicated! Power over Russia has been given to 2 groups of people ! Group 1: The Duma led by Alexander Kerensky ! This group will hold elections soon, so they are only a Provisional Government! Group 2: A large group of workers and soldiers called the Petrograd Soviet ! The Provisional government can only pass a law if the Petrograd Soviet agree to it ! Order No. 1 means that the Petrograd Soviet have control of the Army ! Both have agreed to introduce freedom of speech and the press, and the right to strike !
Newsflash 2! Important decisions have just been made! March 1917: The Provisional Government’s decisions ! Decision 1: The Provisional Government will not end the war because the Germans would make the Russians pay too great a price if we surrender ! Decision 2: The Provisional Government will not give the peasants back their land. They worry that if they start giving back land, Russian soldiers will desert and return to claim their land!
Newsflash 3! Lenin has returned Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks, has just returned to Russia in April 1917! He is desperate to see the Bolsheviks take power ! He has made an important speech from the train station as soon as he arrived ! Here is a statue built later to show him delivering his speech. Picture courtesy of Keith McInnes
Lenin’s ideas are: “Peace, Bread and Land!” and “All Power to the Soviets” So he wants: *An end to the War *Land given to the peasants *Soviets should take power - “No co-operation with the Provisional government!” These ideas have been written up as the April Theses!
NEWSFLASH 4! RIOTING ! “The July Days” Russians are angry that the war and the shortages continue, so they are rioting to get things changed! The Bolsheviks are the only party that are against the war, so the rioters asked the Bolsheviks to lead them ! Kerensky sends in troops against the rioters. Lenin flees to Finland. NEWSFLASH 4! RIOTING ! “The July Days” Russians are angry that the war and the shortages continue, so they are rioting to get things changed! The Bolsheviks are the only party that are against the war, so the rioters asked the Bolsheviks to lead them ! Kerensky sends in troops against the rioters. Lenin flees to Finland.
NEWSFLASH 5! The Kornilov Revolt – August 1917 A general called Kornilov is so angry with the weakness of the Russian Government that he has threatened to take power himself ! He and his troops got on trains to go to Petrograd to take power! Kerensky was in a panic, and he gave rifles to the Bolsheviks’ Army, the Red Guard, to defend Petrograd against Kornilov ! However, Kornilov didn’t arrive – the railway workers had pulled up the tracks so the trains stopped. The Bolsheviks look like heroes and have kept the rifles!
The time is right! The Provisional Government (P.G.) are unpopular because they shoot peasants who take land by force. Crime is rocketing: the P.G. don’t seem to be in control ! Winter is coming … The Bolsheviks are very popular in the Petrograd Soviet, and have lots of support! Lenin spends a whole night convincing reluctant Bolsheviks that the time is right for Revolution ! The Bolsheviks take over Petrograd! 7 th November 1917. Trotsky, a leading Bolshevik, organises the Red Guard so they take control of: The train stations and bridges The main telegraph office Other key buildings in Petrograd ! Kerensky fled and the Bolsheviks have taken the city! … except for …
The Winter Palace where the Provisional Government is ! Newsflash 6! The storming of the Winter Palace At 9.00 pm the cruiser Aurora (see picture) fired a shell to signal the start of the takeover of the Palace! The Bolsheviks marched on the Palace … The defenders had either fled or gave up ! The Provisional Government was captured and the Bolsheviks had control ! Picture courtesy of Keith McInnes
Test your partner… Describe the following events in the Bolshevik seizure of power, but without using the actual words! See how many they get right, then swap over. Winter Palace Kornilov Revolt Order no 1 Provisional Government July days Peace, bread and Land