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How and why were the Bolsheviks able to seize power in Russia in 1917 When the February Revolution of 1917 erupted the Bolsheviks were a minor concern and had no direct involvement in this initial bourgeoisie revolution Prominent Bolshevik leaders like Lenin were abroad at the time and members were divided over the partys purpose in Russia Notwithstanding this by 1922 the Bolshevik Party had assumed resolute power in Russia and consolidated their authority Nicholas IIs abdication had created political instability in Russia leaving the Provisional Government in Petrograd to assumed power over Russia Unfortunately the Provisional Government lacked legitimacy to justify its actions There was no tradition of government rule in Russia and many people were actually opposed to it As a self-appointed body many questioned the Governments authority to rule The Provisional Government also lacked a charismatic leader which only aggravated the situation Despite attempts to ameliorate their position like the appointment of Alexander Kerensky as leader even his political talent could not improve the PGs popularity Historians recognise that the Provisional Governments continuance of the war was a significant influence on their downfall but we must bear in mind that this decision was not based on blind refusal to admit defeat but political reasoning Russia was practically bankrupt and continuance of the war provided essential financial assistance from the West Moreover the Provisional Government felt obliged to continue the war out of loyalty to Britain and France This was an unpopular decision as there appeared to be few aims to the continued fighting or breakthrough successes The PG gradually lost the support of a large proportion of the troops regarded as little more than peasants in uniform and were an obvious target for Bolshevik propaganda Russia was an impoverished and backward power in 1917 with a largely peasant population The war also meant that Lenins key issues of peace bread and land could not be addressed Significant improvements to
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