Critically assess the success of Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917 in Russia.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that the Bolshevik Revolution was quite successful in attaining public legitimacy and answering the needs of the people.  The Provisional Government suffered from some of the same problems that the Tsarist government did in terms of not being able to fully read the will of the people and achieving public legitimacy as a result of it.  In contrast, the Bolsheviks read the mood of the public perfectly, understanding what it immediately sought and being able to deliver on these promises.  The Provisional Government and Kerensky failed to articulate a clear and distinct policy regarding Russian involvement in the war.  The Bolsheviks were clear about removing Russia from the war.  The military seizure of power, ensured by Trotsky's arrangements, helped to deliver on Lenin's promise of political action that would be more in line with Marxist- Socialist ideology, something that the Provisional Government lacked in full throated action.  In this, the Bolsheviks were able to deliver in a more clear and lucid manner on their promises to the Russian people, earning them greater legitimacy over the Provisional Government.  In this light, I think that one would have to see the Bolshevik Revolution as a military and political success.

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