How did the weaknesses of the Provisional Government in Russia lead to its own demise? 

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To answer this question, you need to be able to explain what about the Provisional Government in Russia made it so unpopular. The czar was deposed because he was hated by the Russian people, especially the poor. One would think that the Provisional Government would have attempted to address some of the issues that the people had with the Czar, but that was not the case. In fact, the new government was so unpopular with the Russian people that Vladimir Lenin was able to orchestrate a bloodless coup in St. Petersburg by the end of the year.

The major problem in Russia was its participation in World War I. The Provisional Government decided to continue its involvement. The defeats at the hands of Austria in June caused more animosity. Many soldiers deserted and were hunted down and executed. Aside from the battle deaths that were mounting, the war caused severe food and fuel shortages. The Provisional Government was not able to solve this issue either.

Another weakness of the Provisional Government was that it did not have any real authority. It was a temporary government and did not always have the support of the Soviets and Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was usually a staunch critic of the government and he was allowed to speak freely against it because of political reforms that were instituted. Social and economic reforms were badly needed but were not launched by the Provisional Government. In fact, the Provisional Government was often seen as endorsing the feudal policies that were in place during the rule of the Czar. For these reasons, the Provisional Government was as unpopular with the Russian people as the czar was.

In framing a response to your question, create an introduction paragraph, and your body paragraphs should address the following three topics:

  • The continued participation of Russia in World War I.
  • How Lenin and his party undermined the work of the Provisional Government
  • Impact of food and fuel shortages as on the people of Russia.