Author Topic: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?  (Read 58744 times)

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Offline Zvezda

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #75 on: March 30, 2009, 10:54:44 PM »
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The Provisional Government was by its very definition a temporary caretaker government and was never charged with the responsibility to do anything but govern until the Constituent Assembly took up the issues of a permanent post Tsarist governance. The Bolsheviks so feared the process of liberal government that they shut down the Constituent Assembly with armed force.

The eventual Soviet Union also declined to solve the National questions, taking over popular governments in Ukraine in the Baltics.

In Lenin's own words, "In 1917, Russia was the freest country on earth". The PG abolished capital punishment and other oppressive laws, "deficiencies" remedied bu the Bolsheviks.

The July Days showed how the Bolsheviks were in rebellion against the government, which then jailed the leaders.


The April, June, and July demonstrations were spontaneous political protests against the illegitimate Provisional Government. To characterize it as a Bolshevik rebellion is something of a delusional conspiracy theory. The people of Petrograd made it abundantly clear that they were sick to death of war, hunger, and reaction.

Concerning the Ukraine and the Baltic countries, soviet power was largely established by the local workers themselves in the period November 1917 to January 1918. In Latvia and Estonia, soviet power was illegally overthrown in February 1918 by the German aggressors and in May 1919 the bourgeois nationalists seized power with interference by the Entente, German units, and Yudenich's White Guard gangs. In Ukraine, soviet power was similarly overthrown by the German aggressors in February 1918 and shortly thereafter replaced by a puppet regime. These regions were not practising their right to self-determination when they were in fact either under German or Entente vassalage.

Concerning the Constituent Assembly, it had no right to govern Russia. In November 1917, the soviets established themselves as the supreme state authority in Russia. The soviets also decided to dissolve the Constituent Assembly when it refused to recognize the soviet government's decrees. You may also recall that the right-wing Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks walked out of the Congress of Soviets when the Petrograd Soviet proclaimed state power, precluding the possibility of the formation of a coalition government with the Bolsheviks and Left SRs.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 10:57:34 PM by Zvezda »

Offline nevsky 17

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #76 on: March 30, 2009, 11:56:49 PM »
It's relatively too early to interpret 1900-1918 events in Russia however here is a befitting quotation from Wikipedia that covers your discussion on Kerensky imo:

 The local Russian Orthodox Churches in New York refused to grant Kerensky burial, seeing him as being a freemason and being largely responsible for Russia falling to the Bolsheviks. A Serbian Orthodox Church also refused. Kerensky's body was then flown to London where he was buried at Putney Vale's non-denominational cemetery.

The article also touches on Kerensky's ties to "New York bankers" (who apparently stiill remain beyond criticism or reproach).

Offline antti

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #77 on: March 31, 2009, 08:38:01 AM »
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The Provisional Government was by its very definition a temporary caretaker government and was never charged with the responsibility to do anything but govern until the Constituent Assembly took up the issues of a permanent post Tsarist governance. The Bolsheviks so feared the process of liberal government that they shut down the Constituent Assembly with armed force.

The eventual Soviet Union also declined to solve the National questions, taking over popular governments in Ukraine in the Baltics.

In Lenin's own words, "In 1917, Russia was the freest country on earth". The PG abolished capital punishment and other oppressive laws, "deficiencies" remedied bu the Bolsheviks.

The July Days showed how the Bolsheviks were in rebellion against the government, which then jailed the leaders.


The April, June, and July demonstrations were spontaneous political protests against the illegitimate Provisional Government. To characterize it as a Bolshevik rebellion is something of a delusional conspiracy theory. The people of Petrograd made it abundantly clear that they were sick to death of war, hunger, and reaction.

Concerning the Ukraine and the Baltic countries, soviet power was largely established by the local workers themselves in the period November 1917 to January 1918. In Latvia and Estonia, soviet power was illegally overthrown in February 1918 by the German aggressors and in May 1919 the bourgeois nationalists seized power with interference by the Entente, German units, and Yudenich's White Guard gangs. In Ukraine, soviet power was similarly overthrown by the German aggressors in February 1918 and shortly thereafter replaced by a puppet regime. These regions were not practising their right to self-determination when they were in fact either under German or Entente vassalage.

Concerning the Constituent Assembly, it had no right to govern Russia. In November 1917, the soviets established themselves as the supreme state authority in Russia. The soviets also decided to dissolve the Constituent Assembly when it refused to recognize the soviet government's decrees. You may also recall that the right-wing Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks walked out of the Congress of Soviets when the Petrograd Soviet proclaimed state power, precluding the possibility of the formation of a coalition government with the Bolsheviks and Left SRs.

Zvezda please leave the Baltic countries and Finland away from your posts since your posts are explained by soviet propaganda and has nothing to do with the truth.

Offline JStorey

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #78 on: April 01, 2009, 11:22:44 PM »
The brief window in which Kerensky was in power was one of incredible tumult and instability.  He was doomed.  It only illustrates that it made little difference who was in power at the time; the conflicting forces were so profound, civil war was an inevitability.  Allied war loans were about the only thing keeping the government afloat; he had no choice. 

All of this rubbish about Witte, Stolypin, and/or Kornilov saving the day is just that - rubbish... 

As is the caricature you're making of Kerensky.  I do agree that what I have read about him in his later years as a professor at Stanford, etc., he seemed rather bitter and full of himself.  But I would like to see someone - anyone - volunteer to step in his shoes during those 10 months - Kornilov on one side, Lenin on the other.  He never had a chance.  There is a very tedious biography of his day to day life (by a fellow named Abraham) that, while may not keep you on the edge of your seat, nevertheless illustrates just what a mess he had on his plate.

He treated the Romanovs as well as he could under the circumstances and considering who Kerensky was.  When England proved out of the question, Tobolsk was a reasonable location.  He was not a Marat and wanted very desperately a bloodless revolution.

In the end he was lucky to get out alive. 

Revolution is a mother who eats her own children.  See Goya's Saturn for illustration.

Offline bkohatl

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2009, 02:51:40 AM »
My only point was, that if anyone saw what Lenin saw they and they had any courage they could have changed history. The Russian people were sick of the war, too many were dead and too many were dying. If someone had just had the courage to say this is a stupid war. Let us end it hear and now, Lenin might have been a footnote. World War I was not the Great War: it was the stupid war. Think of all the slaughter of the Civil War. If Kerensky had been a real reformer, if he possessed the courag to end the fighting. The Killing would have stopped. Every act he did and everything he didn't do, guaranteed that he wouldn't be the person to decide Russia's or his own fate.
Except for the Anti-Intelligensia and Anti-Semitism which grew up out of the radicallism which infested Russia and which they contributed to, Witte and Stolypin did plant the seeds which directly led to Russia to becoming a Superpower.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2009, 05:31:51 AM »
I think the war was equated with patriotism, rightly or wrongly. That maybe why Kerensky didn't end the war when he could have and should have. Nicholas would not have ended the war early since he equated it with patrotism. Lenin cared more about the Bolshevoks getting power than he did about perceptions of ending the war being unpatriotic. The was was indeed a mistake and contributed to the fall of the Romanovs, but Nicholas never saw that.

Offline amelia

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2009, 07:00:52 AM »
What happened to Kerensky's family? Did they escape to the West? A few years ago I read that one of his grandsons worked for the BBC in London. Is it true? Amelia

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2009, 11:15:02 PM »
What happened to Kerensky's family? Did they escape to the West? A few years ago I read that one of his grandsons worked for the BBC in London. Is it true? Amelia

The Kerensky family indeed made their way West. Stephan Kerensky posts here on occasion.

Offline JStorey

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #83 on: May 02, 2009, 12:26:02 PM »
My only point was, that if anyone saw what Lenin saw they and they had any courage they could have changed history. The Russian people were sick of the war, too many were dead and too many were dying. If someone had just had the courage to say this is a stupid war. Let us end it hear and now, Lenin might have been a footnote. World War I was not the Great War: it was the stupid war. Think of all the slaughter of the Civil War. If Kerensky had been a real reformer, if he possessed the courag to end the fighting. The Killing would have stopped. Every act he did and everything he didn't do, guaranteed that he wouldn't be the person to decide Russia's or his own fate.
Except for the Anti-Intelligensia and Anti-Semitism which grew up out of the radicallism which infested Russia and which they contributed to, Witte and Stolypin did plant the seeds which directly led to Russia to becoming a Superpower.

Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men...  I have a question:  if you were Kerensky, just how would you "end" the war?  You would have to surrender and sign a treaty with the Germans.  The Germans would force extraordinary concessions.  The Allies would abruptly end all war loans, their financial support the only thing holding your government tenuously afloat.  Your money would then have to come from Germany, making your position of negotiation even weaker.  In other words, you would be in a situation identical to Lenin's: Treaty of B-L, dependency on Germany money, lack of support from Allies, outrage from military and monarchists, etc.  All of which equals:  civil war.

Kerensky was in the classic double-bind: "damned if you do, damned if you don't"...

Re: Stolypin - I would argue that Stolypin's land reforms contributed more to revolutionary conditions then to Russia becoming a superpower.  Promoting the sale of communal farm land to individuals forced the migration of peasant workers from the countryside to the cities and factories, creating a surplus of "factory-serfs" readily exploited in - at the time - a work environment utterly devoid of basic human rights.  He did it for a good reason:  farms in Russia needed to become modernized - larger and more efficient - to compete with the rest of the world, but the short-term outcome was a disaster.   


Offline historylover

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #84 on: May 13, 2009, 08:08:59 PM »

I agree with you about Kerensky.  The terms of the Brest-Litovsk treaty were very harsh and much worse
than the Treaty of Versailles, apparently.

Someone else brought this up but I didn't know about any alleged links with New York bankers?

Offline JStorey

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #85 on: May 14, 2009, 11:26:47 AM »
All that could possibly be in reference to - as far as I know - are the Allied war loans that kept the Provisional Government afloat upon the condition they stayed in the war. 

Offline historylover

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #86 on: May 16, 2009, 06:37:37 PM »
It's surprising that Kerensky is now being criticised for wanting Russia to remain in the war.  Lenin is often regarded as a traitor for
coming to terms with Germany.

Alixz

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #87 on: May 16, 2009, 06:44:10 PM »
On the 3rd December 1917 a conference between a Russian delegation, headed by Leon Trotsky and German and Austrian representatives began at Brest-Litovsk. Trotsky had the difficult task of trying to end Russian participation in the First World War without having to grant territory to the Central Powers. By employing delaying tactics Trotsky hoped that socialist revolutions would spread from Russia to Germany and Austria-Hungary before he had to sign the treaty.

After nine weeks of discussions without agreement, the German Army was ordered to resume its advance into Russia. On 3rd March 1918, with German troops moving towards Petrograd, Vladimir Lenin ordered Trotsky to accept the German terms. The Brest-Litovsk Treaty resulted in the Russians surrendering the Ukraine, Finland, the Baltic provinces, the Caucasus and Poland.


http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWbrest.htm

Alixz

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Re: Kerensk-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villian?
« Reply #88 on: May 16, 2009, 07:00:34 PM »
The Allies needed Russia to remain in the war.  Without Russia and before the Americans intervened, the French were afraid of Germany being able to turn all of its attention toward her.

The people were war weary.  They truly wanted out of the war, but both Nichols Ii and Kerensky believed in "death before dishonor" and wanted to stay true to their allies and their treaties.

Lenin didn't care about treaties.  He only wanted Russia.

Offline JStorey

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Re: Kerensky-Life-Provisional Government-Escape-Villain?
« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2009, 04:09:57 PM »
Lenin didn't care about treaties.  He only wanted Russia.

Lenin wanted international revolution of the proletariat - no, he didn't want it, he believed it was an historical inevitability.  Perhaps his greatest disappointment and miscalculation was that revolution did not follow in Germany.  So I don't believe it is accurate to say he wanted only Russia.