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The subject index / Provisional Government of 1917

Provisional Government of 1917

Categories / Capital/Superior and Central State Institutions

PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT was the highest state organ of power in Russia, from 2 (15) March until 25 October (7 November) 1917. It was formed after the February Revolution of 1917 by the Provisional Committee of the State Duma in accordance with leaders of the Petrograd City Soviet for the period preceding the calling of the Constituent Assembly. The First Provisional Government (the so-called Bourgeois Provisional Government), from 2(15) March until 2(15) May 1917, consisted of a mixture of party members, including two Octobrists, five Cadets, one centrist, one progressive, and one from the labour party (from March, the socialist-revolutionary party); the President was Prince G.E. Lvov. The Second Provisional Government (the so-called First Coalition Provisional Government), from 6(19) May until 2(15) July 1917, consisted of two Mensheviks, one people's socialist, one labour party member, two socialist-revolutionaries (SRs), one Octobrist, and eight Cadets; the President was Prince Lvov. The Third Provisional Government (the so-called Second Coalition Provisional Government), from 24 July (6 August) until 26 August (8 September) 1917, consisted of seven representatives from socialistic parties and eight representatives from liberal parties; the President was A.F. Kerensky (a socialist-revolutionary). The Forth Provisional Government (the so-called Directory, or the Soviet of the Five), from 1(14) September until 24 September (7 October) 1917, consisted of two socialists, and three non-party members; the President was Kerensky. The Fifth Provisional Government (the so-called Third Coalition Provisional Government), from 25 September (8 October) until 25 October (7 November) 1917, consisted of six representatives of socialistic parties, six representatives of liberal parties, and six non-party members; the President was Kerensky. The Provisional Government's March 3 (16) program proclaimed its accession to power, and its intention to bring the war to a victorious end, confirming treaties with Russia's allies. The Provisional Government made a declaration that they would not prejudge the country's basic political and economic problems before the calling of the Constituent Assembly. The declarations of the Coalition Provisional Governments included articles on the necessity of fighting economic collapse and anarchy, carrying out agricultural reform, and for the attainment of the universal peace. The Provisional Government ratified amnesty for political prisoners, proclaimed democratic freedoms, abolished censorship and capital punishment (it was reintroduced at the front in July, 1917), liquidated the apparatus for political investigations, passed a law for workers' committees (unions) in business enterprises, established Land Committees, accomplished some measures for the democratisation of the Army, and announced the implementation of a state-owned bread monopoly. The Emergency Investigation Commission was established to investigate illegal actions of high ranking officials of the Tsarist regime. On September 1 (14), the Provisional Government proclaimed Russia a republic. A number of new Ministries were created (the Ministry of Labour, the Post and Telegraph Department, the Ministry of Food), but the basic structure of agencies of state power did not undergo major changes. The Provisional Government's activity was contradictory, could not stop the social, economic and political crisis from deepening, and was unable to prevent increasingly radical tendencies among workers and soldiers, especially in Petrograd. By October 1917, the Provisional Government had lost control of the situation in the country, and was overthrown by the Bolsheviks on 25 October (7 November) 1917, when its ministers were arrested. The locations of the Provisional Government were The Tauride Palace (early March); the Mariinsky Palace (March - June); the Winter Palace (June - October).

References: Старцев В. И. Революция и власть: Петрогр. Совет и Врем. правительство в марте-апреле 1917 г. М., 1978; Его же. Крах керенщины. Л., 1982; Набоков В. Д. Временное правительство // Архив русской революции. М., 1991. Т. 1. С. 9-125; Милюков П. Н. История второй русской революции. М., 2001.

A. M. Kulegin.

Kerensky Alexander Fedorovich
Lvov Georgy Evgenievich, Duke

Старцев В. И. Революция и власть: Петрогр. Совет и Врем. правительство в марте - апреле 1917 г. М., 1978
Старцев В. И. Крах керенщины. Л., 1982
Милюков П. Н. История второй русской революции. М., 2001
Набоков В. Д. Временное правительство // Архив русской революции. М., 1991

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