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Governing institutions from February till October of 1917.
Bodies of Soviet authority
The system of political parties
The policy of the Provisional Government
April crisis
Failure of Russian army's offensive
July crisis
Revolt of general L.G.Kornilov
Formation of new authority
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Formation of new authority

October revolution and formation of new authority.

Formation of a new government coincided in time with activity of new staff of Executive Committee and Presidium (13 Bolsheviks, 6 socialist-revolutionaries and 7 Mensheviks) of Executive Committee of Petrosoviet led by L.D.Trotsky. At this time Lenin persistently demanded from members of the Central Committee of Russian Social-Democratic party of workers (Bolsheviks), Moscow and Petrograd committees of Bolsheviks' party not to wait for convocation on October 20 of a new congress of Soviets, but immediately take authority. These appeals provoked actions of the Government. Trying to take the lead over Bolsheviks, Kerensky began to draw up to Petrograd loyal to him but few in number armed forces. In response Bolsheviks on September 20 made a decision to dispatch commissioners to all military formation. The orders, which had not been signed by them, were declared invalid. On October 5 the Central Committee of Russian Social-Democratic party of workers (Bolsheviks) adopted the decision on leaving the Preparliament. In a day the Moscow committee of Bolsheviks adopt a resolution on support of Lenin's armed revolt course.

The Provisional Government, aspiring to disrupt preparation for the revolution, sent for military elements of cadets from Petrograd and Oranienbaum, strengthened protection of major objects, including the palace, garrison of which made more than 2,7 thousand people.

On October 24, at behest of the Government, cadets made a raid on the printing house of the Bolsheviks' newspaper "Trudovoy put (Way of workers)". The order on arrest and bringing to trial of members of Petrograd Revolutionary-military committee was given at this time. Bolsheviks took retaliatory measures.

Storm of the Winter palace began on October 25. At 3.30 in the morning the battle-cruiser "Aurora" took position at the Nikolayevsky bridge, about 6 a.m. the State Bank was occupied, and then the Central telephone exchange. At 10 a.m. on October 25 V.I.Lenin wrote address "To the citizens of Russia" in which the deposition of the Provisional Government and a handover of authority to Revolutionary-military committee was declared. At 1 p.m. conspirators seized Mariyinsky palace where they dissolved Preparliament. Then the military port and the Main admiralty were seized. About 3 p.m. at Petrosoviet's special session Lenin declared, that "workers' and peasants' revolution" occurred.

In the evening loyal to the Military-revolutionary committee forces drew up to the Winter palace. They occupied the Ministry of Defence and all approaches to the Palace square. The surrender ultimatum was delivered to the Provisional Government at 19 p.m. After the rejection the first artillery shots were made at 9.40 p.m. Bombardment of the palace from rifles and machine guns began and lasted for 10-15 minutes. Actually there wasn't organized resistance. Groups of Military-revolutionary committee penetrated into the palace and at about two o'clock in the morning arrested ministers of the Provisional Government.

Meanwhile F.Dan, on behalf of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, opened at 10.40 p.m. the II All-Russian congress of Soviets of workers' and soldiers' deputies. He supported Y.Martov's offer on settlement of political crisis by peace and beginning of negotiations with the purpose of creation of a coalition democratic government.
After the announcement of the seizure of the Winter palace and arrest of ministers of the Provisional Government the hesitating delegates finally took the Bolsheviks' side.

Towards morning the congress listened to and passed the address written by V.I.Lenin" To workers, soldiers and peasants" about handover of authority to the IInd congress of Soviets, and at the local level - to Soviets of workers', soldiers' and peasants' deputies.
In the evening on October 26 the congress passed the Decree on Peace and the Decree on Land.

At the congress the Provisional Bolsheviks', till convocation of the Constituent Assembly, workers' and peasants' government - Soviet of People's Commissars was constituted.
Congress elected a new staff of All-Russian Central Executive Committee. Of its 101 members 62 were Bolsheviks, 29 - left-wing socialist-revolutionaries, 6 - Mensheviks-internationalists. L.B.Kamenev became the chairman but from November 8, after his resignation, Y.M.Sverdlov headed the Committee.

At the beginning of November 1917 the first crisis in the new government broke out. V.I.Lenin, trying to preserve monopoly on authority, delivered an ultimatum to rebellious L.B.Kamenev, G.E.Zinovyev and others by refusing from an agreement with the All-Russian executive committee of railwayman. As a sign of protest Kamenev, Rykov, Milyutin, Nogin left the Central Committee. A number of peoples' commissioners and highest officials sent in their resignation.

The after-February democracy suffered defeat due to a number of factors. Among them - relative weakness of liberal political forces. The social base of the Russian liberalism was narrowed because of absence of a wide layer of private proprietors in the village, remnants of traditional "communal" consciousness, illiteracy up to 70% of grown-up population of the country, which promoted popularity of socialist ideas. The other destabilizing factors were continuing World War, uncertainty with land question, difficult economic situation and, at last, the sharpest crisis of authority was caused by fall of autocracy - the pillar of Russian statehood.

As a result of radicalism of masses and absence of firm political authority the just being formed democracy quickly turned into anarchy and ochlocracy. Bolsheviks under those conditions managed to use their advantages: firm political will, yearning for authority, powerful and flexible party organization and broadest superpopulist propaganda. They resolutely headed revolutionary-anarchist uncontrolled situation, in every possible way encouraged it, used weakness of the Provisional Government, social hatred, impatience, thirst of people for social leveling. Bolsheviks seized authority and realized their ideas in practice.

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