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How did the Bolsheviks seize power?

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п‚Ќ starter activity
These pictures all suggest reasons why the Provisional Government was in dire
straits by the autumn of 1917. Can you guess what problems they allude to?
How did the Bolsheviks
manage to seize power in
п‚Ґ Aims
October 1917?
Construct a timeline showing lead-up to October
1917 Revolution
Analyse the reasons for Bolshevik success
Assess whether Oct 1917 was a popular uprising
пЃЂ Your task - Countdown to
Revolution
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Read Lynch p.92-96 and construct a timeline of events
explaining how the Bolsheviks seized power. Use these
dates to help you:
Mid-September
12 September
7 October
10 October
23 October
25-27 October
27 Oct
Countdown to Revolution
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Mid-September
Bolsheviks gained majority in Petrograd & Moscow
Soviets
12 September
Time was ripe for revolution: �History will not forgive
us if we do not assume power’
7 October
Lenin returned to Petrograd in secret
10 October
Central Committee pledged support for armed
insurrection
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23 October
Bolshevik Papers Pravda & Izvestiya closed down
25-27 October
Support for PG collapses and members of govt flee
abroad
27 Oct
Lenin notifies Congress of Soviets that Petrograd
Soviet (controlled by Bolsheviks) had seized power &
set up new revolutionary government, �Sovnakom’
пЃЂ Your task
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Watch the film, �Russian Revolution in Colour’
on the October Revolution and answer the
questions your teacher gives you.
п‚Ќ starter activity
Play clip from:
1:25 mins
Sergei Eisenstein
John Reed
Read the account of the October Revolution in John Reed’s famous book, �Ten days that
shook the world.’ How accurate do you think Reed’s account is? Watch a clip from Eisenstein’s
adaptation of the book �October’. How useful is this film to historians studying the October
Revolution?
пЃЂ Your task
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Read Lynch p.96-99 and list the reasons why the
Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917 was
successful.
Reasons for Bolshevik success
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Other parties co-operated with PG, e.g. promise
of elections to Constituent Assembly allayed
Liberals
Bolshevik opposition to War, compared with
SRs & Mensheviks
Menshevik adherence to Marxism – Feb Rev
was a prelude to proletariat revolution
Bolshevik aims & methods clearer than
opponents
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Weaknesses of PG – interim govt, lacked
legitimacy
Failure of PG to suppress Bolsheviks, e.g.
ignored Smolny Institute
Lenin’s charisma
Growth in membership of Bolsheviks &
dominance of Soviets
Smolny Institute
Factory committees
Radicalisation of Russian politics
пЃЂ Your task
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Your teacher will give you 9 cards with reasons
why the Bolsheviks were successful in October
1917. Arrange them in a �diamond 9’ formation
with the most important factors at the top.
Diamond 9
пЃЂ Your task
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Read the sources on p.107. How are they
different in their interpretation of the Russian
Revolution? Divide the class in two. One side
must support the view of interpretation A the
other interpretation B. Try to gather as much
evidence as you can to support your arguments.
 Extension task
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Conduct some research into the part played by
Trotsky in the Bolshevik Revolution. Note any
evidence from commentators or contemporary
observers of Trotsky’s own actions that he
played a crucial role in the Revolution.
Trotsky
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