Why did the February Revolution in 1917 ultimately fail? What were the consequences for Russia of the failure of Kerensky’s Provisional Government? (250 W/15M)

Mentors Comment:

Question is quite straightforward and you may not have problem in attempting it.

Start with introducing Feb Revolution and what changes it bought.

Then in the first part of the answer, discuss why the provisional government, established after Feb Revolution, failed. WW1, Land, Bread and Peace were the major factors.

After here, discuss the impact of this failure of Feb Revolution on Russia. The failure of the Feb Revolution resulted in Russia getting Lenin its leader; Russia went out of WW1 and through treaty with Germany, ceded many territories; first full communist government of the world was created; birth of USSR; new ideas of economics and politics came into prominence etc.

Model Answer:

Russia at the beginning of 20th century was ruled by Czar, Nicholas II. He was an autocrat & his policies were not popular among masses. The Russian Revolution was a series of revolutions in early 20th century that ultimately resulted in the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II and the establishment of a communist government or Kerensky’s Provisional Government through February Revolution of 1917. But in October same year, Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government and established a communist in the October Revolution. Hence the February Revolution failed.

Reasons for the failure of February Revolution:

  • The February Revolution ultimately failed due to the nature of the Provisional Government
  • As one of its goals, the policies of the Provisional Government regarding the key issues of bread, land and peace were unsuccessful
  • These issues were not resolvable in the short term
  • Provisional Government was a coalition of parties who wanted different things: Kadets with their advocation of a constitutional democracy and the Mensheviks who wanted a temporary capitalist government
  • Provisional Government often withheld decisions so that the new government could make them, making them even weaker
  • The Provisional Government failed to recognize the need for peace and thus did not prioritize the withdrawal from the world war, and there was a naval mutiny
  • The government was too focused on the war, and the economic and social problems began to worsen
  • World War had affected the Provisional Government negatively, inflation and hunger soared
  • There was anarchy in the countryside as peasants started taking nobles’ land and the government used militaristic means to take it back.
  • The Provisional Government allowed freedom of speech and the press which gave way to the July Days and Lenin’s April Theses which advocated for peace, land, bread and Soviet Power
  • Bread Rationing was very unpopular among masses.
  • On the other hand, Bolsheviks championed the idea of peace, and gained many supporters eventually because of this October revolution happened.
  • During October,1917, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik government in Russia which led to formation of USSR.
  • This was the October revolution which got over in a matter of hours. Kerensky and his colleagues disappeared from the scene.

Consequences for Russia as a result of failure of Kerensky’s Provisional Government

  • The main result of the failure of the Provisional Government is the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in October 1917.
  • Lenin returned to Russia from his exile in Switzerland and denounced the new government and wished to break off support
  • The government lost all support due to its ineffectiveness. This gave way for a new party to gain power.
  • Victory of communist philosophy & marxian ideology which first time brought working class into power.
  • In March 1918 Russia and Germany signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Via this treaty, Russia surrendered a large chunk of its territory to Germany and its allies.
  • As a result of this, eventually, Russia had been transformed greatly
  • The humiliating terms of this treaty triggered widespread anger and objection to the policies of the Bolsheviks. It led to civil war in Russia between 1918 to 1921.


Failures of February Revolution had significant impact on World History as it led to first success of the Communist philosophy which was later adopted by China and Vietnam. Even in India, Bhagat Singh was deeply inspired by Lenin and the practical implementation of Karl Marx’s philosophy. It generated a new way of thinking about economy, society and the government. Still, the revolution marked the end of a dynasty that had lasted 300 years and concluded with the seizure of power by a small revolutionary group.

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4 years ago

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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Hi Noah…
-Introduction seems to be okay….it would have been good if you would have furnished few immediate reasons in intro itself…(the reason which should not be included in main part…)
-The third last point in 2nd page ‘Lenin conducted election but lost….need to substantiate…
-The side taken by you seems to be extreme…as earlier with the Czar regime it was huge bloodshed….enumerable people were killed due to WW…the provisional govt. lost popular support…failed to implement land reform…starvation…etc. brought mass support towards Lenin under communist party…So the took over resulted in stability rather more conflict…The idea and slogan of this revolution encouraged many revolutionaries…etc…etc…(More conceptual clarity needed)…Here we need to bring balanced approach…

Hope you have got the points…
Refer our model answer and some of the best answer reviewed for better clarity…
Well approached….Keep writing…

4 years ago
Reply to  Pritam Kumar

Thank you Sir for your review.
Sir, But can you please help me understand how do I correct the failure part to look less extreme ?
From reading other answers, i felt the same kind of failures were mentioned.
So how can I present it more balanced Sir ?

Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Hi Noah…Kindly mention your ID provided by us…

-For reply to your answer…kindly compare my model answer with your points…Reading carefully you will automatically get the difference…I think the model answer will suffice your requirement…

prafull sharma
4 years ago


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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  prafull sharma

Hello Prafull…
-Introduction is okay…it would have been more better if you would have added one more line…’the communist government under Lenin with mass support succeeded the throne overthrowing Kerensky’s Government…Though a good introduction…
-You have beautifully mentioned your points with brilliant explanations…
Good coverage…nice attempt…and well written…

But….need to ascertain you don’t exceed word limit prescribed…

Overall an excellent approach in terms of coverage….well done….Keep writing…

Marks awarded: 8/15

4 years ago

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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  Imgroot

Hi Imgroot…
-Good introduction…
-Points mentioned are excellent and presented in well manner…
-Conclusion is absent…
Overall very good attempt…it would have been excellent if conclusion have been added…Nice approach…well done…keep writing…
Marks awarded: 7.5/15

Zendagi_ migzara
Zendagi_ migzara
4 years ago

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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago

Hello Priyadarshi Raj…
-Introduction is good….and well presented…but apart from the points mentioned as reason, the fall of czar regime was because he was a dictator and unpopular among masses due to his dictatorial policies…
-The various reasons responsible is mentioned in good way…however, there need to bring linkages between ideas…
-Ultimately it was the communist government under Lenin which took over…
-Conclusion is absent…
Overall the answer is good but if conclusion would have been added, it would have been very good…
-Though nice attempt….good approach…
Keep writing…
Marks awarded: 6.5/15

4 years ago

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Pritam Kumar
4 years ago
Reply to  CD0705

Hello CD0705
-There is no introduction in your answer….First need to introduce what is this revolution related to…
-Very few points have been brought…
-Also points mentioned by you need justification….it portrays half image….
-Under consequences also points need justification….explanation needed…
-Conclusion is absent….
Overall, this answer is half hearted approach…written incompletely….
Write answer in proper format…leaving margin on both edges of the page…
There should be proper format for answer….First introduction followed by main body and conclusion…without this format even the excellent points will fetch less marks…or no marks…Format brings class in answer…
Refer our model answer for better clarity…