The Second Crisis of the Provisional Government

The Second Crisis of the Provisional Government

The second crisis of the Provisional Government fell on the period of the July disturbances (also known as the July Days) following the ill-fated military offensive. On July 2 (15), 1917, members of the Constitutional Democratic Party (Cadets) opposed the adoption of the II Universal of the Central Council of Ukraine and the recognition of the autonomy of Ukraine (the final decision on its form was postponed until the Russian Constituent Assembly) and withdrew from the government.

On July 7 (20), the Minister of Justice P. N. Pereverzev, who, without agreement with representatives of the Socialist parties of the Provisional Government, released some compromising evidences of the Bolsheviks’ connections with Germany, resigned office. On the same day, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Internal Affairs G. E. Lvov vacated office as well. A. F. Kerensky took over as head of the government. On July 24 (August 6) the second coalition cabinet of the Provisional Government, composed mostly of socialists, was formed with Kerensky at its head. The Petrograd Soviet of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies declared after that an unconditional support of the Provisional Government. L. G. Kornilov was appointed Supreme Commander-in-Chief instead of A. A. Brusilov.

In attempt to consolidate various social and political forces the Provisional Government convened the State Conference in Moscow, bringing together about 2500 people. A. F. Kerensky was its chairman. However, during the meeting, the Provisional Government was harshly criticized, and the statements of both liberals and military-grades were of a radical nature: they proposed a liquidation of the Soviets, a prohibition of freedom of assembly, the restoration of the death penalty, etc. Such the ideas paved the way for the establishment of a military dictatorship.

Outlawed after the suppression of the July uprising Bolsheviks were the only who have not attended the meeting. They were partly under arrest, some of them — in exile. However, they managed to hold the VI Party Congress from July 26 (August 8) to August 3 (16), on the basis of which a course toward an armed uprising was generally taken. In addition, following the results of the Congress, L. D. Trotsky was admitted into the party and was elected to the Central Committee (in his absence, since he was in custody at that time).

Another important issue of the summer of 1917 was the separatist movements of the ethnic borderlands, which intensified following the crisis situation in the Center.

The section contains the timelines, research works, memoirs, archival documents, and visual materials, thematically organized and familiarizing with the numerous contradictory tendencies of mid July — mid August 1917.