A History of Soviet Russia by Georg von Rauch

By Georg von Rauch

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Theii^ r e p r e s e n t a t i w s J g J l ^ who had not been entirely uninvolved in the fall of the monarchy. quicKiy assured the Provisional Government of their sympathies. A. was the first of the powers to recognize the new Russian government; England, France and Italy soon followed. It seemed to them that in its present composition this government was the most likely to insure that Russia would not back out of the war. The support given to the Provisional Government in the spring of 1917 had a strategic advantage; it was necessary, at any cost, to tie down as many German divisions as possible in the east.

The police were replaced by a people's militia. Postponement of elections for a Constituent Assembly until the fall was a tragic mistake for the govermnent. , the Soviets. O n March 1 (March 14) they issued their Order No. 1, calling for the formation of soldiers' councils in every military unit and the election of all officers by the troops. The consequence of this notorious order in the army, where discipline had already been shaken by recent 38 A HISTORY OF SOVIET RUSSU events, was confusion of catastrophic proportions.

It became doubtful, in these circumstances, that a continuation of the war could be considered at all. The Social Revolutionaries were at first in the majority in the Soviets. Above all, they considered themselves to be the representatives of the peasantry. In addition there were the Menshevik and Bolshevik Socialists. The members of the Soviets had been elected in factories, workshops and barracks. The St. Petersburg Soviet consisted of 2,500 representatives, one worker for each thousand, one soldier for each company.

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