Lenin was an outstanding figure of significance during the Russian Revolution. Under his strong leadership and with the help of his loyal followers, Lenin enabled the Bolsheviks to come into power, overturning the Provisional Government in the second revolution of the year. This has been regarded as an important factor that contributed to the seizing of power towards the October revolution. However, it is not the sole reason, nor the most important one, with two other examples being the incompetence of the Provisional Government and the poor military leadership of Kerensky. The leadership of Lenin merely acted as a trigger factor, prompted further by the poor military leadership of Kerensky being an aggravating factor, and the incompetence of the Provisional Government being an underlying factor.
Lenin was an influential and significant figure in the seizing of power in the October Revolution prior to his return to Russia in April 1917. The active membership of the Bolsheviks was only 10,000, they were less popular than parties such as the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, with an example; Kamenev, supporting the provisional government in February 1917, however Lenin’s return to Russia strengthened the union of the Bolshevik party, leading to its success in the October Revolution. His iron- willed and decisive nature portrayed to the people a good sense of leadership and direction for the country, unlike the provisional government who were weak, lacking support and authority therefore providing them with an immediate source of stability restoration. Lenin’s grand hopes for development , complimented by the issuing of his April Thesis which contained the tactful slogan ‘Peace, Bread, Land’ was extremely effective in convincing the long-standing members of radical organisations to allow him to lead them, and therefore it is very clear how Lenin was able to influence the Russians to support him and his party. In particular winning the support of the workers due to their dissatisfaction with the Provisional Governments rule, mirroring the desires and wants of the people, presenting hope and a better future if they were to support Lenin’s leadership, partly explaining why the Bolsheviks were successful in the October revolution due to their ability to gain the support of the most crucial majority of Russia. However it can be argued that the leadership of Lenin was so transiently accepted, due to his return promptly after the fall of the Tsarist regime and consistent mistakes made by the provisional government such as; failing to resolve the food shortages, high inflation and the redistribution of land. Both were necessary prerequisites for the Bolsheviks to successfully seize power in 1917 which meant Lenin’s slogan appeared significantly attractive due to the desperation of the people, therefore more of a trigger factor as to why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power, which Lenin exploited via his slogans and leadership skills when the Provisional Government and Tsarist regime began to fail.
Another reason as to why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power was the weakness and instability of the provisional government due to it being a coalition of liberals, Mensheviks and Social revolutionaries, thus no unity and organisational skills, unlike the leadership of the Bolsheviks, as each party was merely working for their own agenda. This created internal strife which weakened the Provisional Government as a whole. Their poor decision making and failure to resolve political problems for example, continuing their campaign against Germany, which previously lead to Russian defeat, weakened their credibility and support, as a result most people’s faith went to the available political alternative of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who were quick to capitalize on the mistakes made by the Provisional Government, promising to make the