From March to October 1917

  • D. G. Kirby
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History book series (SREEHS)


The collapse of the autocracy in March 1917 produced an immediate crisis of authority. The Provisional Government, anxious to win over the Finnish people to the Russian war effort, was prepared in its manifesto of 20 March to abrogate the Stolypin legislation and to convene the Diet, with a promise of a new constitutional settlement by legislative procedure. It soon showed itself unwilling however to concede to Finland the degree of internal independence which the socialists and a growing number of ‘independence line’ politicians now sought (86, 87, 91). In the view of the Provisional Government, the rights of the ruler had not disappeared with his demise, but had passed to his successor in authority (90). To this argument was added the embellishment of Russian nationalism — the Provisional Government, as trustee for the Russian people whose will was to find ultimate expression in the National Constituent Assembly, could not grant away any part of the territory of the former Empire (94).


Central Committee FINNISH Question Russian Government Social Democratic Party Russian Revolution 
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© D. G. Kirby 1975

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  • D. G. Kirby

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